Thursday, February 17, 2011

Growing Pains

I’ve come to expect what I like to call 8 year old potty humor.  Family movies nowadays are full of this type of low brow comedy.  TV shows aimed at kids are obnoxious.  They are always overacted but many times they are full of heavy sarcasm and the whole burp/fart/booger spectrum. 

My boys are really into Captain Underpants now.  It all started when I bought Gavin a couple of these books for Christmas last year.  He has them memorized he’s read them so much.  I was fine with the general storyline.  It’s about two friends who somehow hypnotized the school principal.  Every time someone snaps their fingers the principal strips down to his underwear, dons a cape, and grabs a toilet plunger so he can roam around the city as the super hero known as Captain Underpants.  It’s a stupid storyline but hey, it’s what kids this age are into right? 

I thought I was a cool mom being ok with the things young boys are into.  Soon a love of books turned into an obsession with a Captain Underpants website.  There’s nothing like sitting in Wendy’s eating lunch when suddenly Parker says as loud as possible,

“DAD!  DO YOU KNOW WHAT A WEDGIE IS?”

As you can imagine, we’re trying to shush him and downplay the whole situation,

“Keep your voice down son!  That is not an appropriate thing to be talking about ever, much less in public!”

Of course we’re interrupted but not the way you would think.  There was no couple giving us dirty looks then taking it upon themselves to voice their disgust with us and our children.  No.  What happened next surprised even me.  A Wendy’s employee in her early 20’s was wiping down the tables and overheard us.  Ok, everyone overheard us.  I’m surprised you didn’t hear this conversation too!  She looks up and says,

“Your parents are right.  Wedgies are bad.  My older brother and sister used to give me wedgies all the time.” 

She goes on and on describing how mean her siblings were and exactly what a wedgie is in case Parker was really asking and not just trying to share inappropriate knowledge with us.  I’m just sitting there staring at her like a deer in headlights.  Are you honestly talking to me and my family about this?  Can’t you tell I’m not ok with this!  Then she committed stranger suicide by saying,

“Make sure you have an even number of kids.  I hated being the youngest of three.  (to Gwen)  You watch out for those brothers of yours!  Odd numbers are just hard because someone is left out or ganged up on.” 

I held my cool.  I don’t think my face even turned red but what the what?  We’re done having kids, honey and if we did have four kids, three of them could still ostracize or gang up on one.  Keep your opinions to yourself and wipe tables somewhere else please. 

So thanks to these overt potty humor books and  the website that includes a juke box playing around 10 different songs, all three of my kids run around the house singing about Mr. Poopy Pants.  I am not making that up.  They randomly yell out, “Wedgie Power!”  and draw pictures of Captain Underpants on their school art projects. 

I have now become that mom.  The old fuddy duddy type who tells their kids to shut off the inane babble from the computer and to stop talking about Captain Underpants and singing about Mr. Poopy Pants! 

I am no longer cool.  And I really don’t care.  My kids used to be so cute and sweet until I sent them to school.  Now they say things I don’t think they should say out loud.  They refer to parts of their bodies in ways I don’t think innocent 5 year old boys should talk.  Ever. 

But get this.  For all my grumbling about the bad influences in school and their oblivious parents, it doesn’t matter.  Because I watched Sesame Street today with my kids and I was shocked.  The potty humor never ends does it.  An entire cartoon was devoted to classic 8 year old sarcasm and stinky armpits.  I am so not making that up!  First of all, the one character was lying to another.  He didn’t want the other character to know he had wings or something so he raised his arms.  Several seconds later he started to blow down and then a green trail of stench wafted towards the other character who said something like, “Take care of your B.O. somewhere else why don’tcha!”  Holy Moly.  Sesame Street.  You know the show that’s been teaching children how to read and count for over half a century?  It has now succumbed to the masses with 8 year old potty humor.  That’s exactly what I want my preschooler to watch. 

I give up.  I’m old fashioned and believe the media has made children rude and disrespectful.  So I plan to move to an Amish community and home school my children. 

Ok, I’m kidding.  They’re growing up and I can’t stop them.  I just hope it’s a phase that ends soon.  Although I know far too many adult men who love UHF and Monty Python.  It makes me want to scream that junior high is over!  Grow up already!  This cannot be the rest of my life.  Can it?  It can be exhausting unteaching all the crap my kids are picking up but I’m doing it because I am raising adults and not children. 

4 thoughts:

Dawn said...

I often get requests for Captain Underpants books in the middle school library and I just refuse to buy them. Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are bad enough. I am thinking you have something with Amish country. I can’t believe what you said about Sesame Street. Really? Sesame Street? I am currently reading a book so I can do a book review that is so bad I can hardly believe it. There are three 17 year old girls doing drugs and sex and drinking and they want me to put this book in my library???? Isolationism may just be the way to go.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I think that as a junior high librarian you have to be extra careful about the books you offer to students. That is such an impressionable and impulsive age where the kids are old enough to do something really stupid. The Captain Underpants books are fun for younger kids but by junior high the kids should be reading books with a little more substance and not pictures on every page.

I'm still shocked about the Sesame Street thing. It was so distasteful and unnecessary. I wish more people would take a stand against this attitude and expect kids to have better manners and language.

Sherron said...

Captain Underpants has been banned at our house. I cannot tolerate the behavior my boys imitate after reading those books.

I have issues with Diary of a Wimpy Kid (aside from the fact that it sound like you are saying Diarrhea Wimpy Kid!) Mean behavior! I refused to let the boys see the movie.

When did you change your background to white? I really like the white better than the black. Has it been white for a while and I am just noticing?!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I did let my kids watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I didn't really know what it would be about since I've never read the books. It made me feel good to know that my boys hated it. They are still young and sensitive and the behavior of the kids on the movie really bothered them. I'm starting to think I should ban the Captain Underpants stuff even though I was the one who introduced it to them. Like you said, I can't tolerate their behavior!

The background hasn't been white for a long time. Maybe a week, maybe less. I liked the way the pictures looked on the black background but I felt like the overall feeling of my blog was dark with all the black so I changed it. Plus, I made the colors match my chili pepper better. I'm glad you like it. Thanks!