I hate bodily-function humor. I have hated all things fart for as long as I can remember. Once, at a sleepover, I held in a fart at bedtime, believing that once I fell asleep my body would relax and I could fart innocently without being held responsible. It backfired. I woke up with horrible cramps at 2 am, and they next day when I bent over to tie my shoes, the loud uncontrollable flatus came out in front of everyone.
They say that you can postpone certain life-lessons, but you can't avoid them. Or, if you want to be more cynical, you will be confronted with that which you detest, until you become comfortable with it.
Case in point: my kids love farts. They are are obsessed with farts, particularly with farting on other people. There is nothing funnier in their world than the air that comes out of their little butts. Apparently Daddy revels in farting as well (not something that was revealed at anytime in our marriage) and going to Daddy's is full-blown fart central.
Packing up to go to Daddy's every week they sing a song they wrote about farting on Daddy's head. Daddy and I have discussed this, and it is considered appropriate behavior at his house, though he swears that he instructs them not to fart on Mama. I'm not entirely sure I believe this.
I am not much for rules in my house, mainly because my kids hate to be in trouble and try really hard to be good. I also believe that if you treat your children with common standards of politeness, they will learn to be polite. (This has actually worked- they say please and thank you without ever being reminded, and spontaneously gush gratitude for anything special I do for them, like making brownies, taking them to the museum, or buying them something.) They have each only been in time out a handful of times in their life. In general, they listen to me, or they did, until they discovered farting.
I had to create my strictest rule ever: No farting on grownups. This results in instant time out, no questions asked. I am also trying very hard to teach them to say "excuse me."
Mama: "What do you say when you fart?"
Tiny Pants: "Smell my fart!"
Mama: "No, say excuse me!"
Big Pants: "Smell my excuse me!!!"
It is possible that this fart-love is not entirely Daddy's fault; my father is a doctor specializing in the digestive tract and spent his entire career discussing farts, burps, and poops. It might be my genetic makeup at fault here, although it skipped a generation, so I try and be understanding.
For example, I found and introduced them to this YouTube clip, featuring a dog and a fart machine, which we have now watched 17 times in a row:
But my biggest Cool Mama Moment was achieved just three days ago.
Recently, as a reward for cleaning their room by themselves for the first time ever, we went to the toy store.
The toy store is actually awesome. It is mostly vintage and weird stuff you can't find anywhere else. Personally, I love to go there. The clean your room ploy was brilliant because I wanted to go to the toy store myself. In some ways, it's like a museum of the toys of my youth, and I make them listen to all my stories as we browse, reverently pointing out Thunder Cats toys and My Little Ponies.
We were looking through the magic trick section when I saw it, tucked amongst the exploding cigars and trick lollipops, glowing with an inner light only I could see…
A remote controlled fart machine.
I took it down from its little hook and handed it to Tiny Pants. It was like introducing Mozart to his first piano.
Oh, yes, we bought the fart machine. I didn't even look at the price tag. I knew we had to have it at any price. We lovingly took it home, carefully opened its hermetically sealed package and discovered it required a 9-volt battery, which we stole from the smoke detector.
Don't tsk-tsk, I replaced the smoke detector battery within the hour, and I used the one in the kitchen. I had complete control over the kitchen the entire time the battery was out. Besides, there was no one to even go in the kitchen - the family was in the living room with the fart machine. Apparently I actually owned an extra 9-volt battery, but I too, was in the tractor-pull of the fart machine and was unable to look in the battery drawer for it at the time.
Here's how it works. You hide the fart making device, and use a tiny remote to activate it. It makes 15 different realistic fart sounds.
You can see it here:
Before you think I am insane, let me say that hearing recorded farts is way better than smelling real ones. Also, for the joke to be funny to them, they say "excuse me," or "sorry" every time they hit the button. I have been since treated to the sound of more farting than I thought was possible. The Big One even told his brother to knock it off. Yes, we found and exceeded the saturation level for farts on a seven year old.
And you know what I did with the fart machine? I sent it to Daddy's.