Potty Talk

Last night as we read books, all six of us piled into Elliott’s bed, I thought to myself “yes, this is what I hoped for in life.” It didn’t matter that a very tired new Kindergartener had just exploded into sobs and kicking fits over needing to take a shower, it didn’t matter that the almost 2 year old was crying and begging to eat… even after eating ALL EVENING LONG. It just didn’t matter. There I was, surrounded by the nations, reading, and smelling the sweet smell of freshly washed kid hair.

Our family is a potty talk family. I’ll be open about that. Everyone likes to joke about gas. And poop. And most recently they love to talk about gas in Mandarin. Lola is into the potty talk as well. She started the trend when she announced, in Mandarin, that I had passed gas on the plane to Beijing. She followed her comment with giggles of delight. Too bad we weren’t in America yet. No one would have understood. But alas,  we were in China. And the surrounding Chinese folks now had the impression that the white lady in 13B couldn’t handle her Chinese food. And I totally didn’t. Just so you know.

Growing up my mom didn’t allow us to say the typical words for flatulence. We used… get ready for it… beep. Yes. Those who joined us for a ride in the car would get the privilege of hearing laughter inducing phrases like “who beeped?” I carried that phrase into my college years where people responded with “were you a Mennonite or something?” Do Mennonites say Beep? I would love to know.

There was a song as well. I believe I sang it when I was four. “Beep! Beep! Matisco!” Add a jump and a chicken dance style wiggle and you’ve got it going on. Gosh. We were so weird. I think my Dad made up the song. He’s just one of those Dads. Funny, silly. My kids love their Papa. Except he doesn’t say beep anymore. Unless he’s making fun of me. I mean… I really don’t think I started the beep talk.

So back to last night. We don’t say beep during our potty talk. We don’t say punt (or however you spell that). And we really don’t use the “F” word. You know… Fart. We simply say… pass gas. That’s it.

Someone in the pile of six passed gas last night. And Calvin, the heathen that he is, said the word. Yes. That word. He said Fart. And Charlotte reached up and punched him in the mouth.

Yup. She punched him square in the mouth.

Because we are now free-wheeling parents of four we didn’t discipline her. We couldn’t stop laughing.

So. My question is. What do you say when someone passes gas?

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.


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