Monday, May 25, 2009


"You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants."  
Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

I’m wondering why we didn’t teach Pip a cute name for 'flatulence.'  My parents taught us that we were 'poofing,' (rather onomatopoetic,)  and I’ve heard of 'tooting' which seems appropriate in a steam-engine sort of way.  I don’t actually recall teaching Pip the word ‘fart,’ so we must’ve been caught off guard.  My husband and I had no preliminary discussions about naming Pip’s flatulence, we were more concerned with gas etiquette.  

So here we are with a very polite three-year-old who says, "Excuse me, I farted."  Worse yet, she thinks it's funny.  Case in point: Pip often takes books onto the couch and ‘reads’ them aloud, her stories being a combination of memorized and invented text.  I was taken aback when she picked up her book about frogs and said to me, “Now this is a story about the Wiggles farting.”

“Oh honey, farts are not funny,” I said with some difficulty.

“Yes they are, Mama.”

“Who taught you that farts are funny?” 

“My dad taught me that farts are funny.” (Figures.) 

“What did he say?”

“He said, Ah, ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!" Pip did a rather boisterous impression of her father’s jolly laugh.

I tried to keep a straight face, “Well, I like to think of the Wiggles dancing and singing.  Not farting.” 

Pip continued, “The Wiggles heard some rumbling and it was a big FART!”  she said with tremendous glee.   

I pictured her telling this story to her cousins or some kids on the playground.  Not good.  I couldn't simply forbid the use of the term 'fart' because that would make it all the more exciting.  I appealed to her common sense, “Honey, farts are just natural gas.”  Pip quickly adapted her tale,

“The Wiggles had some natural gas.  And it started to rumble and all the Wiggles had to fart.  Then, a big raccoon took away all the farting.  The Wiggles were very happy after all of the farting was gone.  They plonked away to home and said, “Murray, Jeff, Anthony, we stopped farting!!!”

The Wiggles had stopped farting, but I couldn't stop laughing.  It turns out, farts are funny, but if I had it to do over again, I think I'd call them toots.