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Friday, February 22, 2008

Welcome to the Potty Zone

Jaden: [With a glint in his eye] Mommy, what do you want on your pizza, poo poo or pee pee?

Rowan: [Very serious] Mommy likes pee pee.

Jaden: [Big smile] No, Mommy wants poo poo!

Me: [Exacerbated] Do I have to have one or the other? Can’t I just have a plain margarita pizza?

Welcome to Hally’s wonderful world of four year-old twins!

Just when I got excited that the kids can finally hold extended dinner conversations, they entered the twilight zone of the poo poo and pee pee years.

This Mama Wa Wili is knee deep in shit.

At first it was funny. I even participated actively in the conversations, drawing on the Socratic method and learning strategies; I thought if these conversations are a natural part of growing up, at least I can use poo poo and pee pee to create learning moments.

Jaden: There is poo poo by that tree!

Rowan: No, there is pee pee by that tree!

Jaden: You are pee pee, Rowan.

Rowan: No, you are poo poo, Jaden, and that’s not a tree. Its a forest.

Me: Hey you guys, if poo poo falls in the forest and no one hears it will it make a noise?

Jaden and Rowan: [Together] Mommy’s poo poo!

They’re right, of course. It was crap to even attempt it.

I am amazed at the breadth and depth of the poo poo conversations; at the seemingly unlimited ability for pee pee to hold their undivided attention. At times I am even grateful for poo poo and pee pee talk – as they are moments when no one is fighting, no one is taking the other’s toys, and both children are usually smiling and enjoying each other’s company.

The poo poo and pee pee conversations have even gone so far as to get incorporated into their limited Swahili. For example, yesterday our housekeeper, Margaret, dropped a glass in the kitchen and a piece of it embedded in her leg. We rushed her to the clinic where she got 5 stitches.

Here, when anything bad happens, if someone is sick, or even if someone misses a bus, we say in Swahili, pole sana, meaning so sorry. You can also just say pole (sorry) for short. Naturally, we were pole sanaing Margaret all day yesterday until Jaden decided to pole poo poo instead – roughly sorry for your shit. Margaret and the rest of the staff were totally charmed, and gave Jaden the laughs and poo poo encouragement he seems to crave these days.

As for me, I’ve decided to try to relax and enjoy the age of pee pee. It keeps my brain young, even as my 40+ body is feeling old. But I do find myself wondering how far I should take this?

Should I encourage them to stop?

Should I let them talk poo poo and pee pee but not get involved myself?

Or should I participate - encouraging them to see the intrinsic value of poo poo as a substance used to help grow plants, start a fire for cooking, or someday, to run a car?

OK… perhaps that’s taking it too far.

I don’t want you to accuse me of being full of shit.





The culprits.

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Welcome to the pee and poo. This conversation can last for at least another year or longer. Boys seem ready to engage in this conversation at the drop of a poo. This trait seems to last a life time.

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