18 Sep
Flushing Out a Potty Mouth

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My seven-year-old son loves potty talk.   It’s poop this, fart that, butt everywhere.   They are not curse words, but it still bothers and embarrasses me.   He says that it makes him and his friends laugh.   My husband is no help because he just weighs in with a “freedom of speech” argument.   What do I do?


Possibly Prudish


Dear Possibly Prudish,

Congratulations!   Laughing at body parts and bodily functions is not only age appropriate for seven year-olds, it is a life skill that can be honed well into adulthood.   I suspect that your husband will agree.

And let’s face it–it is cheap humor.   Where else can you get such reasonable entertainment in today’s economy?   For the cost of few moments of mortification, your child is laughing and happy.   That’s what we call a “win-win.”   Except for the whole thing about you thinking it’s offensive.

I recommend finding times and places where your son can indulge in this type of humor that is acceptable to you.

This is what I did with my kids:   Influenced by the Clinton White House,   I instituted the “if I don’t hear it, it doesn’t exist” rule, a close relative of the “don’t ask don’t tell.”   My kids are allowed to indulge in potty talk in places that I will not have to hear it. In their rooms, for example. Or in church.

If they break that rule and tell a fart joke at the dinner table, I send them to their room to laugh it off.   And while they’re gone, I eat their dessert.

As for your husband’s concerns about your son’s civil liberties being in peril, I recommend that you solve that problem by reading your entire family a modified version of the Miranda warning.   Here is the text for handy reference:

You have the right not to use potty talk.   If you use potty talk at the dinner table, you will be sent to your room.   Using potty talk is inappropriate and will be used against you.

If it’s good enough for the U.S. Supreme Court, it should be good enough for your family.


Marinka, TMH

It’s a TMH Book Giveaway! The wonderful Izzy Rose from  Stepmother’s Milk has a wonderful new memoir out called  The Package Deal: My (Not So) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom and we’ll be giving a copy away to one lucky reader this week! To enter, simply leave a comment on any post this week, and for an additional entry, send us a question to answer to ask@mouthyhousewives.com and you’ll be entered to win. (Questions will be posted anonymously!)   Good luck!


11 Responses to “Flushing Out a Potty Mouth”


Comment by Wendi.

I will never, ever understand scatological humor. My 5-year-old son, however, thinks a poop joke is the epitome of wit.


Comment by CSY.

Raising two boys and being a step-monster to two more, not to mention growing up with boys….I’ve heard more than enough poop or fart jokes, but knowing that they’re boys I also know there isn’t much to do about it. I agree with Marinka, potty jokes at the table not gonna happen. Potty jokes to and FROM grandpa…hilarity every time!


Comment by Pollyanna.

We have the Hokey-Pokey Elmo. If you keep pressing his hand and making him do the hokey-pokey two or three times, he says, “Whew. Elmo’s pooped,” when he’s finished.

My girls think this is hysterical! They don’t get that pooped is tired and not that he just went poop. My three-year-old brought him to show and share just so she could show off that “Elmo poops!”


Comment by assomeoneelse.

When my twins were very little and hitting the potty humor phase I taught them that toilet humor is lazy comedy. I don’t know if that’s actually true, but it worked for my twins. Unfortunately everything that worked for them goes right past my youngest. However, it has been proven that with enough nagging the child will grow out of the phase….or at least eventually learn not to tell fart jokes around mom, which is really still a win.


Comment by GrandeMocha.

I tell my son that we talk about bathroom activites in the bathroom. Bathroom only. Sometimes he calls me into the bathroom to tell me something funny.


Comment by MommyGeekology.

LOL so I love the modified Miranda rights. Ha.

And, ooh! A prize, just for commenting? You’re too sweet. Also, I sent in a question ages ago and you didn’t answer it, so I’m going to send you a package of flaming poop.

Just kidding. Probably.


Comment by Barb Sigelbeagle.

Try curtailing potty humor when your husband told all 4 children to play switch when they said they were bored. What is switch, they asked. You put one thumb in your mouth and one in your tuchis, then switch. He now says this to our grandchildren. Amazingly,they all find him the epitome of sophisticated humor. He is normal in every other way.


Comment by Brianna.

My three and a half year old thinks it’s hilarious to run up to me or her dad (thank god it’s only us) and tell us, “I farted!” I’ve gotten to the point where I just smile at her and say, “That’s nice.” I mean really, what can you do? As long as she isn’t screaming it in the middle of the grocery store or going up to strangers to say it, I guess I’ll just grit my teeth and bear it. LOL


Comment by christy.

Love this advice – and I just might use it on my husband. His British sense of humor is just a tad more outrageous than my American one.


Comment by mom, again.

Your husband needs to join the grown-ups. Children’s free speech begins where and when their grown-ups say so. If YOU say it’s rude, then he should be supporting you. No coming up with lame cop-outs for not teaching his sone’s how to do these things behind your(and in future, other important female’s) back.


Comment by Catherine.

I have a possibly unique approach to potty jokes: I join in. I over-join in. It actually does kind of make me laugh when my almost-5-year-old makes a fart joke. But when I turn myself into another 5-year-old, we laugh together and then it’s over. I suspect if I fought it, it would go on and become a battle.
But I like Marinka’s idea better.

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