Being Canadian, a lot of my quirky choices of words come from being a product of a country with strong ties to Britain in both history and language. Hence, I can sometimes unconsciously pepper my speech with what are a few mild Britishisms in addition to my occasional Canadianism like “eh” (of course) or “Timbit” or “Chesterfield.”
Case in point would be “bum.”
Welcome to a post about bums.
Let’s make this clear: “bum” is a word that refers to the buttocks. I know, I know, for Americans it refers chiefly to vagrants or lazy people. In fact, when I use “bum” in the presence of my American wife, it still sometimes makes her giggle, like I’d just said something adorably foreign, on par with casually pointed out that the queue for the bangers and mash goes anti-clockwise, Bob’s your uncle! Pip pip! Cheerio!
Surprisingly, when you have kids, “bum” is a word that comes up a lot.
“Sit down right there, on your bum.”
“Ouch! You hit me right in the bum!”
“Please, please, PLEASE get your bum off of your brother’s face.”
And of course, “What’s that, you went potty? Great! Did you remember to wipe your bum?”
It’s funny how becoming a parent changes the things you are willing to talk about in public, particularly when it comes to messy bums. At this point it’s almost a cliche, the new parent posting ecstatic updates on Facebook about their baby’s impressive ability to poop. Maybe initially it’s actually exciting on some level, because it signifies a very tactile bit of evidence that things seem to be working in your adorable baby’s innards, where you can’t see. But then as time progresses, the baby poop news shifts from gleeful updates into not-so-hushed horror stories, until finally the terrifying tales of potty training woe start, and then… suddenly the issue disappears. Bum-talk, particularly on the subject of bum hygiene, is simply off the Comfortable Subjects To Talk About table.
We are just on the tail end of potty training with our oldest, Tucker, who pretty much has it down like a pro at this point. Oh sure, he has to be reminded sometimes to do as Daniel Tiger recommends in his opus musical lesson: “If you have to go potty, STOP, and go right away; flush and wash and be on your way!”He loves his independence, and opportunities to show how he’s a Big Boy now, which usually means not wanting assistance any more. So, for the most part, the biggest hurdle remaining with the actual activity of going to the potty is that his wee preschooler hands and arms have a hard time doing a very thorough job cleaning himself up after he poops. Believe me, I do his laundry. I’ve seen the evidence.
Then one day a pretty simple solution struck me, when I questioned why successful potty training meant we needed to jettison the much more effective cleaning method we’d used with him since the day he was born: using a wet wipe, not dry toilet paper. Never dry toilet paper. In fact, I remember one day when he had one of those awful, terrible, no-good, very bad blowouts when we were out and about, and I had to change him in the back of our van. I quickly used up what turned out to be the last remaining wipe, and was forced to complete the job — as best I could — using the roll of paper towels I happened to have with me. It was awful. Better than nothing? Sure. But awful just the same. Dry paper just can’t do the job. I made it a point to keep a (large) package of emergency wipes in the car ever since, because nothing got him cleaner.
Why would I not do the same now that he’s a toilet-trained preschooler? Oh. Right. Because when you wipe a baby’s bum the wipes get tossed out with the diaper, don’t they? No one wants wipes sitting there in the bathroom garbage pail, or clogging up the pipes, right? But man, TP on its own just doesn’t do a very good job.
Thankfully, there is an answer: Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Wipes. Used hand-in-hand with dry toilet paper, in what they call the The Cottonelle Care Routine, this means Tuck can do the job himself and make his laundry contributions a lot more pleasant. So much cleaner, I’m starting to wonder if maybe he’s on to something worth applying to myself…
Speaking of Bums!
Guess what? I’m joining up with a few of my dad blogging buddies and Cottonelle, to encourage people to talk about their bums. Well, cleaning their bums, at least, and how Cottonelle thinks that once you try the Cottonelle Care Routine you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. It’s a great big campaign, that’s designed to be fun and get people talking. You can join the conversation over on their Facebook page.
The really great news is that they’ve come up with a fun way to get people talking that involves me and a few of my parenting blogger friends: a good ol’ fashioned Haiku Challenge!
It’s pretty simple. You write clever haiku about keeping your bum clean, you share them on social media like Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LetsTalkBums and #Haiku, and you win great prizes!
What sort of prizes?
Glad you asked!
Every Sunday, our team of intrepid dad bloggers will select the best haiku submission of the previous week. Then on Monday mornings, we’ll announce the winner, who will receive a $200 Amazon gift card!
In addition, each weekly winner will be eligible for the Grand Prize: An “Epic Experience” trip to the 2014 Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans! Package includes: Airfare to New Orleans, a two-night stay at the J.W. Marriott, and a complimentary ticket to attend the 2014 Dad 2.0 Summit!
Can you remind me how to do a haiku? High school was a long time ago.
A haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry, typified by a basic structural rule for the purpose of this contest: It need be 17 syllables total, comprised of three lines, the first and third having five syllables, and the second having seven. Traditionally haiku also contain some manner of juxtaposition called a “cut,” and a seasonal reference, but these rules are not necessary for the Haiku Challenge unless you really want to impress.
Haiku written for Twitter can be separated by slashes (“/”) and should include or be followed by the hashtags #LetsTalkBums and #Haiku in order to be entered into the Haiku Challenge.
Cottonelle asks dads / “Can you help us end skid marks?” / This fall, we find out. #LetsTalkBums #Haiku
Anything else, or can I get to writing clever Japanese poems about my bum?
In just a sec. Before you go, I just want to give you the heads up so you can plan to join me and the rest of the Cottonelle Dads for a kick-off Twitter Party, hosted by @WhitHonea on Monday, September 30th from 8-9pm ET using the hashtag #LetsTalkBums. We’ll be writing haiku, giving away two $50 Amazon gift cards, an iPad Mini, and we’ll announce the first $200 weekly winner. Good times!
Okay, get writing!
Disclosure: I am being compensated by Kimberly-Clark for my participation in this campaign to help people have cleaner bums. All opinions are my own.
I'm a proud full-time at-home daddy, a part-time children's book author and illustrator, a parent blogger, and an accidental activist. Canadian-born-and-bred, I now live in Portland, Oregon, with my lovely (and much smarter) wife and our two adorable sons.