Every Halloween, parents do their best to go along with their kids’ imaginative costume choices, while figuring out what it’s actually possible to make or buy … and appropriate to wear. Heather Tryon has been doing all that — while coordinating all three of her children’s costumes — for years. This year, the Phoenix mom’s 3-year-old son decided to make things even more challenging.
“Preston, what do you want to be for Halloween?” Tryon asks in a hilarious video that she posted to Instagram and Facebook. His answer? “Poop.” Even as she goes through other options — ninja, doggy, Superman — he stays firm in his choice.
Tryon told Yahoo Lifestyle that her previous coordinated Halloween efforts included dressing her daughter, Claire, now 8, as Tinkerbell; son Connor, 5, as Peter Pan; and Preston as Mr. Smee.
“[This year,] my older son wanted to be a ninja, and they’re best buddies, so my daughter joined in and said, ‘I’ll be a ninja too,'” she explained. “But this one, he didn’t want to be a ninja. He wanted to be poop.”
Talking about excrement is pretty normal for toddlers and preschool-age kids, particularly since they’re either in the middle of potty training or have just finished it.
“Kids this age have a budding sense of humor, and they know they’ll get a response from potty language,” Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, told Parents magazine.
That’s certainly the case with Preston’s older siblings. “They think their little brother is funny and crazy, so they probably promote it more,” Tryon said. And, oh, yeah, she laughs at his poop jokes too.
“You don’t want them to say it at the most awkward times and places to people,” she said. “But at the same time, you just seriously can’t help but laugh sometimes at how disgusting and odd it is that your kid is wanting poop.”
Experts also warn against shaming kids for talking about their bodily functions, because there are times when they should be communicating with their parents about such things. “It’s important to let [your child] know that her body and its functions are normal and she can talk to you and ask questions,” Borba told Parents.
The most prevalent advice is to explain to kids when and where it’s OK to talk poop, and to avoid laughter or anger when the potty talk emerges at the wrong time. (Although it’s easier said than done!)
Luckily for Tryon, the popularity of the poop emoji (and The Emoji Movie) means that she could easily find a cartoonish version of Preston’s favorite subject.
“At least it is not a totally disgusting costume,” she said.
As long as Tryon holds firm about not baking Preston the poop pie he requested in this video, she’s probably doing just fine.
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