Please don’t be offended  – this is meant to be a philosophical, and not a practical, treatment of the subject.

I grew up in a large family where potty humor was frequently indulged in. When I was young I didn’t think anything of it.  Here’s a good one: why did the toilet paper roll down the hill? Because it wanted to get to the bottom. Ha ha ha!

Oh dear, there I go. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.

Would that we were all so single-minded in our duty.

Would that we were all so single-minded in our duty.

At length I met and married my husband. He and his family are gently bred, and not a shadow of potty humor or vulgar language comes into their conversation. I don’t mind this at all – in fact I appreciate it very much. I would have been happy never to have the p-word cross my lips for the rest of my born days.

But then we had children.

A woman born without an earthy bone in her body must, upon having children, either develop one, or go crazy.

It starts with pregnancy and childbirth. If you want prime opportunities to develop humility and resignation, they fit the bill perfectly.

No one, on seeing a man and a woman, both with burgeoning bellies, engages in mental speculation about the _man's_ private life.

No one, on seeing a man and a woman, both with burgeoning bellies, engages in mental speculation about the _man’s_ private life.

But even so – in spite of the more humbling aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, it’s not difficult to see the beauty and poetry in them.

This is not the case with poops. Poops, like mosquitoes, are clearly a product of the Fall.

Enter the small male child.

Once he is mobile, he goes into the bathroom and makes a wonderful discovery. There, at exactly his height, is a snow white basin full of water, with an intriguing cave at the bottom.


A couple of ear-splitting shrieks from his germophobic mother swiftly dampens the joy of this amazing find.

Next comes the stage when he is excited to use the bathroom like big kids and grown-ups; only alas, the novelty soon wears off, and the ease of NOT using the bathroom reasserts itself.

Our two-year-old is at that stage. He is a very straightforward child pretty much all the time; but for some reason, he nearly always answers in direct contradiction to the truth, the following question: Do you have poops?

His yes does not mean yes, and his no does not mean no. Sometimes he will say, “Come change poops!” and go ahead of me to the bathroom in that ridiculously cute arms-akimbo hopping bounding run. But when it’s time for the change, I find that he has no poops – unless they are invisible, scent-less ones. If only they were all that way!


I’m not very accomplished at too many things. At changing diapers, however, I am definitely a pro. Potty jokes are not allowed in our little family, but it saves my sanity to see the humor in poops.

8 thoughts on “P**ps

  1. Julie

    Got to be one of my Favorite postings of all time — I will be forwarding it to all my friends with toddlers. — from your Gently Bred (hey! not my fault!!) but highly appreciative mother-in-law.

  2. ashokbhatia

    One of the important aspects of kids´growing up – potty training! I admire your write ups all the more because of the accompanying sketches which are invariably well done!

    1. Maria Post author

      Thank you so much! I do so wish some days, that we could just skip over potty-training, but of course it’s got to be done.

  3. Tim

    That was funny, and entertaining, and muy well done. (Your mother-in-law forwarded it to me.) By the way, your father-in-law does not consider “poops” a bad word. That’s probably not worth anything, but there it is – kind of like poops.

  4. Maria Post author

    Ha ha! – thanks Tim. I’m glad liked the post. You have been a terrific Gramp, helping us out in this department as in others, for which I am forever grateful.


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