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Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

We're the Shit

My just-turned-three son O. has lately taken to exuberantly shouting “You’re the shit in the buttocks!” Thankfully so far he’s only directed this at me and my husband, but God only knows when he’ll bust it out at a social gathering or at Grandma’s. If he just stopped at “You’re the shit!” it would actually sound kind of complimentary, but he never does. He always adds the “in the buttocks.” Where did he get this?

It’s really hard not to laugh when he says this, but we don't want to encourage him. At first we tried simply ignoring it. That worked when he went through his phase of shouting “Fuck it!” (That one he picked up from his parents. Yes, it’s our answer to everything.) But the shit in the buttocks thing is more persistent. So finally I started trying to distract him by playfully answering him back:

O: You’re the shit in the buttocks!
Me: You’re a silly little monkey!
O: You’re the shit! In the buttocks!

Not really the effect I was hoping for. Then we got a book of Thomas the Tank Engine themed poems out of the library. In one poem we find a stanza (fraught with gender conflict) where Thomas teases Emily, the only girl engine on the Isle of Sodor crew, by calling her a “bossy little buffer,” but then concedes that “for her size no engine could be tougher.” (What, female engines are smaller? Why? What makes Emily a girl engine anyway? She has a face, Thomas has a face. Are there genitals hidden back there in those coal bins? Let’s not think too long on that…)

Anyway, after having us read him this book a few times, O. began telling us (in the same exuberant voice) “You’re a bossy little buffer!” Hey, I don’t mind being called a bossy little buffer. I think it makes me sound saucy, but hardworking. And anyway, it’s fairly accurate for O. to call me and his dad bossy – I mean, all we do all day is tell him what the hell to do, saying please when we damn well feel like it. So fine: we’re bossy little buffers.

And for some reason, this works as a distraction strategy. Now when the shit in the buttocks starts hitting the fan, here’s how it goes:

O: You’re the shit in the buttocks!
Me: You’re a bossy little buffer!
O: You’re a bossy little buffer!

Ah, much better.


Blogger Orange said...

Yes, the trains do have genitals. If you get the unrated DVDs, you can see the sex scenes that were cut from the G-rated versions.

Time to start telling the kid that certain words are "grown-up words," and that other grown-ups don't like to hear those words from children. Kids seem to do a good job of grasping this distinction, honest. So you don't have to swear less in front of the kid. Win-win!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I have a hangover to recover from, woman, what the HELL are you doing, making me laugh my silly ass off? I made it to the post about tongue scraping but I can't stop laughing over Satan's sweaty nutsack, so I'm going to have to call it a day. For now. I'll be back, and I'll even put your link on my list if you don't mind.

My kids "swear" up a storm, but Orange is right: they grasped very well the fact that they're not allowed to use the same words I use. I heard one of them saying, "Jesus christ!" The other day...ugh...that's just trashy. My favorite story of my boys at 3 was when one of them said, "I can't wait until I'm grown up. Then I can say, 'shit. shit shit shit!' And I'll drive to Wal-Mart." Awesome.

11:48 AM  
Blogger E. said...

That is an excellent kid fantasy, being able to say "shit" and drive to Walmart. Me, I say shit at the very thought of driving to Walmart. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa, and needless to say I would be honored to have a link on your wonderful blog.

(This blog may someday have links, too, if I can ever figure out how to set up a list...)

Orange, the image of deleted sex scenes on unrated Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs fills me with a mix of emotions hard to put into words. Curiosity and revulsion top the list, but curiosity wins out. (I am clicking over to my Netflix account right now, in my imagination.)

How about a line of romance novels with a Thomas the Tank Engine theme?

2:10 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

awesome entry. I think I might steal the "bossy little buffer" line and use it myself. after all, my mouth could use a clean-up. In every sense of the word.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

"In the buttocks!" That is laugh-out-loud funny. Also, the trains from Thomas the Tankengine ... with genitals? That's too much for me.

(I have to add, since it came up, that I can't stand the few Thomas books we have. They're all so contradictory, and teach poor values, or worse, they're just odd stories with no values at all. But that's enough of that -- I don't want to hijack your thread with Thomas stories.)

9:26 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Charlie, I am with you on the lack of love for the Thomas stories. The main point of them seems to be that trains with faces are neurotic and that social interactions are fraught with subtle conflicts lurking just under the surface. I usually have trouble figuring out exactly what Edward did to hurt Gordon's pride or why Percy is so concerned with giving the Troublesome Trucks their comeuppance, so I don't know how O. is supposed to figure it out.

And on a much more basic level, I just find the trains creepy with their exaggeratedly expressive round faces. But for some reason O. loves them, so I just have to deal.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I can't stop laughing! Where did he get that?!? Too funny...

Anyway, just found you through Naive-No-More's sight & wanted to say hi! And thanks for the laugh! :)

11:56 AM  

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