Babies and the Humor of Bodily Functions

IMG_1224My beautiful baby girl laughs hysterically whenever she farts. Probably in part because it makes her parents laugh hysterically. We should probably teach her not to do that before she joins the rest of society.

I think our current amusement with bodily functions is directly tied to the lifestyle changes babies bring. Unless you are a nurse, janitor, proctologist, or something along those lines, you probably don’t have to deal with other people’s poop. The rest of us spend most of our lives not just being grossed out by poop, but pretending it doesn’t even exist.

Think about it… You spend most of your days regularly suppressing gas (what guys do while goofing off may be another matter) and politely saying you need to “use the restroom.” Even if we all know what is happening, we all politely pretend otherwise. No one ever says, “Excuse me while I go take a crap” or “I need to go take a dump and it might be a while.” That would be shocking, even though everyone does it.

Some women I know won’t even go number two in a public restroom. They are too horrified by the thought of being found out. When I leave a bathroom and see someone entering, and the place has a lingering stench from some previous user, I feel compelled to tell a stranger, “Sorry, that wasn’t me!” because, well, I can’t have some total stranger thinking I have bodily functions like everyone else.

It’s really bizarre, when you think about it. A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about his horror at seeing a woman walk into a bathroom with a newspaper. He knows, intellectually, that women have to go to the bathroom too, but the fact she brought a newspaper in with her shattered his illusions that she might be doing anything other than taking a crap.

So after a lifetime of pretending no one ever has to poo, I can’t adequately describe the hilarity of watching your pink-cheeked little baby girl in her high chair suddenly drop her spoon, stare off into the distance with widening eyes, and begin to openly grunt as she squeezes out a turd,  sigh, and then go back to eating as though this were the most normal thing in the world.

Which it is, except she doesn’t know yet that we are all supposed to pretend we never fart or poop. It’s such hysterical relief to watch her toddle along in her fluffy pink dress,  stand at an angle on one foot to rip a gigantic fart, then go back to skipping along, pretending to be a princess. After hearing her father and I howl with laughter enough times, Brontë picked up on the fact that her farts are funny. She will rip one, laugh and say, “My butt said thhhwwwpppp,” which only makes her parents laugh harder.

Eventually, I know we will have to teach her that it isn’t polite to do this in public, but right now I can’t help but chuckle at her dizzying freedom, being able to rip farts and crap wherever she happens to be, without the faintest sense of awkwardness or embarrassment.

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