I had an epiphany the other day as we drove to get our Christmas tree. I finally understood a mystery I have been contemplating for about fifteen years now. Let me explain.
One night when I was just out of college, a huge group of us were sleeping in a small mountain cabin in Austria. Boys on one side, girls on the other, so we could hear them. The entire trip, the guys had been reveling us with details of their late night shenanigans. Extraordinary accomplishments in the art of blue flames, an exemplary extra loud fart, feces in the toilet that were particularly fascinating.
The night we were all together, the guys just could not stop farting and laughing. It seemed to go on for hours and they laughed harder and harder.
**Warning: Graphic potty humor abounds below. And some huge sex stereotyping. Stop now if that last paragraph grossed you out.**
I remember lying there thinking to myself "Its not that its gross or anything. It just really isn't that funny. I have absolutely no idea why they are laughing so hard. NO IDEA." It has haunted me ever since then - why do guys think "potty humor" is so hilarious? What gives the toot its comedy power?
As I had babies and became surrounded by poo 24 hours a day, I did find humor in how bizarre it was - potty training Saben was definitely not something I was even remotely prepared for.
I also remember thinking how funny it was that most women/moms are not that grossed out by their baby's poo & toots - but often the dad really struggles with it and grimaces every time they change a diaper. I mean, it is gross, but I feel pretty much over it - its poo, what else is new?
So the mystery deepened - guys think poo & farts are soooo funny and spend their adolescent years taunting us with it, but when it comes down to it, it seems like moms handle the reality of it much better than dads.
Seeing how I don't really find poo & toots funny or all that gross, I figured I'd have no problem at all being one of those moms who just goes along with the kid's potty humor. No stifling giggles, my dream was to be matter of fact & honest about it, laugh sometimes, but no big deal. You know, the cool mom.
Then Kyle taught my sweet innocent 3 year old to call his poo "logs". And to say "take a monster dump". And I'll admit, I cringed. I told him to knock it off. I mean, I'm accepting of it and all, but seriously, does he have to start him in at such a young age? But for some mysterious reason, it stuck and Saben still always uses those phrases....
So we're on our way to get our Christmas tree this year, and Saben and Kyle were singing the song "Jingle Poop". (Jingle bells with poop instead of bells) I don't even remember which one of them started it, but I cringed again and told Kyle to knock it off. Its CHRISTMAS and we're getting our CHRISTMAS TREE. Please stop singing about POOP!
And guess what. They laughed harder. And harder. Every time I made the slightest response, it got funnier and funnier. And suddenly it hit me, the only thing funny about poop for boys is that from the very first potty joke they remember, mom has told them knock it off. It is pure rebellion, and its hilarious to watch mom get mad.
Potty humor has no comedy on its own, or at least a very limited amount. But throw in someone (most likely a woman) getting angry, embarrassed or fed up, and suddenly it is very funny indeed. And its not that women are grossed out by potty humor, its just so STUPID that they often don't see the humor in it. Because the humor is actually themselves & their reaction. Its a vicious cycle, and I am not sure its a war you can win.
Even if you think you are fine and cool about potty humor, your husband and son's main goals in life will be to push the edges of poo comedy as far as they can until they get a rise out of you. Because even if your husband says he wants you to be cool with it, what he really wants is for you to tell him to knock it off. And he will go to any length to get that response. The cooler you are, the more hideous things your husband will teach your son, until you finally break.
So really, you might as well just be mean, and make them stop at the first outbreak. Not sure it will help, but worth a try. Consider yourself warned.
Yes, I know girls laugh about poo too, (I certainly do on occasion) but much more fun to complain about men and pretend its all their fault.