Bodily Functions

The kids after their last soccer practice in spring 2011.

“Jake, Patrick!” Maddie yells. “It’s time for another ‘Poopface.’”

“What’s this?” I ask.

“Oh, we’re making a video.”

I need a little more.

“You’re making a video (they often use my iPad from work to record their plays and “music concerts”) named ‘Poopface’?”

“Yeah. We already have a couple. They’re really good.”

I decide to do some observation—from another room.

“Okay, places, people. PJ, you’re by the door. Jake, sit on the chair.” Maddie is DEFINITELY preparing for some kind of leadership position.

“And, ACTION!” she yells.

“Poopface, play with me.” That’s Jake, his voice fake-booming.


Now PJ’s voice, in an accented whine. “But I don’t want to. I don’t want to do anything with you.”

“But you have to, Poopface. You’re my buddy.”

I step into the room. “Wait a minute. PJ’s ‘Poopface’?”

Maddie sighs, then yells, “CUT!”

I say it again. “PJ is ‘Poopface’?”

I’m getting the did-we-do-something? look from all three of them.

Then PJ says, “Yeah” and shrugs.

“PJ, you cannot be ‘Poopface.”

“Why not?”

“Because your face is brown and theirs…” I point to Jake and Maddie. “…are not.”

Now they’re looking at each other. Mom’s-gone-psycho!

I try a different tack and turn to the twins. “Sweethearts, people will think you’re making fun of your brother. Poopface is not exactly a compliment, you know.”

Still no lit lightbulbs. “Okay,” I say in my firm voice. “No more ‘Poopface’ videos.”

NOW the blank looks are gone. “But Mom, they’re good. We were going to put them on Youtube!”

Oh, my word!

“Absolutely not. People will think you’re making fun of your brother. They will think you’re saying that his face is the color of poop!” I’m waving my arms by now.


“Aren’t you calling him ‘Poopface’ because his face—(I look at PJ) your face—is dark?”

“Well, yeah,” says Maddie. I begin to nod, thinking I’ve gotten somewhere, but then she goes on.

“But Jake’s ‘Pee-face.’”

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