As the mom of a four-year-old boy, I've come to realize that boys have a fascination with certain parts of their bodies. My son is absolutely crazy about his butt. To Evan, his butt is just about the most amazing thing our there, only occasionally coming in second place to what we refer to as his "parts." For right now, he doesn't know that his "parts" do much besides pee, and of course, flop around when he runs naked (which he gets a big kick out of and loves to show off on a regular basis).
Recently, my darling boy has started a new habit of digging around in his "parts." I sort of expected that he would do this; after all, every man has to "adjust" from time to time, right? And I've pretty much heard that men are generally obsessed with their equipment anyway, so it was nothing to be surprised about when Evan began poking around down there.
Unfortunately, this harmless adjusting and curious exploring has now expanded to include him digging about in his rear. The first time I saw him do this, I figured perhaps he probably hadn't wiped properly after using the potty, and that he was a little itchy or just not clean. So I dragged him to the bathroom and wet-wiped his bum, while he screamed and protested and couldn't understand why on earth I was digging in his butt. I tried to tell him that, frankly, I was trying to figure out why HE was digging in his butt, and that I was attempting to make him comfortable so that such rooting about would not be necessary.
However, after careful observation, I have now concluded that Evan just generally ENJOYS fumbling around in there, especially if it's right after he's gone potty, which just makes the whole situation that much more disgusting for those of us trying to run a hygienic household. The other night at bedtime he was doing his usual routine... he pooped in the potty and then came into the bedroom to put on his pull-up and pajama pants. He hadn't washed his hands, so I prompted him to please go wash them. He responded by flopping face down on the floor, rump in the air, and reaching around behind him to dig about while laughing hysterically at my annoyance.
I believe I responded with some hysterical rambling that went something like this, "Oh my God, you are not touching ANYTHING until you get yourself into the BATHROOM and wash your HANDS with LOTS and LOTS of soap...and why are you digging in your butt anyway.... I said to stop digging in your butt.... your butt is dirty!" To this he giggled and shouted "Dirty butt!!!" at me, while continuing to forage for God-knows-what in his backside.
I finally convinced him to get off the floor, at which point he saw a can of almonds that were sitting in the hallway and went straight for them. I screamed, "Nooooo!!!!! Don't touch ANYTHING!!!" But by the time I got to him he had already taken the lid off and begun reaching into the container. I screamed "Don't you put your hands in there!" in the nick of time, at which point he looked at me quizzically, lifted the can of almonds to his face, stuck his tongue in the can, and began slurping up almonds like a pig at the feeding trough, pausing occasionally to lick the salt off the inside of the container walls. "Get your face out of the almonds! We don't stick our tongue in the bucket!" I practically screamed (I am amazed, by the way, that my 16-month-old actually managed to stay asleep through this entire fiasco).
Evan just looked at me innocently and replied, "But you said I couldn't put my hands in it." "Yes," I replied, "but I also said you couldn't put your hands in your stinking BUTT!!!" He grinned, shouted "Stinky Butt!!!" and took off running down the hallway, parts flapping, enjoying the heck out of himself.
I imagine this too shall pass. In the meantime, I am watching that butt like a hawk and buying large quantities of anti-bacterial wipes. Apparently, in my son's case, we really do know "where those hands have been!"