32. Potty Talk

Somebody somewhere, please help.  For the love of God…CAN SOMEBODY FIND A WAY TO STOP THE POTTY TALK???  I’m doubtful, but at this point even a plea on a blog is worth a try.

Boys are consumed with potty talk — at least that’s what I call it.  Body parts, bodily functions, whatever.  Boys love it.  And they can’t shut up about it.  It’s the number one tool in their arsenal of weaponry against civilization and proper manners.  You can have an entire minivan full of boys under complete and total submission, fully compliant with proper etiquette of road travel, peacefully watching Toy Story 3 or asking discerning questions about billboards offering legal advice…and all it takes is one boy, whispering one word.


Absolute pandemonium.

You will never restore civil order until the next time you are able to stop the vehicle and extract all boys to allow physical exertion to reset their systems.  And don’t even try, because your inevitable doom has been played out many, many times by less fortunate drivers…

You begin with the stern warning.  Boy giggling lessens.  You continue with the specific lecture.  Boy snickering is fueled by poking elbows and wrinkled-nose smirks.  And then you seal your fate with the disastrous notion of engaging in the rear view mirror stare-down.

“The potty talk will stop.  There is NOTHING funny about boobies.”

Stare-down continues with leader of the potty talk boys who is now turning purple and chewing a hole in his bottom lip in attempt to refrain himself from letting the “B” sound escape his mouth even though his brothers and all other boys present are begging God to make him say it.

You stare at this inevitable detonation of boobie-powered energy and slowly realize you have waded in way over your head. Your lip quivers despite your valiant endeavor to keep a straight face, but you are a goner. One snort escapes your nose.

Total eruption of boy boobie bedlam in the minivan.

This unfortunate scene plays out thousands of times per day worldwide. And I’ve nowhere near adequate space here to address poop, pee or farting. It’s a literal war zone out there. I walked by the computer the other day and noticed some new artwork that 5-year-old Nathan had created using the “Paint” program.  This is the drawing he made:

He saved it as the desktop background.  Awesome.  His brothers are thinking, this is the greatest boy ever.  I am thinking, this kid will never obtain a wife or a career.

During a fun family night activity a few weeks ago we were laughing it up playing Charades. Then the brothers began skipping the cards they drew for “giraffe” and “jumprope” and making up their own ideas for charades. It took about 49 seconds to digress into one boy sitting on the couch making excruciating faces while both other boys yelled “POOPING!!!” which promptly spun all three boys into violent fits of laughter on the floor. End of family fun night.

Perhaps the only venue that rivals the backseat of the car or van for potty talk supremacy is the dinner table. Boys, when bored with food or threatened by items like asparagus or zucchini, will seize any opportunity for potty talk. My wife placed a lovely chicken dinner before the family recently which, as usual, produced the clamoring of competition over who gets which prized chicken part.

5-year-old Nicholas: “I get a leg!!”

5-year-old Nathan: “I get a leg!!”

3-year-old Caitlin: “I get a bone!” (she hasn’t mastered this system yet)

8-year-old Connor: “I get the butt!” (pointing to the breastbone in the center of the roasted bird)

Mommy: “Stop it. That’s not the butt.”

Connor: “Well it has a crack.”

Mommy: “Just because it has a crack doesn’t mean it’s the butt. It’s the chest. Stop the potty talk.”

Me, silently thinking: “Wow. Thank God he doesn’t know that breasts are actually boobies yet…”

Connor: “Well a chest doesn’t have a line in it……”

Long pause.

Me, silently: “Oh sweet Lord in the heavens, this is NOT happening.”


I don’t even remember if we ate the chicken. There truly is no scientific explanation for how we indeed survived that particular meal at all. Maybe we made it purely on the faint glimmer of hope that at some point, somewhere near adulthood, potty talk may be curtailed or at least contained. But I think we all know, that is purely delusional.


24 thoughts on “32. Potty Talk

  1. Belching seems to be the bodily function that is most discussed and demonstrated in my household. The longest belch, loudest belch, who can burp the alphabet (my grandson’s favorite) and whether or not you belch in your sleep. Go figure…….

  2. I really don’t think they ever out grow it. As a matter of fact, fathers find that it is one of the few forms of communication where they can still talk with their teenage sons and it makes sense for them. My son and husband seem to have a whole communication system that is based on farting. From the other room, and heaven forbid if I am unfortunate enough to be in the room, I hear them rip one and say things like:

    words of envy “Man, that one stinks. I would be proud to claim that one!”;
    or words of commiseration “I know exactly what you mean.” as if it had been a statement like “I really like that commercial”;
    or an statement of truth to which the response would be “really? I didn’t know that.”

    Another favorite pass-time of theirs in the car is to pass time singing old church hymns, but taking turns singing lines of the song. The challenge? They change the words to be about pooping, farting, belching, sweaty arm pits, etc…I like to spend the time in prayer that God has a sense of humor. Then again, of course He does. He gave us boys, didn’t He.

  3. Great post Tony! One of Tucker’s favorite things right now is the “farting armpit”. He plays a stirring rendition of some classical overture, I don’t know the name of it. I’ll have him perform it for you one day so you can tell me the name of it.

  4. Yeah, that would’ve made it hard for me to eat the chicken, too.

    By the way, we do a “five-minutes-of-potty-mouth” when things get out of hand. For 5 mins, they get to yell as many filthy words they can muster up. It usually lasts a minute.

  5. One of our favorite books was “Grossology”. they grow out of it or we beat it out of them. Your a boy, you know. And you don’t talk like that anymore…you just think it!!!

  6. This is the most accurate post about boys that I have ever read. I have 2 boys (no girls), age 27 and 24. The talk doesn’t end!! You just gotta laugh about the inner workings of a boys mind.

  7. I was literally crying cause I was laughing so hard while reading this late last night…Tony, this has to be the best one yet! Gene read it when he got home today, and was about on the floor, he was cracking up! Especially loved the chicken story! Gets interesting around here, cause there’s all different words for that stuff in the different languages, so now, instead of hearing about farts and belches and poop in just English, I get to hear it on the porch in Spanish too! But this one thing I will say, boys will figure out how to talk about it in whatever language, whether spoken or bodily…boys are boys, no matter what country they’re from. 🙂

  8. Glad to know that my house is normal:) our boys are now 5, 5, 3 and 2 and I think that that poop or “Nudies” as my boys like to call any naked body part ever…. were my two year olds first words. The other day my three year old greeted our new guest as “Hello Big Doo DOo and Little DOo DOO” ! What in the world??? Crazy Boys! We call our house the crazy nut farm!! Seriously, reading your post is like reading a page of our day. I grew up in a girl house so life has def. become more entertaining!

  9. I’m sorry Tony, but you are wrong on this one. There is totally something funny about boobies.
    Boobies, boobies, boobies, boobies.

    I dare you to tell me you’re not smiling.

  10. We refer to it as “potty-talk” in our house too! But it has evolved. They’ve added actions to it — now they shake their butts at you when they talk about poop and farts. It seems like every second word that comes out of their mouth has to do with some type of bodily function. They even use the words as terms of endearment. Like when my youngest hurt himself and started crying, the oldest went up to him and very seriously said “Hey poops, you okay? What happened?” There aren’t very many boys on either side of the family, so when our boys hit that silly mode and start to let loose it’s quite funny to see every one’s reaction — they don’t know what to make of it all!!

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