So Lil E and I were sitting in the bathroom over the weekend, he half-nakey on his little potty and me teetering on the little stool next to the sink.
This is where we have long conversations, sing songs and ask each other Charlie Rose-like questions about the world these days.
"Mommy," he said seriously, "let's talk about poop."
Grrrreat. More of this, I thought.
I said nothing and he launched in.
"Isn't poop amazing?!"
For a moment, I became a ninja mommy, recalling the stealth conversational-avoidance skills from my days in nonprofit fundraising when I had a boss who could instantly appall me with the flick of a rude, inappropriate or mean-spirited comment right in the middle of a staff meeting. I used a move that was carefully developed and well-used: I just sat there, looking back at him, expressionless.
But like the boss, that didn't stop Lil E. If he'd been holding a sword (oh God), he would have raised it.
"Well, yes! Poop is amazing. And pee is beautiful."
I sat quiet, still, silent. Lil E stared me down with his lips slightly turned up and his eyes full of anticipation. And then, I really did get ninja: I burst into laughter. Loud, obnoxious, trying-too-hard, sarcastic laughter.
And the glory of it all was that it was just enough to throw off that little potty-saboteur. He laughed along with me, then got quiet again, looking down and concentrating on the real business.
I felt a little smug, I admit, halting that conversation before it went any further down the...ummm, tube. That and that the fact he's actually using the potty and not holding it six to eight hours at a time, is making me feel pretty victorious. And winning the battles is what parenting is all about, right?
Right? Well, no matter what, I was stealth as hell. And that counts for lot.