Conversations With a Toddler

I had several interesting conversations and interactions with my 2 year old yesterday. Our regular conversation these days revolves around penises and who does and does not have them. We have a running list of male and female acquantances of all species that have to be confirmed as to their genitalia.

Does daddy have a penis? Yes. Mommy can’t have a penis? No. Janie (our dog) have a penis? No, she’s a girl. Girls can’t have a penis, mommy. Right. Atticus (our recently deceased dog) has a penis. Yes, he used to. Atticus can’t have a penis anymore? No, baby he died. You miss Atticus? Yes, very much. You sad? Sometimes. CatCat(our cat) can’t have a penis. Right, she’s a girl. Boys have a penis, girls can’t have a penis, mommy.

So this is our regular conversation we usually get to have in the privacy of our own home and with various relatives and classmates included in the penis or no penis role call. There are times when this almost verbatim conversation occurs when we are in a public restroom where the acoustics are wonderful. Yesterday we added a conversation about me having to poop. If there’s anything worse then being caught having to poop in public it’s having a color commentator accompanying you. Then at another store we had to sit through my 2 year old pooping with all the grunts, plops and commentary that come with it. None of this, waiting for someone to flush to really let go or any of the other tactics appropriately abashed public poopers employ. At least if we had been in a Walmart bathroom where everyone seems to let go with reckless abandon, it might have been less embarrassing. There’s something more intimate and sophisticated about the three stall Barnes & Noble bathroom though.

This behavior is not relegated to just boys. My nieces used to open the stall door and run out while I was using the bathroom, leaving it wide open and giggling as I admonished them. I’m sure my sisters will find that hilarious because it’s totally something I would do at that age. Hell, I’d do it now, especially that my nieces are old enough to be properly mortified. I had to wait for them to age enough for the proper revenge. I’ve noticed now though that some of the larger handicap stalls have seats with buckles hanging on the walls so you can strap your kid down so they don’t dart under the stall or as just mentioned, through the door, leaving it ajar. This just seems like cheating to me and I see the chair as a better use for a public timeout. Ok, I’m totally kidding but it does remind me of some sort of punishment rather than a child containment system for you to use the restroom in public without worrying about your kid taking off.

Of course we have too many conversations to count about farting, which for some reason my son thinks needs announcing, outside of the foghorn he just blasted in front of everyone in the checkout line. Seems redundant to me to declare it at that point, but to each his own. These conversations and incidents don’t really embarrass me, I find them more amusing than anything, but adjusting to the blatancy with which a child declares his bodily functions does take some acclimation.

I would be interested in hearing some of your stories of life in the trenches. Drop me a line in the comments or shoot me an email at with your embarrassing stories. Let’s compile a list of embarrassing and amusing stories we can share with other parents. When I get a few together I’ll publish them in one of my posts with direct quotes and your name (assuming you want to be identified), and a link to your blog if you have one. I say take credit for you child’s awesomeness, even if that comes in the celebration of a really excellent belch.

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