Butt vs. But

Butt or But

There is no better way to clean up your language than having a 3-year-old in the house. My language was not that bad before, however, there were times I would use some more colorful language. In fact I did not use the cleanest of language to describe going to the bathroom. It turns out that after potty training the Kid he started using some of the words that I was using. It might not sound bad, however, when the Kid started to use those words outside of the bathroom was when trouble started to ensue. We started calling those words that were to be only used in the bathroom, rightfully, bathroom words.

As we started to teach him the bathroom words that can and can not be used outside of the bathroom, we learned that there is one set of words that can be used almost interchangeably, and could be confusing to the Kid because they have different meanings; but and butt.

In the middle of a conversation that Hot Mama and I would be having at the dinner table one of us would say, “but” in the middle of it. Next thing we know, the Kid would say, ney, maybe scorn us and say, “THAT’S A BATHROOM WORD!” Trying to explain the difference of But or Butt to a 3-year-old is nearly impossible. To him a But is Butt but what he doesn’t realize is that a Butt is not But.

I applaud him for reprimanding us for using, but, but it comes at a cost. Hot Mama and I are now unable to have a conversation because if you are married you understand there is always a but, or in my case I’m always the butt of all the jokes.

Teaching him the difference is even more difficult when I taught him his first joke…

 “Hey, Kid?”


 “Chicken Butt!”

 He learned this joke rather quickly and started to pull it on me all the time, but, it caused me to pause and realize exactly what I was teaching him, that saying butt was OK to say outside of the bathroom, even though I was silently giving myself a mental high-five every time he was saying it. Once the teaching of the difference of but and butt started, he continued to pull this joke. What was funny is that I would say, “Chicken Butt” and he would tell me that it is a bathroom word, but, when he would say it, he would tell us that it is not a bathroom word.

Throughout this process, I have learned how quickly my son catches on to the things that we teach him, like saying the word butt. In fact, I can say or do one thing and he will be able to repeat it. You know that he is just watching and waiting for me to say something bad or do something that I probably shouldn’t do in front of him and he will do it.

Children are like that though. Sponges is what we like to call them, or paparazzi depending on who talk to. If that is the case, I better go get ready for my close-up and show my son that a man who hasn’t showered in a couple of days and hasn’t shaven in a week is not something you should strive for in life.

My inner 7th grader has come out in this post if you can’t tell, and I am almost enjoying being able to say but or butt as many times as I can in this post.

About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on September 30, 2013, in Fatherhood and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love how an identical situation is currently happening in my house.

  2. Really enjoyed reading this! We’re not at this stage yet with our son as he’s only five months old. As we’re bringing him up bilingually (English and Welsh), I wonder how he’s going to react to words that words from one language that sound a bit rude to speakers of the other language. There’s a Welsh equivalent of the ‘c’ word that’s also very rude in Welsh that bizarrely is used as a term to mean ‘man’ or ‘mate’ in a town just down the road from us. Rather bizarrely ‘c-word of the sea’ is a literal translation of a fairly frequently used but very rude term for jellyfish. Think my inner immature sense of humour is now coming out here too!

  3. How come it seems they learn/remember the things we would rather them not quicker than that which we would want them to learn?

  4. I am guilty/responsible for teaching my kids those words…

  5. My wife talks like a sailor so I am interested to see how that turns out when our son starts talking and repeating things.

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