Beware the Day Your Kids Stop Talking About Poop!

Jeanne Sager

toiletParents, I never thought I'd say this. But one day, you will be praying for your kid to prattle on about something as disgusting and mundane as their poop! I know, you don't believe me right now. But mark my words -- it will happen.

See, sometime around 5, most parents go through a phase that I like to call the "I want to clap my hands over my ears, but I'm trying so hard to be a good parent that I'll listen to this little gremlin babble on until it kills me." It will make you FEEL like a bad parent to not really want to listen to the constant chatter about the minutiae of their lives.

But really, how many parents can say they love hearing the color of someone's feces described in detail? Oh, ho. You will. Because it's better than the alternative:

Realizing you don't know everything about your kids will make you feel like a crappy parent. And that's what happens when your kids suddenly STOP telling you everything. Need an example?

On Saturday, we made a run to buy me new workout sneakers, and my husband wandered off with our daughter to look at soccer cleats. He doesn't know her size (grumble, not the parent who keeps track of that stuff, grumble), so he had store staff pull out one of those handy little foot measuring contraptions. Which proved she'd grown a size and a half since her last pair of sneakers. A size and a half! And by last pair of sneakers I mean the pair she was wearing at that moment! The pair that evidently had been smushing her toes back for Gawd only knows how long. Only she NEVER told us. Cross my heart and kiss my elbow, I never heard this one.

And I wasn't blocking out that little factoid in a long train of "we did this today, Mommy." Swearsies. But I felt about "this big" in front of the foot measuring chick, that's for sure. What kind of mother lets her kid walk around in sneakers nearly two sizes too small?

The kind whose child has developed a filter between the brain and the mouth. She's still a chatterbox, but suddenly there are things we have to drag out of her. Like the fact that her feet hurt (even though she really loves her cool Vans and didn't want to give them up). Like the fact that the boys she was still playing with happily at recess three weeks ago have suddenly taken up the game of "chase the girls" (and here I thought that wouldn't happen until second grade).

The day you have to start dragging things out of your kids is the day you realize they don't feel the need to tell you every single minute detail of their life ... right down to the color and size of their toilet deposits. It's an important part of growing up. But Mom and Dad, let me tell you, you'll never feel like such a bad (read: useless) parent.

And so I give you six words I swore I'd never say: "Bring back the poop talk, please!"

Have your kids reached that age yet? How do you deal?


Image via nicolasnova/Flickr

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