Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moms of Little Boys by Margaret Hart

My soon to be seven year old is a somewhat obsessed with what I refer to as the three Ps: pooping, potties, and his penis. Whenever he gets together with his two best friends, the chatter inevitably ends up being about these three subjects. Why? Is it a boy thing? It seems to be, because I just don't hear seven year old girls talking about their vaginas, their breasts and the toilet?

So why do boys obsess about these things? And let's not forget farting and burping. You moms of boys know what I'm talking about and don't pretend you don't. I consider myself a very good mom. I constantly tell my son that it's not polite to say these things and that he better not say them in school or he'll be sent to the principal's office. But, yes, I have to admit that it's often very cute and very funny, and I'm probably to blame for being an "enabler."
But am I an enabler if my real goal is for my son to grow up with a positive self image? I don't want him to grow up with any hang-ups about his body. My mother taught me early on that it just wasn't right to make up silly names for body parts. "Don't call his penis his 'pee-pee'; call it a penis. That's what it is," she said, or something along those lines. I have to agree. And apparently she practiced what she preached: If I had a dollar for every time she has told me the story about when I used the word vagina in polite company, I'd be rich.

I have never said anything that would make my son feel ashamed or embarrassed about his body or how it functions. And that's probably why my son is somewhat of an exhibitionist. He loves to rip off his shirt and show off his "ripped" chest, as he likes to refer to it. And he has no qualms about being naked. He thinks it's hysterical when he burps and farts (again, a boy thing), and he enjoys pooping as much as the next man--I mean, boy. In fact, he really likes to sit on his little boy throne and asks me to give him math problems while he's concentrating! I have to admit, the boy is really good in math!

My friends and I who are moms of boys just grin and laugh, and when we get together we shrug our shoulders and let the boys be boys. As long as the language is not hurting anybody, we let them get away with occasionally talking about pooping, farting, and what not. It think it just comes with the territory. And somehow, it's weirdly comforting to hear...what's that about
frogs and snails and puppy dog tails? Even though the nursery rhyme from the early nineteenth century says sugar and spice and everything nice is what little girls are made of, I'd add that to boys, too.

So what's a mother of a pooping, farting, burping, boy to do? Just keep reminding him that it's
not appropriate to say these things outside of the bathroom. It's bathroom talk, and it's not polite. But don't stress out over it. It's a phase, and all little boys go through it. And I have to admit, it makes me laugh!

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Blogger Cara Meyers said...

Oh, Margaret...YOU are funny! If I had a dime every time my son used, referenced, or did any of those words you mention, I'd be living in a mansion by now! Lol! It is totally a phase. It started when my son was six, heightened at age 7, and now is thankfully going downhill at age 8. As funny as it is, I did have a rule in our home: If you don't actually have to do it, I don't want to hear it. It was getting very out of hand last year, I had to put limitations on it.

Yes, it is a "boy" thing, yes, it is funny, but I had to let my son know that there were times when it was completely unacceptable. My son "gets" it now that he is slightly older. He still tries to get away with saying some inappropriate things, but I often say, "I will talk with you about school, nature, our home, games, animals, but if this is how you insist on speaking, I am leaving the room." Works every time...at least for me!

3:28 PM  

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