….Captain Tushii of the Hi-Knee City Police Department tracked Keister over five states and predicted he would target the Tokus National Bank. So, he and Detective Gloot E. Uss, waited in the bank’s posterior for Keith to arrive. Keith parked his horse, Duffy, and strode confidently into the bank…
That’s an excerpt from a short story I wrote with John and Julian, our 6-year twin sons. I hated potty talk before I had kids. Now I want to dig a deep hole and dump the words butt, fart, poop and fill it with concrete. With twins, potty words have legs.
The dilemma is how to blow up the potty talk echo chamber? The solution? Add more potty words. Lots more. How many words for butt do you know? Probably not as many as you think. We wrote down all the ones we knew and found dozens more online. It was a hilarious exercise and butt is mundane when you put it against tokus or badonkadok.
The next step was important. It’s to give those words life in a creatively way. We wrote a story – The Scary Derriery. In the story, we shoehorned a couple dozen ways of saying butt in fun ways. The kids and I mapped out the bones of the story around the ghost of a bank robber who uses too many potty words. We often write stories or make them up on walks and car rides as a way to discovery and understanding; when just reading about something doesn’t go deep enough.
Your stories don’t always need to be about potty words. They can be about how to be more grateful and optimistic, beat boredom or what bullying is. They can be poems, graphic novels or wordless cartoons. Pick a theme or a lesson and a learning moment will present itself. It’s also something you can return to as a reminder.
The point for us was to build something together, learn there are many ways to examine a similar thing while improving their reading and not pretending we are Ronald Dahl. If you would like to read The Scary Derriery in full click the link.