Things kids say…

A vignette from a recent clinic visit:

The basics: 5 year-old Kevin (name changed, etc.), tummy pain for a week, lying on the exam table with shirt pulled up. He is very constipated.

Me, hand on Kevin’s belly: “The problem is you have a lot of poop in here, and we need to get that poop to come out so your tummy ache will go away.”

Kevin, perturbed: “You shouldn’t say poop. That’s a bad word.”

Me: “What should I say instead?”

Kevin: “You should say ‘sh**’. That’s what grownups say.”

Kevin’s mom, shocked, to Kevin: “We don’t say sh** at our house!”

Kevin: “Yes you do! All the time!” Gotcha moment: “You just said it!”

(Brief, tense back-and-forth between Kevin and his mother about proper terminology for the bodily-function-that-shall-not-be-named.)

Me (the Great Peacemaker), to Kevin, now tucking in his shirt: “How about I just say ‘BM’? That pretty much means the same thing.”

Kevin, with blank look: “I don’t even know what that is.” (Pauses, thinks for a few seconds.) “Just go ahead and say sh**.”

We finally agree on “clog” as a compromise, and go from there…


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