The “P” word.

Trying to keep on top of my very lax habit of printing family photos, I took a long ago idea from a friend of mine to print a photo book for my girls of our latest vacation away. Both girls have mentioned wanting to take photos to school of their trip so I went ahead and put the order through while enjoying the last sip of the delicious red wine I stumbled upon from Argentina. Of course, feeling all proud of myself, I decided to go ahead and order prints. Usually having little luck with our local photo supplier and their slow upload speed, I decided to give it a whirl. I am still waiting for my photos to upload.

Maximizing what little time I have before said glass (okay a couple of glasses) of wine takes affect and sends me into a deep slumber, this Mom of three decided to share today’s latest adventure. To backtrack a little, since the beginning of July when we returned from our trip, I have found myself struggling to balance fun, teaching kids about helping around the house and trying to get my own stuff done. Some days are more successful than others.

Sending my two oldest kids to all day camp the past two weeks has helped alleviate some of the load, but my younger guy (and me) started to rely on the dynamic of three kids to keep each other entertained.

It was with some relief that this week my toddler and younger girl are home with me while my oldest girl finishes her theatre camp. We have swimming lessons to keep us busy, baseball season is in its final week and today Audrey and I planned a visit to a local farmer’s market, checking out a local pet store and then baking very berry blueberry muffins during Jacob’s nap time. On this cooler than expected July morning it seemed a perfect plan. Except I also had to get groceries.

As a mom of three, I know how many stops a toddler, especially a toddler boy can make before he starts acting up. Two, maybe three if it is a good day.  I never plan more than two or three errands in a day because I know (from experience) what can happen. Yet, groceries was a must-do after a full morning of wandering around an outdoor market, visiting the toy department at the local Target and then impromptu visit to a pet store. We still needed bananas and milk.

All started well, both kids were crammed into one of those “drive-drive cars” as my kids call them. Audrey loves these cars as they are the only shopping cart I will allow my growing five year-old to sit in. Soon after we hit the fruit aisle, the shoving and tickling soon commenced. My pleas to keep quiet and pick up the few items we needed fell on two sets of deaf ears.

Then it started. The bathroom humour that my two and a half year old toddler thrives on loving the reaction out of me and his sisters. Laughter and condemnation in one shot yet all of it his ultimate goal, undivided attention. We started talking about the potty with Jacob recently. Of course, with that discussion comes the inevitable “pee” and “poop” bombs that I cringe at but expect. What I did not expect was a toddler who has two older sisters who are aware of the names of their body parts and him being a born comedian, now thinks “penis” is the best word in the world. Yes, I said it. Penis.

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From pottytrainingsolutions.net

Although I applaud the correct usage of his body part, teaching him that this is not a public word is proving to be more difficult. It was never more apparent than today standing in line at the check-out in the grocery store I hear his little voice singing that famous Wiggles song, “Choo-choo chugga chugga big red penis.” Wait, what?

“Oh no..not here.” I think to myself shushing him while glaring at my five-year old who is in a fit of hysterical giggles while I am trying to load our groceries on the slow conveyer belt hoping nobody stands in line behind us.

Jacob is now giggling with his sister blowing kisses to us both a wicked smile on his face. Trying to follow some insane advice to ignore the usage of the word “penis” in his public vocabulary, I continue loading and move the “drive-drive car” to the end of the row. As I start placing our bags into the cart, I see him standing up in the cart out of the corner of my eye. Reaching to sit him down, his little voice becomes enormous as it echoes through the store, “Where is my penis?”

Everyone looks our way. I am unsure whether to laugh or hide my head in shame. Audrey is now in full hysterics laughing while looking at me and says, “I can’t help it Mommy. It’s so funny.”

Jacob is having the time of his life, wiggling his diaper clad bottom continuing to yell, “Where is it? Where is my penis?”

I am desperate. I grab my debit card trying to punch the numbers quickly muttering to the cashier, “I”m sure if it wasn’t my kid I would find this hilarious.”

Thankfully, she is a cool grandmother type who is snickering and tells me, “Don’t worry. I was in your position and now I’m not. It’s so much better being the Grandma. Just turn your head, laugh later and write this down. It will be good ammunition some day. Let’s give him a lollipop to distract him.”

As I thankfully shoved the sugar-free lollipops in both my kid’s mouths quieting the “bathroom” language for the moment, I smiled. My kids may be loud, but they are never boring. And yes, I am writing down this wonderful moment for future use.

A note to parents of small kids, ignoring a certain behaviour may work for some kids. For those with a blossoming comic in their midst, ignoring them is like a challenge to get your attention even more. It can have the opposite effect. Distraction is a much better tool as a lovely grocery store cashier reminded me today. The lesson today, have on hand lollipops, stickers or anything to distract a stubborn wise-cracking comedic two-year old. It may save you some future embarrassment.

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Cheeky toddler and me.

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