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Don't take that out of context!

March 03, 2016 The Wine Time Dad 1 Comments Category : , , , ,

Disclaimer: This is your only trigger warning. Do not be offended if you proceed. You've been warned. 

You ever been hanging out with the kid and had to explain something to them like, “Yes, butts smell because poop comes out of them and poop is smells.” A logical explanation, that.

Or, maybe they said something apropos (of being on the metro) like, “Well, if we both fall on the tracks, we’ll both be dead together!” intonation indicating that this would be a favorable situation.

Now, whether you’re embarrassed or pleased with this public repartee doesn’t matter, but still you might be curious of the images this conversation inspires in the minds of outsiders. Do they understand that these are just the sorts of conversations you have with a toddler? Could they have possibly taken any of this out of context? Maybe you don’t care what they think.

However, one thing should be obvious, this is how toddlers about learn about the world around them. They don't think in more abstract and indirect terms like us, they think in stark bluntness. Complex concepts need to be explained simply for toddlers to understand them. Ultimately, this burgeoning grasp of important concepts also brings on radical conversations that can't (or shouldn't) exist without their presence. 
Not long ago, I deliberated on how my cultural sensitivities were brought into strange juxtapositions with societal taboos in the context of parenting. I recall the “in any other context” sentiment of that post often when my wife or I is interacting with the toddler. You could assume the premise of that post in almost every conversation you have with a toddler. It doesn’t always get weird, but it usually does. Imagine how your average Jane or Joe would take these conversations if a toddler weren’t a given in the context.

Just a few examples:

-“Let me get those boogers out of your nose.”  Not something you can just say to anyone. But, trust me, it gets worse.

--“Whoa! look at the size of that log!”

-“Bend over, I need to wipe your butt.”

-“Ahhhh! You got pee everywhere. Spread your legs, I need to clean you up.”

-“Make sure you get in there and wash your vagina out.” No, I’m not making this up.

-“Do you need to poop? Do you need to poop? Any poop coming out, yet?”
 “No poop, daddy.”
“Whaaaaat?!? Can’t hear you!”
“NO POOP! WAAAAAAAAA!” Quickly jumps off toilet before I can check and makes a streak on the seat.

-“Careful! Watch your elbows and knees!”
 “What’s wrong daddy?”
 “You smashed daddy’s balls.”
 “I like smashing balls!” Yes, you do.

-“Daddy wassa log?”

- “Smell my butt! SMELL IT! Issit stinky?” This one is explicitly my fault.

- “Well, sometimes I like to eat my boogers.” I suppose we all did at some point in our lives. I wonder what evolution would have to say about that…
-“Did you have a booger on your finger?
 Where is it?”
 “It’s in my belly.” Sonovabitch!

-“Daddy can you get the Playdough out?”
  Dad gets the Playdough out…
 Godsmash! Godsmash! GODSMASH!”

Two things here: first, bodily functions are big with toddlers and, yes, this last one seems made up, but it’s also true.

I considered getting her to use Godzilla or King Kong, instead of God, but God is just so… Powerful. And, in my irreverence, I was crudely attempting a blunt lesson in Old Testament retribution. You can’t smite block towers with your hands the same way you can Play Dough. So, while I was smugly proud of myself for starting this stupid game with my daughter, I was mildly embarrassed when she used it in public. I then had to deal with the shortsighted fun I had at my impressionable daughter’s expense.

Ah, sometimes we both learn valuable lessons…

Pretty sure no one could decipher what she said but it doesn’t matter, right?

Well, God probably knows what she said.

Anyways, here’s my PSA: as a society we should be aware that when toddlers are present, nothing is off the table in terms of conversation topics or spontaneous acts of grossness. Don’t judge or be appalled- someday you’ll understand to take nothing out of context when a toddler is involved in the conversation.

Especially when they learn to make stuff up, then you’ll need a whole lot more context.