I think it’s extremely important that I start by stating that this post will not solely be consumed with exploring flatulence. Yes, that will certainly form the basis of it, but I think in some sense what I really want to discuss is the joy and pleasure that kids (and the rest of us) get from the simple everyday things that most of us take for granted. It’s that unbridled, true belly laughter that your kids get when someone cuts the cheese or falls for the old “pull my finger” gag that makes me smile.
I think that at a certain point most of us start to take the humour in farting for granted. Or at very least, learn to keep our toots confined to the inner sanctum of the bathroom. I am finding that as I move through my late thirties, passing gas in public just doesn't seem to be as acceptable as it was in kindergarten. Lucky for me, I do have a good friend that has a true appreciation for some good old butt thunder. I feel that I cannot in good conscience write a post about farts without mentioning her. – Sorry Katie, but I know how indiscriminate your love of gas really is.
I grew up in a house of primarily men but now live with all women - wife, three young girls, and heck, even the dog is a girl - and I can certainly say that I am still adjusting to the how, at least in my house, the interests and behaviours of little girls are different that those of little boys. While it would make no difference to me if they weren’t, my girls are true girly girls, especially the middle one. They love dancing dresses and dolls and they do not much care for bugs and “icky” gross things. This has lead me to believe that once they reach a certain age they would also start to find flatulence gross.
Oddly enough, even with my eldest turning 7 this weekend, all three girls still think that backdoor trumpet solos are hilariously awesome. They love talking about them, they love hearing them (their own and others) and they cackle with real, genuine laughter whenever someone lets a ripper go.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself, really how much laughter are you talking about? Well let me tell you this, many years ago, a very wise woman (my grandmother) gave me some sage fart-related advice that I still follow to this day. At 12 years old, I was with my grandmother and we were driving to her cottage. I really had to let one fly but had reached the age where I knew that it probably wasn’t using the best manners to fart in a car in the middle of the summer and definitely not the best idea with all the windows rolled up (her car did not have power windows). So I’m sitting there I guess looking incredibly uncomfortable and my grandmother looks at me, somehow knows right away what the problem is and with a deadly serious face says, “Rob, when you have to fart, just let it go. It is not healthy to keep those bottled up. Everybody farts.”
With that in mind, I can assure you that certainly say there is a plethora of flatulence in my house. Well, that is from everyone but my wife.
Every parent will agree that babies fart a lot and don’t get me wrong, I totally get that they have no real control over bodily functions but that doesn’t really make it any less funny. There is nothing quite as amusing as a 7lb tiny human letting out a long rumbling ripper. To this day, the big kids howl when the little one is cutting loose.
I can't say that the big kids are frequent farters but they are big, big fans of the “pull my finger” game and if you remember my grandmother’s advice from above, I bring that special brand of laughter whenever I can.
In fact it's not just me and the kids, the dog farts a lot too. Not only does she fart often but they are the worst smelling things I have ever smelled and about this, I am truly not joking. They sneak up on you and it’s like you all of a sudden get hit by this blast of putrid, nasty dog fart. We have tried to change foods, we have cut out the people treats, we have tried everything, but that dog can totally clear a room with one silent bum bomb.
A happy house filled with laughter is really what I think living the (suburban) dream is all about and while I can’t say that our house is the best smelling one on the block, I can definitely say, thanks to farts that we have lots and lots and lots of laughs.