On Butts and Teaching Important Life Lessons

“Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“Look at my butt.”

“Look at your butt?”

“Well, no. Look at my butthole.”

“Do I have to?”

“Yes. I fink I have a rash.”

“A butthole rash.”

“Yes.”

“Around your butthole.”

Yes, mom. That’s what I said.”

“Which I have to look at.”

“Right.”

“Is there any way I can avoid this?”

“No. I don’t fink so. I fink you got to do it.”

“What if I stall by asking you lots of questions? Do you think you’ll forget about your rash if I distract you long enough? Like, what if I offer you a cookie?”

“MOM! Stop it! Look. At. My. Butthole.”

“OK. Looks like distraction’s not an option. But here’s the thing… I’ll grant that your butthole hurts, and I’ll even stipulate that I can help you with that. But what if we sort of, you know, change the dynamic of our relationship? I mean, you’re 5 years old now, and we’ve overcome a lot of hurdles together in that time. Like how we’re using words and having conversations instead of the random squawking sessions we had back when you resembled a baby bird. Sure, you still like to lift up my shirt at inopportune times and flash my stretch marks to, say, the grocery store clerk because you feel that warming your icy fingers on my warm, bare flesh is imperative, but what if – get this – we just slather some Aquaphor on your butthole without me looking at it first?  What if I just believe you that you have a rash and we treat it like a rash and I get to not be the butthole looker? Wouldn’t that be awesome?”

“You don’t want to look at my butthole, Mom?”

“YES! Yes. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t want to look at your butthole. I feel like we can fix your butthole non-visually.”

“Huh.”

5 minutes later:

“Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“I have an idea.”

“Is this about your butthole? Because I had an idea, too.”

“I know, Mom. But your idea wasn’t a very good one.”

“I see.”

“So I fink you should take a picture.”

“Take a picture?”

“Yes. Of my butthole.”

“Take a picture of your butthole. With my camera?”

“That’s usually how it’s done, Mom.”

“Why?”

“‘Cause if you won’t wook at my butthole, I will.”

(FYI, this is the exactly why you shouldn’t teach children to solve their own problems.)

“Son, I can’t take a picture of your butthole.”

“Why?”

“Because I have too many children, and I can’t afford to take any days off to serve jail time. Believe me, when I was a new mama, the draw of three meals a day and all the paperback books I can read made me consider robbing a bank or two, but I discarded that idea a long time ago as impractical. Kind of like a two-week, child-free vacation to Mexico. Jail is not happening.”

“What?”

“Nevermind. Just listen to this part because it’s the most important: We don’t take pictures of private parts. Ours or anyone else’s. Ever. And, by ever, I mean never. Also, I thought we’d be having this conversation, like, eight years from now when you’re a teenager and you get your first cell phone.”

“Okaaaay.”

“So what have we learned today?”

“Uuummm. Never take a picture of my butthole?”

“YES!”

“And never take a picture of anyone else’s butthole?”

“YES!”

“And whenever I have a butthole rash, tell Dad.”

“EXACTLY!”

 

Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether I’m getting through to my kids. But every now and then, it all comes together.

 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
10 comments
  1. OH MY! I am laughing so hard right now! This is great! I took have 5 kids (10, 8, 8, 5 & 3). Needless to say I feel your pain! 😉 thanks for the laugh and for not feeling alone!

  2. O.o

    The things we go through with kids. I’m glad the point got across AND you don’t have to go to jail AND you didn’t have to look.

  3. Oh my Gosh I laughed so hard reading this I almost peed!!

  4. Hilarious! I could totally picture myself having this conversation with my 5 year old son.

  5. Bahahaha! Seriously rolling on the floor funny! I recently had the same issue, though not as long a conversation with my 4 yo son. I just told him to talk to Dad. Thanks for always making parenting so entertaining! 😉

  6. We have had the “my “gina” hurts” around here lately. Of course “gina” is short for vagina. Even at 5 years old, two syllable words for our private parts is too much! THis also requires mom to LOOK and see what the issue is. Like I have a degree in medicine?! At any rate, the all purpose Aquaphor or Desitin usually does the trick along with a lecture about wiping front to back and not the other way around. This is met with a lot of “yeah, yeah, yeah, would you just look at my gina!” Geez!

  7. This is too much hilarity….I think I love your 5 year old
    We had a similar issue with our 6 year old son who kept telling me that his “bits” hurt…

    I informed him, I don’t have the proper anatomy to understand exactly what that meant and to ask his father…..

  8. This reminds me of when my then four or five year old son got poison ivy on his hands somehow and then spread it to his crotch when he went to the bathroom. For well over a week, I was feeling rather uncomfortable as I sat on the toilet with him standing in front of me as I coated him with calamine lotion a couple of times a day.

  9. Way. Too. Funny.

  10. Oh my gosh! I just read this at work and I started laughing out loud when I pictured you getting arrested for having a picture of a child’s butthole on your camera. Too funny! My 5 year old complains sometimes that her bottom hurts after she goes to the bathroom (probably because she doesn’t drink enough liquids and refuses to eat veggies) and I have to put medicine on it. When she was 4 I tried explaining to her that if she ate vegetables that it would make it easier for her to poop. She still refused to eat any veggies, but she didn’t hesitate to tell an elderly woman in the produce department at the grocery store what she had learned. That was so embarrassing.

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