Every Friday is Colin's show-and-tell day at school. And every Friday, he consistently picks something weird. While the other kids bring in their Pillow Pets and favorite stuffed animals, his choices are always things that don't make any sense to me. It seems like I always veto about eight or nine reeeeeally random things (Band-Aids, pieces of broken toys, spoons) before we finally settle on something that's usually questionable, at best. Like his little Matchbox racecar that he insisted I draw lights on and write "POLICE" all over. Or a booklet about skeletons that he made himself, using folded-over typing paper and pieces he cut out from magazines, sloppily glued into place. 
This morning we were thisclose to leaving the house when I remembered. "Oh, Colin! It's Friday! You've got show-and-tell. Go grab whatever you're going to take, so we can get out of here."

He came back, surprisingly quickly, with this ...

... the fake poop that was perched atop my birthday cake this year.

"You can't take that," I said.

Colin looked deflated. "But it's cool."

"You can't take it," I repeated.


Such a simple question. Why, indeed?

"Because it's ... it's inappropriate for show-and-tell," I said impatiently. "Now hurry and find something else."

"But Mommy, why is it inappropriate?"

Ugh. I didn't want to get all explainy just as we were trying to walk out the door. Especially since, come to think of it, I couldn't even really muster up a good explanation. Why is fake poop inappropriate for show-and-tell? I guess for the same vague reason that Colin was told by a teacher that he could say booty or heinie or something, but not butt, at school (WTF?).

I suppose it's hard for me, the Oprah of Oversharing, to understand why things like that are considered inappropriate when I'm perfectly okay with them. I mean, I blog about feminine odor and pooping during childbirth, for pete's sake.

So finally - even though anyone who's ever read my blog knows I totally don't subscribe to this theory - I just said, "The poop is inappropriate for school because pooping is a private thing that we don't need to share the results of."

"... But it's fake," said Colin.

In the end I just played the "I'm-your-mother-now-do-as-I-say-or-else" card and forced him to pick something different. He chose a five-foot-long rubber snake that he got at the zoo. I coiled it into his backpack - it weighs at least two pounds - and watched as he hauled the stupid heavy thing onto his bony, birdlike little shoulders.

The fake poop would've been so much easier.


  1. My Peanut take random things to school too and she count out 18 of everything to share with everyone in her class. An example would be little tiny black pieces of ripped paper, already stuck stickers on other ripped pieces of paper. I tried the I like that you wan tto share with your classmates but wouldyou like to get that as a present? It didn't work and I tried to avoid her teacher eye contact when picking her up after hearing her hand them out to everyone when they were leaving the classroom.

  2. We go through the same thing. "I wanna take this rock/stick/leaf/single Lego..." I don't understand children.

  3. As Americans, we generally seem to have more hang-ups about things like that than just about anyplace else on earth. And I could never figure out why, when it's such a natural part of life. But in order to avoid conflict, I guess Colin has to conform to the silly notions of most of our society (booty or heinie, and not butt? Really?!). I'd make it clear to him, though, that he's just being polite by protecting someone else's inhibition!

  4. You can say booty but not butt in his school? I would think it wouldbe the other way around.

    I would've let him bring the fake poop just for that stupid rule. :)

  5. Sometimes it is difficult to give a suitable explanation. Especially when you know what you mean, but not how to put it in words!

  6. Ahh, he KNOWS that it's inappropriate, he just wanted to hear you explain it. :)

  7. Yeah, my son once brought in a stick for Show and Tell. I can only imagine what everyone must've thought. But he was insistant on the stick.

  8. I say, as long as it's not like a tampon, or the rocket from your "secret" drawer, let the kid bring it to school. The teachers would probably LOVE the fact that he brings in fake poop instead of Mr Fluffy his favorite stuffed animal. HA!

  9. Not just easier, WAY more fun, too. 'Course sounds like his teacher would have had a heart attack. What a dull thing she is! HEY, you need to come over and read the post that started it - the 30 Days of Intimacy (saw you commented on Charisse's blog) - = We've only been at ie 8 days and MAN a huge difference (and we're good, we thought!). You & Curtis - wow you'd have challenges with the challenge (3 kiddies) but you have passion for life - come on, try it!

  10. oh how i want you to let him take the poop next time! i am sure it will be a big hit with everyone except the girls and the teacher!

  11. I completely agree with you! I feel that schools are to twitchy about completely natural butts, poop, weapons...just kidding on the last one! Your son sounds perfectly normal and creative. Good job on not being a Stepford robot that emphasizes too much on conformity! I love your post!


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