The tricky thing about telling your children that they can only use potty talk in the bathroom is that you will inevitably find yourself in the bathroom with them, and well, there’s nothing you can say when they unleash their nonstop chatter about all things toilet-y. And I had the good fortune of spending about 98 minutes with my children in the bathroom yesterday afternoon as we trudged along in our hazy, time-change stupor.
My idea was to let them play in the bathtub as long as they wanted. After 90 minutes, they had built an elaborate imaginary world full of potty-talk-themed characters equal to whatever the hell is going on with Minecraft. They were happy to keep on going, but I had to get out of the bathroom. I couldn’t take one more reference to “poop.” With their digits shriveled to raisins and their mouths running as if I’d offered them a candy bar for each reference to fecal matter, I dragged them out of the bathtub, refusing to spend one more hot (and wet) second with them.
I’ve been fairly patient with this phase of their development. Their interest in potty stuff waxes and wanes, but there’s been a recent resurgence that’s getting on my very last nerve. I always tell them if they want to “talk like that” they have to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, they turn on their heels in the kitchen and head straight to the nearest loo so they can finish their story about some hapless “poopy head.” Sometimes, they promise they will stop, and then they don’t. “Oh, sorry, Mom, I accidentally said a bathroom word.” I can feel them testing me. Am I really going to stop what I am doing– forming raw ground turkey into meatballs or put down my phone during the Ann Taylor Loft flash sale to enforce my boundary?
The answer is yes. Yes, I am. I may let tempers fly liberally, and I hold my tongue when Sadie sashays out of the house with a dress, a skirt, and a mink stole on, but I have my limits. I draw them at potty talk. So if you are wondering why my bathroom trashcan is full of wrappers from Halloween candy, now you know it was my survival technique for the extended bathtime we had yesterday.
Tell me, how do you deal with your kids’ potty talk?