Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"You stink like poop. POOP!" Raucous laughter from Henry. The word : Poop. And funnier still because he has proudly lobbed the insult at his younger sister who, I'm sorry to report, has a mouth far more filthy.

"Shut the fuck up, Henry."

I am the worst mother on the face of the earth.

I have to confess I felt a little proud of their verbal acumen. Henry, in particular, tends to sound a bit like a Twitter feed, and rarely undertakes the effort of producing a full sentence...and especially for the purpose of non-essential dialogue. His sister seemed to have a identified an often under-utilized anger management tool, albeit one likely to get her tossed from the prestigious confines of Bloom Montessori. And while I have been known to employ some rather crass language, I recognize that it is imprudent to let my four-year-old go through her preschool years dropping unchecked f-bombs, particularly since the main argument against swearing is more about showing off that you're classy if you don't swear - that you can control the vast waves of anger swirling inside you without saying a cuss word. I wouldn't want to be low-brow by allowing her to swear with impunity.

The good news is that Midori responds generally well to bribes and threats. We just explained that those are grown-up words used in specific circumstances, like when Daddy hears that the Broncos have drafted another stupid running back when they’re already loaded at running back and obviously need help on defense, or when the cop in the rear view mirror is stopping to turn around in the median and come back toward mommy and we’re not close enough to the house to hit the gas and make a run for it, plus your dad's not even home to open the garage door for us.

Henry, on the other hand, is a whole other ball of wax. Once he realized that the word "poop" is funny (and it is funny...just say it in a room full of grown men in suits, and watch the stifled giggles), he couldn't get enough. "Poop. Poop."

At first, it was just the acontextual use of the word. Then, he got clever with it: "Spongebob Poop Pants." "Hula Poop." "Can I have a lollypoop? Or some poopcorn?"


The school has taken it upon themselves to track the number of "inappropriate utterances" Henry produces in a given kindergarten day. Usually, he hovers around 50...about ten "poop" utterances each hour. Not so bad. But Friday, he came home armed with data and an angry note from his teacher.

Apparently, they showed a film depicting the good works of Heifer International, as they are undertaking a charitable project with the organization. In the context of the documentary, there is a lengthy discussion about methane produced from cow dung. You see where this is going, right?

To Henry, this must have been the funniest goddamn video ever produced. He was laughing so hard, in fact, he fell out of his chair and nearly knocked himself unconscious on the side of another child's desk. His teacher was not amused. Two hundred & seventy-eight utterances later, the letter and data sheet was followed up with a phone call.

What, exactly, are you going to do with him, because this has quite simply gotten out of hand?

What am I supposed to do, exactly?

After much discussion and several failed attempts to prevent myself from erupting in laughter on the phone with Henry's headmaster - a conversation, by the way, which probably involved another two hundred utterances of the word "poop," - Dennis and I decided to evoke a zero-tolerance policy for "poop talk." First offense: We tase him. Second offense: No college for you, little man. Third offense: You are no longer a member of this family. Please leave. Now. 

You'll have to excuse me. I need to go waterboard Midori now.