Can You Poo Too?*

On updating my Facebook status to suggest that toddlers who poo at bedtime should be sent to the workhouse, a friend commented that mine was the second poo-based Facebook status she’d read in as many minutes.  Cue ingeniously witty quip about once hating ‘poo’ and now having it trip off my tongue on a daily basis (pass The Perrier, thanks) but it’s actually true.  It’s a word that once made me physically cringe, shoulders hunching reflexively and eyes scrunching up in a wince of pity for whichever saddo who’d beaten me in the Procreation Race was speaking.  It baffled me that the birth of their children made my grown adult friends resort to this kind of baby speak, dropping their ‘shits’ and ‘jobbies‘ like hot potatoes (there’s a charming analogy).  And incidentally, it’s not only the  faeces; all of a sudden that baby/pitchfork joke was very much frowned upon and one didn’t watch films featuring small children in peril (which to be fair tend to be mawkish tripe anyway, with the possible exception of James Cameron’s ‘Aliens‘).  Really, ‘poo’ was just the icing on the cake (you can tell I’m enjoying this).

Then I had one (a baby, not a poo).  Or ‘we’ had one if your use of ‘had’ refers to the general situation as opposed to just the hospital experience.  Otherwise, it is very much ‘I’, regardless of that awful American trend of describing the end-to-end experience as a warm-and-fluffy dual effort.  “We’re’ pregnant!”  Right.  No you fucking aren’t mister, unless you’re enjoying piles, carpal tunnel syndrome, itchy, restless legs and a rabid desire for chocolate-covered foam bananas.  And if you dare say “We’re having a baby!” while I’m in labour I’ll knock your shiny white front teeth so far down your throat you’ll have to fart your next moronic remark through your presumably undamaged arsehole.

Anyway.  Where was I?  Right, then we – in the general sense – had one (joy).  And suddenly you’re clutching that pink, wailing bundle and it’s grabbed you round the busiest muscle in your body (no not that one chaps – the one that’s beating not beaten) and it’s started squeezing with a vice-like grip which will relax only fractionally after about sixteen years (and then barely enough to allow you to reach for your credit card), and then you simply can’t ever use certain words again.  Absolutely not with reference to your wrinkled angel.  You can’t say that Baby had a ‘shite’.  It’s inconceivable!  Nor could you refer to its ‘jobbies’ (not till it’s at least four).  Your baby doesn’t ‘crap’ and it wouldn’t dream of doing a ‘turd’.  It’s not a dog being reprimanded by an elderly park visitor, so it isn’t going to ‘defecate’ anywhere (least of all the park pathway…you hope).  And thus you eliminate gradually all options bar ‘poo’.  And because that particular bodily function is going to form the topic of soooo many of your future conversations you’re going to use it very, very often.  There will be a minimum of four ‘poo’ mentions before lunch alone – about double that if it’s your first baby.  With no trace of shame you will refer to ‘poo’ in the presence of your aghast, childless friends and you may find yourself cheerily discussing ‘poo’ during business meetings, or with a recoiling hairdresser.  Your parents will delight in welcoming you to the ‘poo’ club, and even you and your mother-in-law shall at last find some common (‘poo’) ground.

It’s an inevitable rite of parental passage, borne out by tonight’s Facebook status poo-fest.  But, new parents, be wary and don’t get carried away with your euphemisms.  Set boundaries on your self-censorship, please, and never, EVER talk about ‘wee wee’.


* Title inspired by the brilliant ‘Can You Moo Too‘, a book I cannot recommend enough to people with strong Glaswegian accents.




10 Responses to Can You Poo Too?*

  1. I swore I would never upend my children and sniff their bottoms to see if they had – you guessed it – done a poo. I’d watched aghast as friends carried on chatting while nonchalantly giving offsprings’ rears a dog-like snort; not a good look, or, I presumed, smell. Guess who was talking s***?

  2. I love that ‘jobbies’ is one of your tags.
    There are many execrable words that appear uninvited when you have small children – tummy, willy, poop, botty and, yes, wee-wee.

    • jinedin says:

      Yes, I was tickled pink typing that.
      I should probably apologise to all that do use ‘wee wee’, shouldn’t I? It was just a bridge too far for me. We’re ‘pee’ers to a man in this household.
      Good grief, this is tragic, isn’t it?

      Hope you’re getting somewhere with your mystery poo problem…!

  3. mrshev says:

    I think that as I have got older I get grossed out by less and less things. I used to find mucus, vomit, shite, piss, earwax and blood pretty horrible to deal with and used to have a certain squeamishness about these things. Now I reckon I am as hardened as a Glaswegian paramedic.

    (BTW Gillian McKeith is awful. Proven to be a fraud, was she not? ALthough she does have an unnatural fascination with poo…)

    • jinedin says:

      Gillian McKeith actually managed to cancel out the considerable pull of Shaun Ryder for me for this year’s I’m a Celebrity. I’ll join in when she’s been booted out.

  4. Nikkii says:

    I tried as hard as I could to encourage use of the word “poo” with my darling third-born, to no avail. Since he’s been able to speak it has, and always will be god help him, “a mucky huge one”. When his efforts are somewhat diminished it’s “a tiny mucky huge one”… and when he hasn’t had enough water and machine guns out rabbit pellets… can you guess? No? it’s “a family of mucky huge ones”. Fuck knows – he didn’t get it from me.

    • jinedin says:

      Aha, there you are. The new space is looking good; gorgeous photos and I really, really like the Skeletal Mess ones. Almost makes me want to try.
      I’m going to use ‘mucky huge one’ with Boy. He’ll love it. As long as he promises not to repeat it in school. Not sure I believe it didn’t come from you… 😉

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