“What does ‘appropriate’ mean, Mama? Bad?” asks my 5 year old. The newest addition to my broken record Mom-phrases is, “That is NOT appropriate.” It may have surpassed, “Stop SHOUTING! Stop whining! Please speak in a normal/kind/non-whiny voice.” According to my calculations, that means I have uttered how inappropriate my boys have been lately about one zillion times.
What is it with what we call here, “Potty Talk?” Why does anything having to do with the area below the torso elicit such hysterical laughter? Is this a phase or is it how it will be for the rest of their lives? There are enough successful crude humor movies that tell me inappropriate potty talk may unfortunately be entertaining them for a lifetime. Does this mean that instead of a paleontologist (Ethan) or school crossing guard (Connor) that they will want to grow up to be the cast members of the next generation’s Hangover Part Too Many? And if so, will Grandpa Kim take them out of his will? Will I?
Inspired by the Stanley Cup playoffs, the boys played their own version of hockey last night. Ethan’s stick was a light saber while Connor’s was a pirate sword. Their oversized puck was a dirty, old kickball. When the kickball hit each of their opposing bean bags, it was a goal.
Ethan diligently kept score. When he proudly showed me the results, I not only noticed his massive win (and the highest scoring game in hockey history) and cool hockey stick-lightning strike logo (“for Strikers, get it?”), but also the name and logo of his brother’s losing team.
In case it is not clear, Connor named his team “Hershey Big Butts” and the team logo is the inappropriate drawing that has graced too many of their workbooks and art papers. The logo is what I had called “bum bums” from the beginning to initiate a kinder, gentler language for what I had hoped would be spoken of only when necessary. I suppose their definition of necessary is every day, all the time, for no apparent reason as if going a moment without mentioning butts would be depleting them of oxygen.
My brain does its natural categorizing that helps simplify information by generalizing and stereotyping. Don’t judge. You all do it, too. I wonder if they will spend their adult evenings crushing beer cans on their foreheads. I prep myself to be mom of the kids that no one else’s mom wants their pure and innocent ones playing with because their sweet children do NOT have a potty talk vernacular.
Before I can revise my will, today happens when at the end of it, I realize that I did not once have to reprimand them for big butt overuse. (I did have to repeat “Stop SHOUTING! Stop whining! Please speak in a normal/kind/non-whiny voice.” Let’s not get too greedy with the parental victories.) I remember that the same kid who has drawn countless butt logos also reprimanded me for wasting water and insisted on taking home our plastic spoons from the yogurt place so we can reuse and recycle them. Maybe he will study science in graduate school and give up his crude humor comedy career. Maybe.
I doubt today’s lack of butt talk signals an end to my boys’ impropriety. I take comfort in recently overhearing another kid’s louder-than-his-dad-wanted inappropriate potty talk. Somehow I contained the urge to give that kid a high 5 in reassuring me that there was at least one other young lad that other moms won’t let their children play with. I should have gotten his contact information. Our shunned kids could have play dates drawing not what I had hoped was the infinity symbol because of course they were inventing new mathematical theorems but rather their version of the largest muscle in the human body. They may not be models of preferred behavior, but they just might have the best abs worked out from hours of hysterical laughter brought on by what their disapproving mother considers completely inappropriate. Boys. If laughter is the best medicine, their health is guaranteed to thrive.