Weekly Column: As usual, Mama’s to blame

©Stephenie Freeman

I’ve often said that God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave me boys instead of girls. I’m not sure how much it’s saved my sanity only having boys, but it sure has saved me lots of money.

Just walk into a babyGap or any other children’s clothing store and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The girls’ side of the store is darling, filled with complete matching outfits from head to toe. No good mother would buy just the pink polka dotted tutu dress without also buying the shoes, tights, sweater, and hat to match. Not buying the whole outfit would require massive amounts of willpower we mamas should be saved for things like chocolate cupcakes and that third glass of wine.

Luckily for me, I don’t have to worry about any of that. I’m over on the boys’ side buying a couple new pairs of jeans and a few T-shirts for under fifty bucks. Easy. Done-and-done.

For all of the money that I save by not having girls I have certainly made up for in other areas. God might be saving me money, but he sure is making me earn every penny.

Take the area of potty talk for example. Potty talk has become a very big deal at our house lately. We don’t call it cussing because the words that they are repeatedly using aren’t cuss words; they are words that involve, well, using the potty.

And let me tell you, my 4-year-old, the Monkey, thinks potty talk is about the funniest thing going. He’ll be in the back seat, all alone, lost in his own thoughts when all of the sudden out of nowhere he’ll say, “Poo-poo!” and totally crack himself up.

I have no understanding of this kind of humor, but apparently my older son, the Cheese, totally gets it. He, however, is smart enough to know that using potty words will only get him into trouble, so he encourages his brother to do his dirty work for him (no pun intended) and the Monkey, being the dutiful little brother that he is, falls right into his trap, loving every second of it.

It’s not the way that I’ve envisioned my boys bonding together as brothers, but I have to admit that it’s a beautiful thing to see them getting along for a change, even if it includes breaking rules and defying their mother.

I’ve told my boys a thousand times, “We don’t use potty words. Potty talk isn’t okay. Other people don’t like to hear potty talk. Potty talk is for the bathroom only!” but my boys just don’t get it or they just don’t want to get it. When you’re 4- and 7-years-old, you’ll take you’re adventures wherever you can get them.

Unfortunately for me, potty talk involves a lot more than just bodily functions. It also includes any and all body parts, especially related to the male anatomy.

At our house, we call things what they are. No whoo-hoos, peanuts, or whatchdoodles around here. It should be no surprise to me that body parts are often used by my boys as the butt of their potty talk jokes (pun intended.)

I’m not sure why I’m such a stickler about this whole potty talk business. I’ve been saying words to them like “poo-poo” and “pee-pee” since the minute they were born. And between diapers and potty training, potty talk has dominated the bulk of their vocabulary for the majority of their young lives. Maybe that’s why it strikes me as odd that words that they’ve known their whole lives are suddenly so taboo and funny.

It’s because Mommy made it that why. Potty talkers aren’t born—they’re made.

My boys didn’t know that yelling the word “poopy” in a crowded restaurant was bad until I told them that it was. They didn’t start whispering potty talk words behind my back for entertainment until I made it seem so forbidden and enticing.

So I’ve decided to back off for a while; stop being the potty talk police. This is one of those times that it’s better to pick your battles, because one day the potty talk will take on a whole new form and the battles will be much bigger and so will the potty talk words.

I just sure as hell hope they don’t learn any of them from me.

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