Monday, May 11, 2009
Jesus Loves The Little Children.....
"Jesus loves the little children, poopy diapers!" For almost two years, the best joke in our house has been shouting the phrase, "Poopy diapers," at random. I'm tired of it.
I've tried various methods to eradicate this from our son's vocabulary. Nothing seems to stick. There used to be just one little boy prancing around the house shouting potty talk, but now we have two. Soon, three.
And unfortunately, I have joined them. When I was trying to teach my oldest syllables, I resorted to such humorous words as, "Stinky, nasty, underwear, and bottom." I received peals of laughter and two little boys falling off their seats, but also a captivated audience learning the difference between one and two syllable words.
On a long road trip, the sons were restless. Tears of frustration filled the empty space of our mini-van. I resorted to potty talk. It worked. Soon they were laughing and having the best ride of their lives.
It was time for JCPenny pictures. Our oldest had turned four, our youngest two months old. They were the focus, but I also wanted some shots of all three boys together. Our middle was to have nothing to do with it. Out in the waiting area he was smiling and laughing, but as soon as the camera was within view he melted into a pile of fear, tears, and red eyes. The photographer even worked out a way for him to sit on my lap, but for me to not be visible in the shot. Nope. No luck.
Finally, I swallowed a lot of parenting pride. I knew what the repercussions would be. The staff would later share their disgust over my potty mouth. They'd criticize. They would never do what I did, when they became parents. They would do such a better job. But I wanted the shot, so I did it. I spoke the word, "Bottom." His quivering lip slowed.
A few more of these words and we'd have a beautiful, wide smile, but the photographer cut me off, "Well, I think that is all we're going to be able to get."
Wow, I had humiliated myself and she wasn't even going to work with it. Dejected.
We got one shot of the three, but the middle has very red eyes and a large protruding lower lip.
Not only has this stage of photo anxiety been forever documented, but also this phase of potty talk. Someday when my sons bring home their brides-to-be, they'll smile and laugh, "Remember when he would not smile for a picture?"
And I'll smile and think to myself, "Remember when all of you would run around the house shouting, 'Poopy diapers....and I joined right in'?"
Maybe I'll be the only one who will remember the latter. I hope so.
(First published in The Newberg Graphic, May 2009)