In my home growing up, we were not allowed to use the words "butt" or "fart." We euphemized those "crass," (according to my mother,) terms, with the likes of "bum," "behind," and "spluff." My mom's insistence on the use of these terms made her quite unpopular in many instances, but she persisted undaunted, for reasons that I just could not understand when I was thirteen. A few months of life with a very precocious toddler have helped me to understand her place.
Henry repeats almost everything he hears. He has entirely cured me of the desire, (which I never had,) to own a talking parrot because living with him is just like what I imagine life with a talking parrot would be.
Take, for example, last night. As we were getting ready for bed, I asked my little talking parrot if he had a stinky diaper.
"Well, then what do I smell?"
"I fart, mom. I juss fart."
"Oh," I said, in obvious surprise, wondering if Nate had transgressed the unspoken family laws, or if Henry had picked up the "F" word from an external influence.
He continued, "Did you fart, mommy?"
Still perplexed, and entranced in the application of paste to my toothbrush, I didn't respond.
"Mommy, did you fart? Did you, mommy?" he looked up at me inquisitively, with a twinkle of a grin in his eyes.
Trying in vain to hold back my laughter, (because as much as I try to pretend like I'm refined, the nine year old in me still thinks potty talk is ridiculously amusing,) I assured him that I didn't.
And so it begins. Do I follow in my mother's unpopular footsteps and insist on a euphemism? Must we always say "tootie?" Or is this a battle to which I should surrender at the outset?
I think I'm going to fight this one, but I sure didn't make a very valiant battle debut last night because I'm pretty certain that laughter and gaiety significantly detract from the "Intimidatingly Formidable Foe" image.