POOP: A Gateway Word

Once again, so you know how it works: Most days I whine about having to be Stay at Home Sad, the stay at home dad (who’d rather not be there).  I’ve never been real good with the cute stuff.  Just the other day my wife asked if I’d like to walk over to her computer to look at a picture of a newborn baby a friend sent. You know, I almost started to get up. But upon some quick thinking on my part, I asked her some qualifying questions (Feel free to write these down): Does it look like a very young baby? Does it have anything like a huge nose or huge ears? Is it cute? Her answers were: yes, no, yes. These are the answers that spared my long walk to the dining room table. That’s what every baby looks like. If it had huge ears or huge nose or it was ugly – that put’s it on the fence and almost worth the view because it might be funny. But even that’s very rarely a big kind of laugh. My wife might examine that picture for a minute making connections with the parents, saying something like, “She’s got her mom’s nose and her dad’s eyes.” I don’t want to be a downer here, but why are people always surprised by the fact that a baby looks like one of the parents. I think the game is who can spot and report the resemblance first.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids (and on a lessor occasion, other kids) have done cute things and I have thought to myself, “cute.”  However, there’s a word that has slipped into or from the world of cute and I hate it. The word POOP is a word that I hate more than any other word. I think it got used for kids because some think it’s fun sounding like “Balloon”. Maybe it’s just easy for a kid to say. If that’s the case, let’s just start calling amoxicillin “cillin” (“Chilllin’ with some Cillin” – now we’re getting someplace). To me, The POOP Word sounds harsh and horrible. But, more importantly (stay with me here dear reader, you’ll see I’m not mad) when one says (or makes) the sound “POOP” with the mouth, there is a simulation of what a sphincter does when it makes (or says) the movement “POOP”. This is disgusting, but I think if people understood the problem here, they’d stop using the word. So, when you make your mouth make that sound, the letter “p” pushes your lips forward, then the “ooooo” sound comes out and finally your lips cut off the final “p” sound.  It makes you feel like your should wipe off your chin. You can see how a person could grow to dislike the word.

The thing that bothers me is that with three kids I now use the word. I try to say it quickly and not think about it. But the word is being thrown at me all day. “I gotta go P—” “I just went P—” “Iris just P—ed” in the bathtub”. I think it’s worse than the word F—. And, yes, I’m not going to say it. Somedays I’m so damn funny that I don’t need the special F gun to make me funnier. And it does, you know. I am so much less offended by F— that I would almost be ok with replacing it for P—.  But, if you replaced all the P— with F— in the above sentences it turns into sounding like one big knock on the door from social services. To me, F— sounds like an exclamation point. Whereas, P— sounds like a horrible too much information description.

My big problem is that I believe by teaching kids the word P— right out of the gates, at some point they’re going to grow tired of it and start looking for another four letter word. Now, me and society are flip flopped on this, because I think F— is less offensive that P—. I mean, I still don’t teach F— to my kids. But how would you feel if I started saying the F— word to your kids all baby talky like I’ve heard people throw around the P word. So, I think, if you don’t want kids to grow up to swear, don’t start teaching them baby four letter words. P— is like F— with training wheels.

I must admit, some of my friends and family did try to accommodate my penchant for disliking the  P word.  You can’t seem to use the other words. What do you have to choose from? There’s “Stool”, “BM”, “Crap”, “Number 2”, “Iggy” (that was a family name). None of these seemed to work for some reason or another, so I came up with “Serious Business”. It always seemed like “Serious Business” to me – even more so when starting to change diapers. But, unfortunately, all those things that we try to do to preserve our sanity don’t work in the end. And by the way, yes, I now have a mini-van.

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