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.




Up our own arses?

This was a really peevish Shiraz-induced post, which I’ve removed as it can basically be summed up in two observations:

1.  Lots of folk seem to be posting post inane and/or unpleasant mundanities on Facebook, e.g. “Drinking a tasty cup of tea” or, “My dog’s just had its anal glands done again”.  The attraction of this is lost on me.


2.  The joys of social networking aside, your best mates remain the physically present, largely because they’re capable of informing you when you come out of the pub bogs with toilet paper hanging out of the back of your trousers.