The Big Butt Excuse

excuse me, finding excuses“One of my first memories occurred when I was a three-year-old, sitting on my aunt’s lap.

I burped.

“Excuse me,” I said politely.

She laughed so hard I bounced out of her seat. I was offended. Isn’t that what I was supposed to say?

Aunt Betty addressed my parents: “She is just the cutest thing.”

I was confused. I was standing right there, yet she talked about me as if I wasn’t.

Plus, was I a “thing”?

But I did enjoy the attention, so for a while I tried to be “the cutest thing,” which meant being a good girl, curtseying and smiling and twirling. Before too long, though, I found saying “Excuse me” quite boring. excuse me, finding excuses

However, as I grew older, I began excusing myself a lot.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get that math problem.”

“Excuse me but no, I don’t want to go out on a second date.”

“Forgive me, but you just gave me the worst haircut in my life.”

“I’m sorry you think I’m the worst mom in the world, but you still can’t go to that party.”

This went on and on until I reached a certain age and realized I shouldn’t excuse myself for anything, whether a burp, a political philosophy, an ungainly yoga position, or an inability to stay out past 10 p.m.

excuse me, finding excusesWhich brings me to my 3-year-old grandson.

Who has no desire to learn to use the potty.

When I take him to his pre-school orientation, the teacher shows him the small bathroom toilet.

“See?” she says, knowing about his lack of enthusiasm on bathroom issues, “it’s just the right size for you!”

“Excuse me,” my well-disciplined little grand guy replies, shaking his head NO vehemently.  “I have a big butt.”

The teacher holds in a laugh, her eyes twinkling, as she mouths to me, “Isn’t he the cutest thing?”

I watch my grandson gauge the reaction his excuse has garnered.

His face lights up with a huge smile.

Yup, I see some curtsying and twirling (in guy fashion) in his near future.

grandchildren, finding excuses, toilet training

But really, isn’t he the cutest thing?

 

100 thoughts on “The Big Butt Excuse

  1. I smiled while reading this and my mind went to Frank Sinatra’s Ain’t She Sweet… don’t ask me why, it just came into my head. LOL…

    Ain’t she sweet? See her walking down that street.
    Yes I ask you very confidentially, ain’t she sweet?
    Ain’t she nice? Look her over once or twice.
    Yes I ask you very confidentially, ain’t she nice?
    Just cast an eye in her direction, oh me oh my, ain’t that perfection?
    Oh I repeat, well, don’t you think that’s kinda neat?
    Yes I ask you very confidentially, ain’t she sweet?

    Have a great weekend Pam!

    Sharon

    • Oh, you’re bringing back memories, Sharon. My dad used to sing this Sinatra song to me all the time when I was a young girl. It went along with the ‘isn’t she cute’ persona I had taken on, precisely. :-0

  2. My eldest daughter grew up with a ‘big butt’ … and thankfully a sense of humour … much needed with a Dad who put a ‘Wide Load’ sign in her room! She is of course ‘normal’ … and believe it or not now a senior mental health professional … apparently inspired by someone in the family!

    • Good job on the inspiration, Dad!

      My dad’s nickname for me was Chubby, which I didn’t like but I didn’t let him know that. I probably SHOULD have gone into the mental health profession….!!!!

  3. If I was your aunt, I would have burst out laughing too … and I think the pre-school teacher showed remarkable constraint in holding in her laughter. The stuff little ones come out with when you least expect it 😀

  4. It is almost frustrating how children will pick on our reactions and adopt the behavior that provoked it. I really liked your riff on growing out of being the cutest thing and how you stopped apologizing.

    • I like children with good manners, for sure. But my grandson was a bit devious, declaring he had a big butt, which therefore would not fit on the small preschool toilet. On the other hand, he was pretty darn clever on short notice. 🙂

  5. Awww this was hilarious. And it’s amazing that you can remember so vividly your own experience at three. I remember nothing of being three! I’m like you, I constantly excuse myself for everything, not sure where that stems from haha! I am so sick of saying sorry though. It’s a bit door-mat-y. Also, your grandson really is the cutest thing 🙂 look at that vibrant little face! ❤

    • I don’t think Pam will mind if I share a sample chapter from my book, The Best Advice So Far with you. I just couldn’t read “I am so sick of saying sorry” without trying to share some potentially helpful thoughts: READ IT HERE..

    • Thanks for chiming in here. Yes, I’m surprised at how much I can remember from a very young age. Perhaps it’s because the incident of the burp seared in my brain immediately. That same day (we were at my grandmother’s apartment, which at the time seemed like a castle to me), I couldn’t walk up the stairs as fast as my parents (they seemed humongous) and I got lost in the staircase. I will NEVER forget that sense of fear of never finding my parents again.

  6. I had to laugh, Pam. Out of the mouths of kids. I think as an adult we do apologize too much!
    Your grandson (cute kid) reminded me of when my son started kindergarten – his teacher was horrified that he came out of the bathroom with his pants up but not zipped. He told her that in preschool, his teacher always checked his zipper!

    • Kids do have a great ‘take’ on life. My ‘toilet-averse’ grandson told the preschool he doesn’t use the potty at home (he does) and he told my daughter that he shouldn’t use the potty at home because the preschool doesn’t have one there (of course it does). Little boys can be a bit too clever for their own good! 🙂

    • I think my clever little grandson believed that if he told the preschool he had a big butt, they wouldn’t insist that he use their ‘small’ toilet. The ploy didn’t work, and his butt must be smaller now, because he’s totally potty-trained. 🙂

    • Hmmm, can’t quite make a children’s book out of this one, though, Patricia. 🙂 It’s definitely the first time I’ve heard a big butt used as an excuse to not use the potty, for sure. And my grandboy is as lean as a green bean. 🙂

  7. Love this story and your little guy has a great sense of humour and timing. Makes you wonder where he heard that comment from? Thanks for the smile of the day, Pam! 🙂

  8. Great stories! Your posted reminded me of this story- when I was about 5 I overheard my Mom tell her Mom on the phone “She (me) is so sweet how she gets so pleased and excited about the things we do for her.” I, too, got on the happy, smiling, bandwagon- but from then on- my feelings were always forced. But I was still happy!

    • Isn’t that amazing how overhearing a comment by your mom made you stop and think, and then your attitude kind of changed? I remember something similar happening to me when I was a bit older. 10ish? My mom told a friend, not knowing I could hear, that I was a bit of a “Pollyanna.” And she said it like it was a bad thing! Like you, I didn’t change my personality, but it made me wonder why it wasn’t good to always be positive.

  9. my dear husband, david, saw a license plate in CA that said LFSBTFL — a few times people have
    said, “does that say life is buttful??” and I reply…hmmm….depends on whom you’re standing
    behind!!! LOL pam, thx for the funny, endearing story!!

    • That’s hysterical, Pat. I don’t know if I would have figured out what LFSBTL meant. I wonder how many cars in CA or AZ or MA sport a license plate with those letters? Maybe a buttful….. 🙂

  10. Pam, you probably already have a clear idea from my blog that I’m not one for extraneous apologies. The central advice from one of the chapters of my book, The Best Advice So Far, is this: Apologize less and mean it more. (I shared this with one of your readers above; hope you don’t mind).

    As for early memories, I can remember vividly being given a bath in a sink at my aunt’s house … at no older than one-and-a-half. I began reading (really reading, not mimicking) at two-and-a-half. So I don’t doubt the precociousness of the three-year-old you or your grandson.

    As for “I have a big butt,” I told a reader above that I still say this. To give you an idea, though I was waif thin as a child, my butt was so big that my mother bought a brand of stretch corduroys for me with a tag big as life in the back that bore the brand name and slogan: Himalayas – For Full-Seated Boys.

    I’m not lying. I wish I were!

  11. Of course, he IS the cutest thing! Still, I would excuse myself for a burp. Ha Ha!

    If one is brought up to be obsequious, it’s hard to break the habit. As always, you expertly brought the point home without fawning!

    • You brought in the ‘big word’ guns here, Marian – obsequious. And, I really dislike obsequious people. But now maybe I’ll be less judgmental of them. Maybe they were brought up to say “Excuse Me” all the time!! ❤
      P.S. I love the word 'fawning,' even though I don't like to be fawned over. Well, not too much. 🙂

  12. This is so great. I love it. I stopped apologizing for my irreverant behaviour a long time ago haha! You have such a great way of writing a simple story so eloquently.

    One of my three sons as a toddler, refused to be potty trained. Probably because his younger brother was “hot on his heels”… it was not fun but I did learn that one can’t force these delicate topics especially with strong headed individuals.

    Peta

    • You have stated wise words here that should be sent Express Mail to every parent trying to potty train. It can not be forced! I think I had an easier time of it with my daughter and son (because of being different sexes). My daughter struggles with two sons – it’s a bit of a stubborn contest. I bet you’ll understand when I say they have no trouble using the woods behind their house though. 🙂 🙂

  13. Ha ha!! My hubby is looking at me as I am trying to suppress my BIG smiles!
    I could relate to this as I too have a two and a half year old grandson who can talk and talk about every possible thing around him and even change the topic very nicely when I tell him to sit on the pot…with a straight face he asks me ‘which one’ and i say anyone you like and he can ask thousand questions about why there are small pots and the big ones and whether he could go upstairs and vice versa to avoid it but would never sit on one! I find it equally cute as his tricks make me give up the real issue! 🙂

    • Wow, that’s saying a lot, Sue. Toilet training must have been as much ‘fun’ in your household as it’s been in my daughter’s. I think the funniest trick she used was on St. Patrick’s Day, when the kids left treats for the leprechaun, and the leprechaun left green water in the toilet bowl, because “he forgot to flush.” That gave one of the boys the incentive to follow the leprechaun’s lead, anyway, and use the potty. 🙂

  14. Ha ha ha. So funny, Pam. Where did that little guy learn that? Ha ha. I don’t know how I missed that you have a 3 yr-old grandson too. What a great age and aren’t they just the cutest?!! Life changes so fast for them. A good foundation of cuteness is a great place to start. Enjoy the twirling. 🙂

    • Yes, and I have ‘names’ for my grandsons, as you have for your grandboy. I have five of ’em (ages 4-8, the 3 year old just had a recent birthday) plus one glorious grandgirl (8) They entertain, impress, and inspire every day. ❤

  15. That is a cute story and I can see traces of his grandmother in that young man!! Cute, witty and charming. As women, we do say I´m sorry or excuse me too often. I read just the other day to replace I´m sorry with a thank you. I have been trying it and it works great!

    • I can’t wait to try that, Darlene! The next time I have company and I overcook the fish, I’ll just say THANK YOU and pour a little more wine. 🙂 Thanks for the tip – it’s a good one.

  16. Excuse me but that’s the cutest story I’ve heard in a long time. It brings to mind my daughter Lisa, when she was around two and one half years old, maybe three. I was becoming frustrated at my inability to teach her to use the potty chair and at her refusal to use the potty chair. One day I said, “Lisa when are you going to use the potty chair?” And with her hands on her hips, she replied, “when I’m ready.”

  17. Oh but you WERE the cutest thing! And I sympathize fully with your three year old you indignation at being laughed at for politeness. Honestly – adults! I rolled my eyes a lot as a child – got me in heaps of trouble, and not very polite! As for your grandson – that’s priceless!!! Love it 🙂 Thanks for the laughs dear friend. Blessings to your and yours…Harula xxx

    • Isn’t it fun how we remember our perceptions as a child (which, excuse me, were VERY right on and clear and full of perspective!!!). I know adults laugh at the “precociousness” of kids, but have adults ever figured out that it’s not precociousness, it’s wisdom! (And I don’t include you or me as ‘adults’ – roll of the eyes). 🙂

  18. Your grandson truly is the cutest thing ever! His smile is contagious, Pam.
    I can just imagine the various excuses and funny expressions kids say around the world!
    Oh my, did my three kids get a nasty look whenever they came up with these words: “You can’t make me!”
    Now, as a Nana, it is hard not to let a smirk show or hard to stifle a giggle. In a single word, this is why we have our sense of humor firmly in place: Paybacks! 🙂

  19. Your story made me smile. 🙂 When I was little I was taught to say excuse me when I wanted to get by someone. Whenever I had to say excuse me to my grandmother she would look at me and say “Squeeze you? Well, all right, then” and give me a hug.

  20. Such a fun post, Pam! Your grandson is cute. And clever. 🙂
    I think there’s a difference between manners–saying “excuse me” and being obsequious, as Marian says, or submissive. I’ve seen studies about how women say “I’m sorry” frequently (more often than men)–for example, when they want to make a comment, as if they’re intruding.

    My younger daughter started talking when she was very young. When I breastfed her she called it “ow,” because–you guessed it, ONE time I said “ow.” So she was about fourteen months old, and very polite saying “Ow, pease. PEASE!” 🙂

  21. This has me smiling and especially your grandson’s comment! 😀😀 You rightly raise a serious thought about how often we say ‘I’m sorry’ when it is not our fault. I’ve also only recently noticed that I had this habit – although I can’t remember any particular reason – and am now trying to make a considered effort to stop myself. Not easy though…I’m sorry for rambling on…oohps!😀

    • I love your rambles! I think women especially are taught (even non-verbally) to excuse ourselves in different ways. Many times, to make the other person feel better, I think. Then we get in the habit of it. But I promise you, I will never make an excuse for something that includes the words “because I have a big butt.” ha ha ha 🙂

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