She Says… Poopy Mouth

Poop.

Why is poop so darn funny?

Given that I will eventually have two (or more?) sons, I guess I’d better get on board. Poop is, apparently, hilarious.

At the ripe old age of 2 3/4, Owen caught on to the fact that talking about poop elicits giggles and smirks, no matter who he’s talking to, adult or child. I do my best to keep a straight face (nearly impossible sometimes), and even attempted a valiant effort of firmly responding, “We don’t talk about poop unless we’re ACTUALLY talking about going poop” every time it came out of his mouth for a while. I know another mom who says you can only say the word poop if you are IN the bathroom.

To no avail. The poop talk is here to stay.

I thought I had more time before this lovely milestone hit, because I know from experience it doesn’t go away until, like… 12 years old? 21 years old? Ummm, never, for some dudes?

As I said, originally I actually thought I could control/contain/discourage this behavior by not laughing and setting boundaries around when we actually CAN talk about poop. WRONG! Everything is poop. Poopy face. Poopy girl. Poop. Poop brown. Poop, poop, poop. Peepee once in a while, though that is far less funny. If he doesn’t know the answer to a question? It’s poop. What do you want for dinner tonight? Poop. Did you have a nice sleep last night? Poop. And then cue the giggles.

Benjamin recently pointed out that my tactic of discouraging this kind of talk was likely making it worse (“Oh, this BOTHERS you, Mom? I will do it some more! POOP POOP POOP!”). So I tried a new tactic. Just let it be. Give the word poop no more power than any other word. Deal with it, but don’t encourage it. I thought maybe Benjamin was right.

Alas, that doesn’t seem to have helped either. Or the damage is already done.

We had a playdate over the weekend and that little boy tempted fate by saying “butt” and looking at his mom like, “Is she going to punish me?”. Clearly these little guys are just testing limits. And I don’t think this is a battle I’m going to fight very hard. There are bigger fish to fry. But someone please tell me this poop talk thing is a stage?

Does your kid talk about poop (or some other inappropriate but totally normal topic that makes non-parents in the grocery store roll their eyes at you)? What do you do about it, if anything?

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7 responses to “She Says… Poopy Mouth

  1. I had two younger brothers and I believe the “poop phase” eventually morphs into the “fart phase”. I say embrace it. The best mothering advice I’ve ever heard was, “pick your battles”–this is one battle you’ll never win. With little boys, poop always prevails!

    Outside of our home, E. hasn’t started with the poop talk but I plan on using the ignore/distract technique when it does emerge. That technique has served me well for many of E.’s not-so-desirable behaviours.

  2. I have 2 boys (age 4 and 7) and the poop phase has been going strong ever since they learned the word. It gets worse once you have BOTH boys talking because then they try and out-do each other, lol! I ignore it most of the time, but when it really escalates, I’ll yell, “The next person to say poop {fill in the blank}”. Usually it’s: gets no dessert, goes to their room for 10 minutes, etc, whatever seems appropriate at the time. That usually keeps them quite for a little while, but the poop talk eventually returns. Fun times!

  3. @Meredith, Ah, the lovely fart phase! You’re so right. Oy.

    @Jennifer, Oh no, is that what I have to look forward to?! 🙂

  4. My 6-year-old who is learning to read likes to spell it out then giggle about it. So every once in a while, for no reason, he’ll slip “p-o-o-p” into the conversation.
    We have it somewhat under control in that my boys understand it isn’t polite to use “potty” words outside of the bathroom. However, it doesn’t make them any less hilarious to them. 🙂

  5. @Julie, Hahaha, at least he’s practicing his spelling?

  6. It had been my experience both as a parent and pediatric dentist that repeatedly reacting to any behavior you can’t cause to stop by just saying to stop it is ineffective and likely to increase the behavior if child knows it annoys parent. For example you won’t nag your kid into stopping thumbsucking. Ask Benjamin how that worked out. If you really wanted to stop Owen, the consequences would really have to be negative for him. If you were doing something he liked, the activity quietly and immediately ends. But do you really want to do that? And if he isn’t doing an activity that he cares about, then it won’t matter. So my point is, if he’s like most boys, this fascination with poop will probably end before he’s in college and you can probably skip this particular battle. Although it may make him ineligible to ever be president since everything you do is now on Facebook.

  7. Poop talk doesn’t end, but I will take it any day over the extended death/killing/dead phase that came right around Owen’s age and still has nagging remnants. We’ve mostly managed to instill that we don’t kill Bad Guys; the Good Guys stop them, catch them, and turn them over to the legal system. We had some help in this because Batman was basically her one favorite superhero. But, the flip side is this regular thing where, if we can’t see something, it’s probably dead. Like if we go to the hiking trail with the farm and we don’t see the billy goat, “because he died” will just come right out of her mouth. I’m all, “don’t you think he might just be back at the barn still” and she’s usually “yeah”, but the first assumption is always DEATH! I much prefer giggling over poop.

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