Three is such an adorable age, full of wonder and curiosity. Life is such an adventure when you’re little. You play touch and go with everything and everyone around you, poking and scratching the boundaries like a scab, and sometimes crossing those boundaries. Sometimes just to see what happens when you do, other times crossing the boundary without even realizing it.
The latest and most obvious boundary as we tentatively baby-step towards age four is all about potty language and defining limits with humor. What’s funny, what’s naughty? Where’s the difference? Does mom think I’m funny if I tell a poop joke at the dinner table? No? Well how about the third time, because everything gets funnier after the third time.
What if an older kid gets to say that word that mommy says is naughty? Does that mean I can say it too? It sounds funny coming from another kid, maybe mom was wrong.
I’ve been waiting for the day when my sons brand new school would be calling my cell phone to tell me all about the hilarious poopy-head jokes my charming kid has been delivering. And it looks like I’ll still get to wait for that dreaded call, because the conversation I had at school pick-up today was a little more embarrassing and a little less language related.
To her credit, my son has a completely understanding preschool teacher who has probably seen all of the crazy that these tykes can think up, dream up and throw up.
She very gracefully came up to me on the playground and casually dropped in with a conversation about my sons’ new bestie, a little girl.
It seems they’ve been getting really close lately. In fact they feel so completely comfortable with one another that they decided to start a conversation about butts.
And then, like little frat boys, the adorable tykes started having a butt competition. And everyone knows the only way to settle a butt-off is to take off your pants and compare butts. Regardless of whether or not you’re in a class of fully clothed peers. Because three is a magical age.
So the teacher had a really patient talk with the kids about body parts and boy parts and girl parts and how usually, school is not the appropriate place for a pants-off dance-off.
She explained it all to me with just a hint of a grin and a “hey, it’s natural and they’re just curious kids”.
To which I could only reply; “well all of that curiosity is really baffling since he never gives me a minute in the bathroom alone.”
Because I’m mature like that, and I’m also already pretty mortified so why not go the extra mile? Go big or go home, they say.
I had a little laugh, I made sure to tell my son to talk to mommy when he has body questions loud enough so that his teacher heard me, and then to fully humiliate both of us I reiterated that “school is not the place to get naked, unless you have to potty”.
My little kid avoided eye contact with me for five full minutes and asked me to stop talking.
So I did, because I totally freaking get that.
Damn if I didn’t try and play it cool, and be the progressive “there’s no shame in your body” type of mom, but apparently we weren’t going to have that kind of conversation today.
Boundary tested, son.
I’m so not ready for this stuff.