I’ve created monsters. And my family has given them teeth. It started innocently enough—a mommy just trying to teach etiquette, tact, and what not to say in front of anyone who might judge her parenting skills. So, when the big boys were probably two and four, after a giggle fest started by the word “butt” I introduced them to the term “potty humor” and pointed out examples of it and explained how they were inappropriate. It was fun at first, but I should’ve known they boys would take it a little too far. In the year or so since my little teachable moment, I’ve been reprimanded for the following:
- Asking if someone did a good job wiping their butt (we prefer “booty”)
- Telling the big boys that I’m busy changing Max’s poopy diaper
- Reading Little Toot
- Giving explicit instructions on what to move where so I could do a thorough, yet hands-free tick check
- Cheering for one of Ryan’s cross country runners to get a P.R. (personal record, or apparently, urine)
The potty police took a donut break for a few months until our last road trip. Daddy had to stay home for a meet, so my sister and her fiancé rode along. Aunt Tavia, for all her wonderful ways with children and expertise in the latest early childhood philosophies, still doesn’t understand this about my boys: If it’s funny the first time, it’s even funnier the 10,000th time! She decided to give the potty patrol weapons to aid their enforcement – the head slap. For eleven hours, we had to endure not only constant potty-monitoring, but also bow to head slaps after each offending comment. Thank goodness for seatbelts and car seats. And once we reached our destination, what Tavia started and the boys multiplied, my brother took to exponential levels, in true Uncle Trey style. The boys got a taste of their own medicine, getting baited, and then whacked for saying “but I…” or for finishing the alphabet song (L, M, N, O, what?)
In the month since this road trip, I got tired of the random slaps out of nowhere, so we added the self-discipline clause. If you slap your own head first, no one can potty whack you. Not sure that was a good plan. Last night, Reed said of his brother, “Calvin smells like a (pause for anticipatory giggle and whack to his own head) poopy butt turd.” Looks I’m the only one who learned a lesson here.