14 November 2007

advice requested

Evan has been slowly but surely moving out of the terrible twos (knock on wood). His temper tantrums are a lot more manageable these days, and he is learning important skills like sharing and apologizing. He plays nicely with James most of the time, he uses silverware some of the time, and only occasionally spits food out at the dinner table. He has improved in so many ways over the last several months that it's hard to understate the achievement. He is a lot more Dr. Jekyll these days and much less Mr. Hyde.

But if I've learned anything during my almost-six years of parenting, it's that as soon as you solve one issue, another crops up. Now my little blonde bundle of joy, when frustrated or upset, instead of throwing things or biting or screaming, lets loose with "stupid" or "poopy". Everything lately is stupid this or poopy that, or stupid and poopy. Heck, he doesn't even have to be upset. "Poopy" is probably his favorite word at the moment; I often hear him substituting "poopy" for other words in songs. Almost every day, instead of the familiar Pokemon theme song lyrics ("It's a whole new world we live in"), I hear, "It's a whole new poop, it's a whole new poop!" sung gleefully throughout the house. This morning I was trying to sing the alphabet with him, and Evan's version is now "A B C D E F POOP! H I J K L M N O POOP!" Etcetera.

Needless to say, these are not things he's heard from Greg or me, and I've never heard James do this, so it doesn't come from him. I suspect "stupid" comes from Pokemon or maybe other older shows he sees while James is watching something. Poopy, I have no idea where that came from. I inwardly think it's kind of hilarious and very clever of him to be substituting song lyrics, but it's also annoying, after the thousandth time.

So, my question is, what do we do? James has been instructed to ignore Evan when he talks this way, and usually succeeds. We give him time-outs for calling people stupid or poopy, though that hardly seems to dissuade him. We don't make a big deal out of it, we don't laugh at it, but we don't really know how to stop it. And it needs to stop. It was funny at first, but this little game is now a couple of weeks running, and I'm getting so tired of stupid and poopy. SO TIRED.

Any ideas?


melissa said...

maybe if you start using stupid and poopy constantly, evan will grow sick of them. beat him at his own stupid and poopy game. maybe it will be less cool to speak that way if mommy does it.
of course that wasn't real advice. it's just a childless person's musings.

kim said...

Molly substitutes song lyrics too, usually having something to do with Jon or occasionally me (sometimes cute: "A, B, C, D,...W, X, Y, and Daddy!" and sometimes a little bizarre unintentionally violent, as in her ending to I'm a Little Teapot: "Tip me over and pour me on to Daddy!")

As for advice, of course you know that making a big deal out of anything will only encourage him, so ignoring him must be a crucial part of your strategy. The only other thing I can think of is distraction (but I wonder if Molly is more easily distracted than Evan, so this may not work as well) - suggest other silly, nonsense, and inoffensive words for him to use instead of poop. Poop is probably a pretty fun-sounding word to say a lot, but other goofy sounding words may grab his attention for awhile. Of course, then you'll have another habit to get sick of, but at least it won't be as rude. Good luck!

Samay said...

I think it would have been even funnier if your sentence went

"This morning I was trying to sing the alphabet with him, and Evan's version is now "A B C D E F POOP! H I J K L M N O POOP!" Excretera"

you should definitely do what my parents used to do - make it a "learning experience" by explaining all the ins and outs of poop, and boring him away from it.