Archive Page 2

18
Sep
11

the problem with other

Below is a post that I wrote at my old blog a couple of years ago when I had become particularly annoyed with the lack of understanding on the part of big and middle in the area of language, specifically one single word. Now that I’m all like scientific and shit, I thought I’d revisit this annoyance and see if maybe, just maybe they weren’t really trying to drive me crazy, but were just using their male brains (you know, the only ones they have).

[side note: old blog called The Wiener Mom so all sons were called wieners… you’ll put it together, I know you will]

so glad I'm your mOTHER Big; you've grown so much!

Dear wieners (specifically mine, but all are welcome),

I have come before you today to address a crucial issue in the success of Wiener Mom/little wiener relationships. The future of my goodwill and your continued survival depend upon it.
My dear wieners, we must discuss the meaning of the word “other”. What it means is not that one, i.e. not that hand, the OTHER one or not that foot, the OTHER ONE. When a person has two of something (hands or feet primarily) and the Wiener Mom says “not that one, the other one” she does not mean the SAME ONE, she means the OTHER ONE.

What confuses the otherwise intelligent and capable mind of the Wiener Mom, is how a relatively small wiener can correctly use words like, ACTUALLY, and USUALLY, and even REAPPEARING, but he can not give the Wiener Mom THE OTHER FOOT, even after repeated pointing and wild gesturing, as well as overly clear annunciation, “No, the OTH-ER one.”

Perhaps this is a phenomenon witnessed only in Wiener World, and both wieners and non-wieners in the outside world have a strong grasp of the OTHER one. If so, please give the Wiener Mom your apparently successful strategies before she pulls her hair out. No, the other one.

Love and kisses, The Wiener Mom

Back when I wrote that OTHER blog

So I go through all my boy books and can’t find anything on language processing; a lot on talking (which is a whole OTHER blog post altogether). So I have to turn to the World Wide Webs, which I really hate to do because, really who can you trust, there’s so many so-called experts out there blogging about who knows what. I google it and find a lot of scientific articles and papers and abstracts and there are a lot of numbers and %s and #s and &s and other symbols that start to look kind of math-like so I turn to

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303120346.htm

Science Daily: My source for the latest in Research News to find the answer to this brain buster:

Seems like just the OTHER day

Do boys process language differently than girls?

short answer: yup.

long answer: Boys’ language processing tends to be more sensory and girls’ processing more abstract. So I guess if you think about it, the word OTHER is pretty abstract. It’s not a car or a light saber or a brother or even a wiener. It’s other.

But why, you ask? The researcher from Northwestern thinks that boys may have “some kind of bottleneck in their sensory processes that can hold up visual or auditory information and keep it from being fed into the language areas of the brain.” Which he says may be a result of girls developing faster than boys and may be gone by adulthood, which explains why when I put the Mister’s shoes on, he totally understands the word OTHER. This would also explain why all my pointing and mad gesturing isn’t helping anything; it’s just all getting trapped in  like a traffic jam of sensory information, which for some reason I imagine actually taking place in his neck.

The researcher says that another explanation for why the study showed that boys aren’t as adept at processing abstract language is that they may create visual and auditory associations with a word and it would be kind of hard to create a visual or auditory association with the word OTHER unless it’s your mother pulling her hair out and gesturing to your shoe or screaming “OTH-ER”.

Two years after I wrote that post Big has figured out the meaning of the word OTHER about 94.6% of the time, but now I’ve got Middle and Little to gesture wildly to. Maybe now that I know that they’re not trying to annoy me or ignore me, I could tone down the gesturing and the exasperated sighing. Only for “OTHER” though.

I hold no promises when it comes to “COME HERE. NO I SAID COME HERE. HERE. NO HERE. NEXT TO ME. NO HERE.”

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06
Sep
11

the tears of a mom

Yes, it’s been a while. It’s been one hell of a summer. Little and Middle have been locked in daily battle. Middle uses physical tactics; a punch in the gut, a slap to the bare back, a face shove, a kick in the nuts. Little goes with the mental sort of torture, the constant annoyances that build up over time and make it necessary for Middle to use the above methods to get his revenge. Big has just been screaming at them like a teenage girl and hiding in his room reading Garfield comics. I don’t think I ever thought I’d ever say he’d be glad that summer was over, but that kid is glad that summer is over.

There was some fun to be had this summer, like in the water...

and in the mud on West Lawn during construction...

Then there’s me; the chronic daily migraines persist, while the side effects from the medications we’re trying to use to treat the daily migraines cause a myriad of side effects that put me in a bad mood. Ahhhh, summer. Let’s add to this the fact that for all the requests to read my novel I’ve gotten and all the “I love it! It’s witty/clever/well-written” they all end with something about “not in this cautious competitive market blah blah blah.” So, the novel I’ve spent 4 years writing is on its last legs. I’ve got about 15 more possibilities out there and then we put it to sleep. Cryonically of course, like Ted Williams, just in case there’s ever a change in the “market”. I’ve started a shitty rough draft of a new book and it’s coming along so that’s all well and good.

[side note: If you’re interested, I’ll share with you the nastiest rejection I’ve ever gotten from some crazy old coot of a lady from Atlanta who took issue with my usage of the work F*ck in narrative and also the way I decided where to separate paragraphs. She said it wasn’t literature and she ONLY represented literature, which apparently includes cozy mysteries called “Kissing Cousins” but I’m not bitter]

and by burying children in the sand.

yes sir that's my baby. yes sir, her name is "Maybea". So I make up songs about my dog. what's it to you?

The big news this summer was that my best canine companion blew out her rear ACL and had to have it repaired. It happened right at the beginning of summer and for several months it was kind of a watch and see kind of thing. It was almost better and then some damn chipmunk encouraged her to chase it and she completely tore it and flipped her meniscus over. So on August 2 she had to have surgery. The vet called in the middle of the surgery to say they found a growth on the underside of her tongue. We had him cut it out, stitch her up and send the growth away “just in case”. A few days later, he calls. It’s a very aggressive form of skin cancer that rarely shows up in the mouth. It’s not good news. We get an appointment with the vet school at the university. Our vet sounds like the Mary Poppins for sick animals; she’s not. She gives us our options and tells us in pretty plain terms that she’s got about 6-12 months left, no matter what we do; treat her or not. She’s genuinely surprised when I cry.

What does this have to do with the science and psychology of boys? A lot it turns out. Silly me; I was worried about crying in front of them. I was worried about protecting them from my sadness.

Here’s where Dr. Luann Brizendine comes in again, only this time, shame on me, I don’t have the book, I had to return it to the person I borrowed it from. Now, you know I’m normally good about referencing pages and authors, etc. but I don’t have the damn book, so I”ll have to do big ideas this time. We all remember how boys emotional centers are not as well-connected as girls and develop later and all that jazz from previous posts. (if this is news to you, go back a few posts and read in detail, with references). I guess while I knew this was true I hadn’t actually considered what it looked like in action.

I was doing a lot of crying when this news came; I love this dog like crazy. We got her at the Humane Society when she was a puppy and we’ve had her ten years. Since I stay home and work from home, we spend a lot of time together. Sometimes (who am I kidding, often) she’s the only easy thing in my day. Like I said above, I was trying to sob subtly. The thing was though, they didn’t seem to notice. Not at all. None of them. Not even Big (who’s 9 now). Not until Daddy talked to him on the phone and told him that I was sad and he should be extra nice to me. Then he came and hugged me and said he loved me and he was sorry that I was sad and it was very lovely and wonderful and then he asked me if he could use the computer now. Little and Middle showed no recognition of sadness, only recognition that I was still the Mommy that got the chocolate milk and fielded the complaints about the jelly with seeds situation.

So I happened to be reading The Female Brain by Luann Brizendine around this same time and in learning about how girls brains develop I learned a little bit how boys’ don’t. I learned that a girl at 18 months can read the emotion of an adult and know what they need and “caretake”. I learned that it takes boys a LOT longer to be able to read emotions on a person’s face. So couple that with the fact that their emotional centers are less connected and slower to develop, they really just didn’t notice that I was sad.

You know who did? The dog.

Afterword: We went to another veterinary Oncologist and although he agreed with the diagnosis from the non-Mary Poppins vet at the vet school he had a much more positive prognosis. We’ve now been through staging and a second growth, but at the current time, she’s got no decetable cancer in her body. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t microscopic cancer hiding out, but she’ll start chemotherapy on Wednesday and hopefully we’ll blast the hell out of it. Dr. Kai has a positive outlook and for the first time this summer it feels good to have the same.

You can't tell from the picture but I swear to you it was a double.

11
Jul
11

what does a man among men get a mom among men for her 35th birthday?

A mom among men has had a year among years. My 35th year has challenged my mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and in all the other “ally” ways you could imagine. We have survived. In a few instances we have come out on top. Our children are healthy. The Mister is healthy. My various meds may be slowly leading me through the twin fogs of either migraineor depression. There are good days among the difficult. Part of what made this past year so trying was the fact that I am a perfectionist. I come from a fairly long line of genetically programmed perfectionists. I see no good reason why I can not do it all. It has always been expected of me and I have always done my best to see that it has been done. Most of the time it was me expecting it. Not all the time, but most of the time. I have never expected utter and complete perfection in others, just myself. I set an agenda for myself the past year. It looked something like this:

1. Get agent.

2. Get novel published.

3. Lose ten pounds.

4. Train and run half marathon faster than I did last year.

5. Get in kick ass shape.

6. Organize and clean out entire house.

7. Teach Big all his math facts.

8. Make Middle want to learn to read and then teach him.

9. Potty train Little.

10. Get rid of daily migraines.

11. Balance antidepressants with anti-anxiety meds until I feel like a normal person feels.

12. Be a better friend by calling and emailing people back sooner.

Overwhelmed yet? Yea, me too. The problem wasn’t that these would all be awesome goals to accomplish in like TEN years, the problem was that I found nothing wrong with believing that I should be able to do them all yesterday. Instead of feeling better about myself, I felt worse. Shocking huh? Until I found this quote.

“she had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

These were words that suddenly spoke to me. I cut them out of my mom’s old Weight Watcher’s Magazine and they became my mantra. I told the Mister that I wanted to get them tattooed on my arm, so I would never forget them, but we laughed about it because Houstin the guy who did my back tattoo likes BIG tattoos and both my arms and chest would be covered with that one sentence, but I was able to shorten my new mantra down to two words:

let go

Around my birthday I overheard the Mister making an appointment for me for a Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and then securing a babysitter for the same morning. He would tell me nothing but it was surprise. After reviewing all the possibilities I decided he either made an appointment for a couples massage or an appointment with Houstin for me to get a tattoo. I started scouring the internets to find inspiration. As the day got closer I started to panic, I saw nothing that looked anything like what I had been picturing on my left arm for the last several weeks. I could see it, I just couldn’t find it anywhere. I was thinking fairly delicate and feminine and scripty. You would (or maybe wouldn’t) be surprised what turns up when you google “girly tattoos”.

The day before the (surprise) tattoo appointment when the Mister was on his Father’s Day Fishing Trip,  I started having mini-panic attacks thinking about what would happen if I showed up empty-handed.

Houstin presents a sketch of dragon breathing fire with the words “let go” in it. Um. No

Houstin revises so the dragon’s open mouth has a kitten in it holding a banner with the words “let go” on it.  Wow. Um. Still. No.

Houstin goes back to the drawing board and comes back with a betty boop tattoo where letters across Betty’s massive bosom spells, “let go”. Interesting. Well… No.

*Houstin is actually a super talented artist and would never suggest any of the above which are only given in the spirit of comedy. Check out his work here: http://tailormadetattoo.com/?page_id=8.

Then I remembered that friends of ours through other friends of ours had just moved to the neighborhood and she, Emily, is a super talented graphic artist. I whizzed over to her website http://www.bluestarink.com/  and fell in love with her style and design and basically called her and begged her to design something for me. Little did I know that she had been approached to design tattoos before and always found a way out of it, but with me standing at her door with my sob story about Kitten breathing Dragons and stuff she couldn’t say no. She designed it. I loved it. The rest is history.

So. Happy 35th Birthday to me. I’m going to let go of this year and make way for a new better year. A year where I’m kinder to myself and focused on happy and healthy. Maybe if I’m lucky some of those other things will come along for the ride. If not, I’ll let them go.

Thank you Houstin and Emily!

Seriously, if you are looking for an awesome tattoo you want Houstin. http://tailormadetattoo.com/?page_id=8

If you are looking for amazing graphic design you want Emily http://www.bluestarink.com/illustration/

If you want the most adorable gift for babies and children you can find, you want a bluestar fuzzie http://www.etsy.com/shop/bluestarfuzzies

21
Jun
11

our daddy is really and truly the greatest daddy ever, wanna fight about it? ’cause we will totally lay the smack down over this one.

Happy Father's Day 2011

Father’s Day 2011. A time to celebrate our daddy, the mister, the king of wrestle-mania, the master of tree-trimming and so much more. Our daddy is like the Michael Jordan of daddies. He’s like the Kelly Clarkson of daddies. He’s like the Tiger Woods of daddies (but ONLY on the golf course, NOT with the skanks). Our daddy is the best daddy ever. Here is our proof:

1. Do you know where our daddy is right now? Our daddy is supervising an adventure for five boys, two of which do not even belong to him. He promised Big a Birthday adventure and when the weather didn’t cooperate, did he wuss out and risk crushing a young boys dreams? No, he didn’t. He readjusted what must be his giant cojones and took them all on his own. He may or may not have a touch of the crazy; the jury’s still out on that one.

2. Our daddy is sooooo brave. A poor planner, but brave. See last week’s post  https://amomamongmen.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/why-is-my-husband-on-the-roof-with-no-shoes-and-a-power-saw/

3. Our daddy is super strong. He can take on three ninjas at the same time. Like he can totally wrestle them to the ground with some amazing wrestling moves and only hurt them a little bit some time and only cry a little bit some time when they hit him in the nuts. You may want to see previous post https://amomamongmen.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/a-mom-among-men-easter-edition-wrestlemania-spring-2011/

well, well, well Daddy, you think you can take this?

4. Our daddy drives a kick ass van like this one. And he doesn’t even care what you think about it.

you got something to say? wait until the roar of the engine starting dies down, he can't hear you yet.

5. Our daddy takes us on the coolest field trips and sometimes he even follows posted safety instructions. See post https://amomamongmen.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/why-daddy-field-trips-just-might-be-more-fun-than-mommy-field-trips-a-photo-essay/

6. Our daddy sings like an angel, dances like Elaine from Seinfeld and dives like a seventeen year old life guard. Our daddy knows how to clean a fish, change the oil in a car and take apart a chain saw and mostly put it back together again. Our daddy can build anything, like bunk beds, or dressers, or a chair that tolerated our abuse for one whole year. Our daddy is way talented.

7. Our daddy hugs us when we’re sad, tickles us when we’re happy and lets us punch him in the guts when we’re mad. He lays down with us when we have bad dreams and sings “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Down in the Valley”. He tells us that we can do anything we want to do, like be a jedi, or a published writer.

8. Our daddy is one fine piece of ass (that one’s from mommy).

"that boy's a piece of work, he's a fine piece of ass though too." -billy madison

9. Our daddy is funny. Like really funny. He tells lots of jokes that are inappropriate for this forum and for our small ears. If you are over the age of 18 ask him to tell you one!

10. Our daddy loves us more than anything! Know how we can tell? Every single day he takes care of us. He takes care of our mommy too. Sometimes he’d probably rather go fishing, but he loves us and we love him so on July 2, 2011 we’re all going to take care of ourselves for the whole day!

13
Jun
11

why is my husband on the roof with no shoes and a power saw?

Gotta love him

So I came home from my friend Susan’s baby shower today to find The Mister on the roof of the garage with a very large power tree trimmer. He decided to trim the dead branches off of our neighbors’ tree that’s more in our yard than theirs. He felt like it was a safety hazard for our children. This coming from a man who is standing on top of our very sloped roof with a large moving blade, without any help. No back up. No SHOES and he was the adult in charge of five boys, who thankfully were inside watching some Star Wars thing. He starts sawing off branches and keeps going and going and going. There are huge treelike branches falling from the sky. There are various wires and cables strung from some pole to our house and our neighbors’ houses. The branches are falling on the wires. Seriously some of these branches were over ten feet long.

So in between sawing I ask him about his little project. Didn’t you think maybe this sort of thing should include some planning or back up or SHOES? No. It’s no big deal. Everything is no big deal. In the winter he climbs up onto above mentioned sloped garage roof and hops over to the sloped house roof and shovels snow off the roof while he is standing on it. For years I have asked him not to. He insists that it’s fine. No. Big. Deal.

There’s a few different things going on here, as you might guess. Why would this man, the father of my children (who are inside the house) take on this dangerous task on a whim? When I am trying to grill flank steak near the garage why does he say to me, “Are you able to get into the garage if you need to?” and not

“A BIG #$&*@ BRANCH MIGHT FALL ON YOUR HEAD, MOVE!”?

why are dangerous and, one might argue, foolish tasks, NO BIG DEAL? or why is my husband on the roof with no shoes and a power saw?

I only found one reference to boys and problem solving, in The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian. Please note that all the information I found on the topic at hand concerned BOYS, not 33-year-old men. This in itself may be part of the problem…

Gurian mentions that males move to problem solving as quickly as they can. They see a problem, it bothers them and they must fix it right away. (p 24). This may not describe all men but it sure as hell describes mine. He can be easily and quickly distracted from the task at hand by a minor repair or cleaning job that takes him away from what I wanted him to do. I ask him to clean the bathroom for a party, he cleans the grout in the bathroom; because it needed it. Yea, but mostly I just wanted you to clean up all the pee on the floor.

I found a lot more information on risk-taking differences. While cleaning the grout is a problem to be solved at least it doesn’t involve the possibility of  partial paralysis, but to The Mister, it’s no big deal. We already know from our past research that boys are bigger risk takers than girls. Interestingly I didn’t find any research on adult men. It seems that this behavior isn’t quite so normal in a grown man. In Why Gender Matters  by Leonard Sax, I learned several things that fit my situation to a T. Boys are more likely to attribute an accidental injury not to anything that they might have done or not done, but to bad luck. (p. 42)I could see The Mister saying that, “Every other time I climb around on the roof, I’m just fine!” The fact that he had fallen off the roof wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that he probably shouldn’t have been up there to begin with. Boys systematically overestimate their abilities, which I also believe we already knew. While The Mister assumes that nothing bad will happen when he tasks a risk like that, I assume nothing but bad stuff will happen, so I don’t do it. I’m not sure that’s necessarily a good thing, in all cases.

Here’s my favorite tidbit from Sax. A scientist took over twenty years of data on a wild monkey population and found that when the monkeys were born, there were an even amount of males and females, but by adulthood, there were 5 females to every 1 male. You want to know why? Because all the male monkeys are climbing up on the roofs of garages to cut down giant branches without shoes on. The answer truly was that males took part in many more risky behaviors than females and just plain died. (pp. 44-45) Super.

What can I do to keep The Mister from jumping into these situations where he’s honestly fixing a problem and also honestly believes that nothing will go wrong? I’ve tried scare tactics, but coming from me; Ms. Paranoid, non-risk taking worry wart, my scare tactics lose a lot of their oomph. Maybe I should take away his power saw? One of the books did talk about how to prevent your adolescent from participating in risky behavior. In the scenario the kid was doing dangerous stuff on his bike (which The Mister would totally cop to) and the dad put a giant lock on his bike. Tomorrow I’ll go out and get a giant lock, hopefully one a power saw can’t cut through.

The greatest dad in the world, as long as he stays off the roof, or at least wears appropriate footwear and has a spotter.

05
Jun
11

i’m in a boring place, you get a boring post.

I fear you not, brain freeze. You are nothing to me.

So I’ve been down and out the last two weeks with the migraine straight off the bus from Hell. I wake up and within an hour my head hurts. It hurts until I go to sleep at night. It doesn’t hurt when I’m running and for a little while after. It also doesn’t hurt as I’m engaged in the ritual of eating. So, basically if I spend the whole day either eating or running I should feel okay. I have a referral in at the Headache clinic where they are taking an “achingly” long time reviewing my health history and contacting me about an appointment. I’ve seen several specialists already, all of whom say it couldn’t possibly be [fill in the blank with their specialty] that’s causing the pain, it must be [fill in the blank with another doctor’s specialty]. So the little bit of free thought space I have has been consumed by pain or the idea of pain or the puzzle of pain. I found a book in the library about one woman’s quest to find the cure to her epic headache and I brought it to bed to read. The print was too small; it gave me a headache.

All this pain has been confusing to the Mister. He’s never had a migraine and rarely has a headache. He’s rarely in pain. Even if he is; he doesn’t talk about it. He tweaked his back years ago trying to bust open a painted shut window in an old dump apartment we lived in. I know that the pain hasn’t gone away, but he never mentions it. Me? Earlier in my life I would have mentioned it as often as possible, but now my pain has become a sticking point with the Mister. I won’t say it irritates him, but he doesn’t like hearing about it. It bothers him that I’m in pain and no one knows why. He wants an answer now damn it! The last thing I need when my head is working its way toward explosion is to ponder the question, “Why don’t you ever feel good?”  There’s that Mr. Fix It rearing his ever so helpful head again, toting his problem solving tool box.

Ice cream induced pain? No. I feel nothing but chocolatey joy.

My recent life focus on pain made me wonder about pain, migraine specifically. Do women get them more than men? Yes, all the research says yes, but I wanted to know why. Why, when we also get the multifaceted joys of pregnancy and childbirth dumped on our plates do we also get the gift of migraines? The answer I found after combing the internet and reading countless abstracts on articles about this topic, is that no one knows. Yes, more women get migraines than men, about double. But, science has no freaking clue why. Thanks a lot science. The closest I came to an answer was the fact that before puberty boys and girls have an equal chance of getting migraines, but once the hormones kick in we shoot way up. It isn’t the presence of the hormones themselves, more their fluctuation over time. What else did I find out? There’s a genetic component and some PhD student in Australia believes that female’s pesky, extra X chromosome is the culprit, but that’s just an idea presented on a well illustrated Powerpoint presentation. My books had nothing on the topic, but I found the closest thing I could:

are boys and men less sensitive to pain?

The answer according to Leonard Sax, M.D. and Ph.D. in his book, Why Gender Matters, is simply yes. Males are less sensitive to pain than females, but it’s a real neurological difference and not just society’s expectations of how we handle pain. Originally researchers assumed that men and women felt pain the same and were expressing that pain according to societal rules about boys not crying, etc. Now, scientists have research that shows that there is actually a difference in the way the brain manages and feels pain in men and women, particularly in times of stress. Men feel less pain in times of stress, women more. Except in the case of pregnancy; a woman in her second or third trimester feels less pain. The body’s way of getting a woman ready for birth, obviously.

The difference is actually in the cellular structure. And after that point he loses me. He does say however that this difference in cellular structure means that pain may need to be dealt with differently in men and women. Like female specific pain relievers. So all this means that in the end boys and men too are more likely to take risks that may be painful. Maybe this explains why a fun afternoon for my boys is when you can get your brother in a choke hold or kick him in the nuts. It just doesn’t hurt them as much as it would hurt me?  Fine, you guys go out into the back yard and beat each other with wiffle bats for a while. My migraine and I are going up to my dark bedroom and cursing the genetic and hormonal make up that completes me.

22
May
11

what’s so great about peace, love and poop?

First I disarm you with my stunning grasp of the many lingual usages for poop...

Yesterday Daddy had a ladder out in the yard. After he was done with his ladder work, Middle wanted to climb up the ladder to see what it was like. So, under Daddy’s supervision he climbed to the top and was automatically on top of the world (at least for a five-year old). Taller than Mommy or Daddy, or anyone, almost as tall as the top of the swing set. So, to honor this momentous occasion he needed to shout a proclamation to the world, or at least the neighborhood. When given the opportunity to make your first official neighborhood wide proclamation of superiority there’s really only one thing to say…

Poopity, poop, poop and poopy!

Shout it from the rooftops! This is the story of my life.

Middle has a new hobby. He’s a linguist of sorts I guess. He masterfully crafts all language it involve the use of at least one potty talk word and one jibberish potty talk word created to rhyme with the former. If I wasn’t so disgusted and annoyed by it, I might be impressed. All day long, at least 50% of the dialogue he tries to engage in with me or his brothers involves poop. He’s strong into the butt and poop humor. Occasionally he’ll dabble in the penis and farts, but rarely. I might actually appreciate mixing it up a little at this point. Big is way over the potty talk and howls with annoyance every time Middle breaks it out. Little finds it hilarious, but it doesn’t flow as freely from his lips. Daddy seems fairly unperturbed by it. So, it’s me, I’m the one who really really wishes it would stop. I don’t remember doing this when I was a girl. Maybe there was some of it when I was young, but never to this degree. It was more like a taboo thing; you know, “poop” under the breath and hysterical giggling with friends. So this is my question:

are boys grosser than girls?

I found some useful insights into the male potty talk brain from Louann Brizendine and her book The Male Brain and also from an online interview with Betsy Brown Braun, author of several parenting books, including You’re Not the Boss of Me.

Here’s what Louann had to say; Basically boys discover their place in the world by testing their physical limits, which includes all of their body’s physical abilities; including burping, farting, etc. Boys are driven to prove themselves physically in every way possible. (p. 21) So, interesting, but not all that helpful. Further on in the book she discusses the teen boy brain and the fact that the reward center in their brains is actually less easily activated and less able to feel normal levels of stimulation. She described a particular study where teenagers’ brains were scanned while they looked at disgusting pictures of mutilated bodies (fun!). They found that the teen boys’ brains didn’t activate as much as a child or adult. (p. 37)

(okay, aside, who volunteered their CHILD to be in this study and are they traumatized for life? What was their little study gift, a gift card for therapy?)

So I wondered if all this potty talk that is so disgusting to most everyone else just really isn’t that gross to him, is this his pre-teen way to practice not reacting to mutilated bodies? Super.

Braun had some more very specific things to say about potty talk in her interview on The Mother Company in June of 2010. http://www.themotherco.com/2010/06/potty-talk-911/

She does say that boys are more apt to potty talk than girls but doesn’t say why and this is the perfect age (4-5). She said that some scientists (who studies potty talk and can they get Middle a job?) believe that the onslaught of this verbal diarrhea is connected to a feeling of power over mastering potty training. Now that it’s no big deal they can joke around about it.

I also read a quote from someone, but I can’t remember for the life of me who it was (if it was you, you totally nailed it on the head, way to go!) This wise person said: for the first three years of their life all WE talk about is peeing and pooping and diapers and then we expect them not to do the same. Very true.

So I’m going to go out on a limb and say that yes, boys are grosser than girls. If you need further proof you’ve got Wedding Crashers, American Pie, Porky’s, There’s Something About Mary, Southpark, Jackass, the musical Urinetown

and then you’ve got this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piero_Manzoni. (who buys this shit? Ha!)

So, maybe Middle has a bright future ahead of him in the potty talk field. I ‘m going to have to start preparing myself now to go to his gross out movies and laugh. As long as he isn’t packaging his feces in foil and selling it like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piero_Manzoni I think I can muster up some level of support.




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now what’s that now?

what’s done is done