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Once Upon A Potty

Let's be honest, I'm not modest. As a kid I spent hours naked, running around my yard, changing in the back yard after swimming or in between outf changes at slumber parties. During my college years I was the first to jump in the lake for the late night skinny dip and a friend from my alma mater once told Andy she was pretty sure she'd seen me naked more than he has.

Growing up we had a small house and pretty much everyone had the same attitude as me, minus my poor dad. My mom, brother and me all left the doors open while bathing and using the toilet. Mom's bathtime was the best time for Mad Libs and confession-like life discussions, with she, the captive audience, behind the curtain and me pouring my heart out while sitting on the floor of the bathroom, occasionally sticking my head behind the curtain to make sure she was listening or to make fun of her mom body. The 1-1 time often ended with my brother running in with a cold cup of water to throw over the shower curtain onto my mom's head. The house was small and we all needed to live in it and often that meant seeing one another in some stage of nakedness. And like most kids, I never second guessed that this attitude toward the body was any different than the attitudes of every other household in America.

Along with my love of nudity comes my ease of discussing bodily functions. A friend of mine told me that we've never spoken without talking about poop. In fact, she says it only takes me 10 minutes or less to mention the word in some fashion. The words makes her squirm but I'm quite at home with it, so much that I could just say the word over and over. Poop. Poop. Poopy. Poop. It took me at least a year of living with Andy before I'd remember to close the door when using the toilet. "What do you mean you don't think it's appropriate to keep the discussion going while I'm in here? What's the big deal. Come here! I'm talking to you!" I've got a lot of poop and pee stories and I like hearing yours. I could just dedicate this whole blog to each of them, like the time when...well, never mind. I'll spare you.

What I'm trying to get at is that having a toddler is so much fun for me because I'm with someone who, whether or not she knows it, shares both my love of nudity and fascination with bodily functions. When you are potty training a child you can not be shy about body parts and their special functions. When she asks to "see my poopy" I invite her right in. Heck, I even let her flush. It's like I let her in on a really big secret. We're all doing it and now she can, too.

This morning Andy awkwardly called my name from the bathroom where I found Caroline peeing on the potty (Yeah!!) and pointing up at a just-showered Andy asking in her tiny voice, "What's that Daddy. What's THAT?" I jumped right in, eager to get the ball rolling on this exciting topic.

"Caroline. That's Daddy's PEEEEE-NIIS. Penis. Do you have a penis? No, what do girls have? Show me!"

Like the mimicking little monkey that a 2-year old can be, for the past few months Caroline has been quietly observing the new moms around us who have been busily and lovingly feeding their babies. I was a proud peacock the other day when she asked me to remove her dress so she could double football hold a beanie baby and a Cabbage Patch Kid while sitting in her rocker. She gently held the dolls to her chest, whispered sweet jibber jabber to them and said, "Shh, Mommy. Baby hungry. Booby."

As the sun set on this hazy, hot and humid summer night, Caroline strolled in the yard with nothing but her boots on. We watched the sky turn a blaze red and listened to the birds chirp happily. Then she grabbed her crotch and said, "I go pooppppppeeeeeee, Mommy!" and we ran inside and ended the night with an accident-free day, some celebratory chocolate chips and a read-through of Once Upon a Potty.

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