Monday, January 08, 2007


That, my friends, is -- according to my four-and-a-half year-old son -- a string of the world's funniest words.

Pure comedy joy. In fact, peals of hysterical brainwaves are emanating from the top of his sleeping little head right now, merely through the osmotic energy of my having just typed them here.

Oh My God: the potty talk.

We've been battling pretty regularly here in Casa DDD to keep the potty talk to a low simmer; to that end, we have employed a number of mostly unsuccessful deterrents.

First, a little back story: For about a year or so, Finn got in the initially adorable habit of addressing his father as Johnny -- not Dad, or the preferred Papa. After a while, John came to miss hearing the word Papa come from his son's lips but we just couldn't find a way to reverse the trend.

Enter Grandma Emely (who should write a damn book about child psychology, by the way, or at least about creatively administered methods of bribery), and began rewarding him with coins -- a penny here, a nickel there -- whenever he used the paternal address instead of the familiar. Moreover, there was a promise of a trip to the Big Toy Store once he had accrued enough coinage.

Within a week he was completely broken of his Johnny rap; within two, he was berating me for addressing my husband by his first name.

Yeah, the kid responded to the money.

Last week, after an hour strolling Toys-R-Us with Grandma, he brought
this home. And Johnny don't live here anymore.

Anyway, back to the potty talk. My Mom's solution for this recent trouble is the same one she employed with my brother when he went through this normal but totally annoying developmental curve: have Finney get all potty talk out of his little system while in the bathroom.

You know, potty talk stays in the potty.

Seems simple enough. In fact, it's no holds barred in there most days -- a butt here, a fart there, a doody this, and a stinky diaper that. Every now and then he'll slip at the dinner table or playground, but for the most part he's reserving his best and brightest for the bathtub and toilet environment. Fun times.

So I nearly swallowed my tongue when I overheard Finn, standing in the hallway while talking through the closed bathroom door to Grandma Emely as she was inside using the restroom:

"Grandma, make sure you say lots and lots of potty words while you're in there, ok?!?"

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