So, the other day, I needed to edit a video on my iPad. This isn’t a task I perform regularly, so I had to get some instruction from an Apple-obsessed nephew (thanks, Alex) on the process. When I start importing my video, I notice that my Camera Roll – the folder the iPad uses to store pictures and videos – is full of pictures. This is strange. I don’t remember having ever used my iPad to snap pictures.
So, I start going through the pictures, and I see a trend. They seem to have been taken from a perspective of about three-and-a-half feet off the ground. There are pictures of the dogs. There are pictures of Barbies, going about their daily Barbie business (eating, lounging, looking fabulous, etc). There are pictures of various household items. There are lots of pictures of my lovely Lucy, like this one.
Some of these have been edited, like this one (I have no idea where she learned to do this – my then four-year-old little girl said she just figured it out herself).
And then, there are pictures of butts: Paxton’s butt; Sue’s butt; my butt; the dogs’ butts (including one particularly-nauseating close-up of Boris the angry Bulldog’s butt) – just butts! The only person whose butt is missing from the collage is Lucy’s.
So, this makes me curious. Who wouldn’t be curious to find a picture of their butt on their iPad? You would be curious, too. I promise, you would.
“Lucy,” I say, “have you been using my iPad to take pictures?”
“What do you like to take pictures of?” I ask.
“What kind of stuff, sweetheart?”
I pull up a picture of Pax’s butt, taken while he was walking down a hallway in our home. “Goose, how come you took this one?”
Giggling. “I don’t know, Dad.”
I pull up a picture of Boris the angry Bulldog’s butt, taken while he was standing in the sun room. “And what about this one?”
More giggling. “His butt is funny, Dad!”
With each successive butt picture, Lucy giggles harder – to the point where she can’t get out her words. Our butts, it would seem, have been the “butts” of a long-running joke with Lucy - one that Lucy has enjoyed entirely by herself.
I see a number of fairly disturbing aspects to this. First, what four/five-year-old thinks to carry something like this out? I mean, it’s one thing for a kid to think butts are funny. When you think about it, the logic is sound. What could be funnier than two mounds of flesh, through which waste is excreted? God clearly showed his sense of humor when he made the butt. But Lucy actually thought to covertly document the butts of each member of the family - that seems to take a child's normal fascination with the butt to a new, somewhat-disquieting level. Was she thinking of maybe submitting it to the New England Journal of Medicine: “Butts of the Bubka Family: A Study in Comparisons and Contrasts?” And second, what kid that age can keep a secret like this? I could see her taking a picture, and then taunting, “Mommy, I just took a picture of your butt!” No, not Lucy. She takes the picture, puts the iPad away, and waits for the chance to move in on her next victim.
It’s Lucy’s world, and we’re living in it.