My plan to engage in toilet talk along side my daughter, thus eliminating the taboo and decreasing the desire to engage in it has TOTALLY BACKFIRED.
When I was in my junior year of high school, I went to Ohio to check out Oberlin College. We stayed with my father’s twin brother, his wife, and their three little girls. Two of them were in or around preschool age. Giggly, curly-haired, silly little girls, they loved toilet-talk as much as the next three-year-old. What stands out in my mind about this visit is that they had invented a truly unique expletive that sent them into peals of laughter every time it was uttered:
There was something particularly irreverent about the combination of naughty word “poop” with the inherently goofy word “eyeball” that made the phrase worth repeating over and over and over again.
Needless to say, it left an impression. And twenty-five years later, I found myself uttering it in a moment of playful toilet banter with Sophie. Mind you, it’s not something I said more than once or twice, but Sophie immediately found it to have lexical appeal.
“Poopy eyeball?” she said grinning broadly, her own eyes rolling in her head with excitement.
I rue the moment it passed my lips. Sophie manages to work it into every conversation we have. Apparently, it’s a noun, a verb, an adjective, and an exclamation. As in, “Poopy eyeball! I poopy eyeball on my poopy eyeball. It’s very poopy eyeball.”
Despite my determination not to “limit” her toilet talk and to kill it with permissiveness, I’ve had to enact the rule: no toilet talk while we’re eating. It’s really annoying to dine with someone who feels compelled to repeatedly drop the phrase “poopy eyeball,” the way teenagers pepper their sentences with, “like.” My rule has been poorly observed.
Thus, I’ve resorted to more desperate measures. I tried super-saturating her in the car one afternoon, saying “poopy eyeball” in response to everything she said.
She thought it was hilarious.
Today, for the first time, I saw signs of her weakening. After her nap, in a moment of extreme crankiness, I responded to her request to watch Mary Poppins with, “Poopy Eyeball.”
“STOP IT MOMMY!”
Oh yeah. Take that. In your eyeball, baby.