Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teaching Children Appropriate Gas Passing is Like . . .

Herding cats.

At what age do you start putting the smack down on kids for belching or passing wind any and every time the need arises?  Loudly.  And falling into fits of laughter with each other over their abilities?  In public?

I'm starting with Oldest because, frankly, her belching is becoming quite unladylike.  Picture this 8 year old girl, opening her mouth and letting rip with a "BRAWRP" that is so manly, for a minute I think Husband's at home (this being April 14th, however, we haven't seen him in days - LOVE tax day week).

Actually, that picture looks like her face right after she's done it, which usually consists of this:

"Oldest!  PLEASE!  We're in public!"
"What?  I can't help it?  Besides it's funny."
"Lots of inappropriate things are funny.  Doesn't mean you should do them in public."

Hit rewind, then play multiple times and you have our conversation every single time it happens.  Combine that with the "pull my finger" fun she picked up in Florida and I have a regular 8 year old on my hands, I'm sure.

So Wednesday evening at dinner (Chipotle), Youngest kept spilling EVERYTHING, and Oldest kept burping - loudly.  Even the din of Chipotle wasn't dimming the noise.  So I picked that moment to snap.

"Oldest, this isn't what ladies do."

"I'm not a lady."

"You are a young lady, it's disgusting and it's got to stop."

"Mom, first of all - I'm half boy/half girl.  Second, I can't help it.  They come out so fast, I just can't stop them."

"Well, I can tell by the way you're pushing them out that you're doing it on purpose.  Try to do it with your mouth closed, then push that air out, but not the sound.  Besides, you are all girl, period.  No boy in you."

"What happens if I stop doing it totally?  And I am half boy, you know."

"You'll explode.  No, honey, I'm quite certain that you are 100% girl.  If you want to call yourself a tomboy, that's one thing."

"What do you mean, I'll explode?  Get mad, like you did just now when you said (whispered) 'Shit' when Youngest spilled her black beans everywhere?  Daddy says that when he's driving, you know.  And I really don't want to see this whole family starting to talk like that, Mommy."

"Ok, got it.  I will not say that word anymore when Youngest spills an entire cup of black beans onto a mesh chair, then smooshes them in while I'm trying to clean them up.  And your whole body would explode if you stopped passing gas, that's why it's important to do it, just not the way you have been."

A few minutes later:
"WOW!  I just burped with my mouth closed, Mom, and it totally worked!  Does this mean I can never burp again the 'fun way?'"

"Great honey!  And you can still burp the fun way at home, but there are certain things we just don't do in public, around PEOPLE.  Have you ever heard Mommy do these things in public?"


Feeling proud of myself, we finish dinner and head to the car.  When we get in and close the door:

"Youngest, quick!  Pull my finger!"

"Oh, OK Oldest.  That's fun.  That's so fun when I pull your finger."

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