• Elijah Ricks

On Laxation

Avey’s latest obsession has been going on for several weeks now, and is (hopefully) at its peak. I’ve been hesitant to write about it on the web, but think it deserves some documentation. So what better way to kick off another year of The Ricks Experiment than by writing about the process of defecation?

Yes, Avey’s latest hobby is to see how many times she can say the word “poopy” in a sentence. Sometimes she’ll change it up and throw in a “pee pee” or a “bum”, but her favorite, by far, is “poopy”. We may be sitting at the dinner table, getting dressed, playing a game, or any other activity, and Avey will have an urge to blurt out the word of questionable appropriateness. I think she finds joy in the small dose of rebellion it involves – she knows it’s kind of a dirty word that one would never say in church, for example, so she gets that much more joy out of saying it and getting the predictable reactions of disgust from everyone to whom she says it. Of course, I’m guilty of laughing nearly half the time because it shows up in the most random places; a few weeks ago, after telling her a bedtime story, I kissed her on the forehead, told her I love her, and moved toward the door before finally saying, “Have sweet dreams.” To this, she responded with, “Have sweet dreams of poopy!” barely able to form the words through her uncontrollable belly laugh. I couldn’t help but laugh along with her.

I keep trying to reassure myself that this is just a phase, but after our trip to Colorado for the Holidays, I’m not so sure. A wonderful quality of all of my siblings is that they are naturally good at relating to young children. They have a gift for coming down (and often staying down) at a child’s level of cognition and processing. While this trait is wonderful for helping Avey to feel among peers, it has also served to reinforce her love of bathroom humor. Avey introduced her interest in the latest stage of the digestive process to my siblings during a meal, and they not only permitted discussion of it, but took it to strange new levels. Avey particularly enjoys substituting “poopy” at random places in her favorite children’s songs (e.g., “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Poopy had a very shiny poopy” and so on). Well, this got the creative juices flowing in certain members of my family, with whom I share much of my DNA by the way, and they came up with all sorts of hilarious, if somewhat troubling, contexts in which one might replace a noun or adjective with any number of references to human excrement. Yes, I come from proud stock, don’t I? I guess it should be no surprise that Avey finds this kind of activity so engaging – she is related to the best, after all.

Perhaps she, like the rest of the Ricks clan, will eventually learn to overcome the temptation to gross out every single person she meets – at least most of the time.


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