I think fart jokes are funny.
My son also thinks fart jokes are funny and even though we try to curtail them, it’s difficult to contain potty talk to the actual potty. Of course, potty talk, or fart jokes are part of our culture as much as any other kind of common denominator of humor. Caddyshack showed us that the threat of a poop in a swimming pool was indeed hilarious, especially when teamed with the theme from Jaws. Fast forward 30 years (or is it 40? Jesus, I’m getting old) and we’ve found ourselves cackling at the diarrhea eruption in Bridesmaids where all the girls get food poisoning and soil themselves, their gowns and the bathroom of an upscale clothing store.
Now here, I am, finding all of this shit funny (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and really what I am is a hypocrite. I find myself often saying, enough with the potty talk. Even though I find it hysterical when my son sings, “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag” to the tune of: You’re a grand old poop, you’re a high-flying poop… (I’ve limited him to singing that in bathroom). Or the priceless moment my innocent child was asked to “pull” an adult’s finger without knowing what scent he’d find on the other end (literally). My husband indoctrinated Jake into that fart-joke tradition and let me tell you, it was the most pleasure I got out of a bathroom joke in a very long time.
With all of these fart jokes comes restraint. I’ve taught my kid that there’s a time and place for potty talk, armpit farts and replacing lyrics with the word poop. You don’t talk this way at school. You don’t talk this way in other people’s homes unless the parent/family member allows it. And like any bad behavior in life, moderation is key. One poop reference is funny—five is not. My son seems to be able to follow the program most of the time, but the issue now is my 2-year-old who copies everything her older brother says: she’s following suit.
A 2-year-old doesn’t know how to moderate a potty joke. And while food shopping, no less, she screamed in full-blown pride: “Poopy nana-nana-poo-poo!!!” There was no one prompting it. It was simply because she was excited. So she screamed in delight. Elke doesn’t know yet the difference between indoor voice and outdoor voice. How am I going to get her to understand where potty talk is appropriate and where it’s not? Oy. The cashiers laughed. Oh, they rolled in the aisles.
But is it acceptable for a girl to enjoy potty talk the way a boy does? Do I say, “Girls don’t talk that way?” Weren’t people just THIS SUMMER shocked and awed in disbelief that women could enjoy potty humor–i.e., the Bridesmaids chicks uncontrollably shitting in a sink. There are many women who do humor, but they aren’t many women who do adolescent humor. And there’s a reason! Just last night watching the Jersey Shore (man, I’m admitting a lot to you about my television watching practices, aren’t I?) Snookie burped after talking dirty to her uptight boyfriend. He was offended. (duh.) She went to bed in tears. (duh.) There is a culture who believe that girls aren’t supposed to have a raunchy side –except for sexually, and that’s for under the covers, not for burping during dirty talk.
Little girls are supposed to act a certain way so they grow up into nice, obedient girls who aren’t sluts. Isn’t that what all of the teenage girls are telling each other on Facebook? Get back in line. Stop being a slut or you’ll be ostracized. Isn’t that the message? Am I reaching to say that there’s a connection between all sorts of bad behavior–sexual and raunchy–and that general society could potentially chastise you for both? Unless, of course, you’ve got lady balls as Miri’s daughter explains. Then you’re unapologetically slutty. Or unapologetically raunchy. (Snookie.) Or you’re unapologetically all about poop jokes. (My 2 year old.)
So I raise my girl with the same humor I raise my boy. I’ll let her sing, You’re a grand old poop, you’re a high-flying poop in the bathroom if she so pleases. After all, one of our family’s favorite books Everyone Poops (a must read with your kids, or without your kids for giggles) has a strong point. EVERYONE POOPS!
And… what I’m learning, is everyone is fascinated by it as well.