Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Double Your Pleasure. Double Your Fun.

There is nothing as wonderful, in a toddler’s eyes, as gum. Gum is the best. It is chewy. Doug loves gum.

Before you judge my parenting skills I would like to clarify that, no, I don’t give Doug gum. One hardly has to give Doug anything. He helps himself.

All he has to do is wait till I am nursing Kiana and am completely without defences. Then he maneuvers some piece of furniture (usually the large ottoman) across the house. He stands on the furniture and fiddles with the “child-proof” drawer until it finally budges open a notch. Then he reaches in the gap and moves his little feelers around until he locates the smooth pack of gum.

I am still nursing Kiana. While suspicious that something shady is happening in the other room—Doug is all too quiet, and let face it, is always doing something a teensy bit shady—I am stuck. I just keep my fingers crossed that he is not playing with matches or licking my razor… again (now would be the appropriate time to judge my parenting skills).

Soon, Doug comes out of the bedroom. His mouth is obviously full of something. There is a little drool draining out the corner.

“Douglas, come here,” I say sternly, asserting the authority I pretend to have over my two-year-old.

Surprisingly, Doug obeys me. He walks right up to me and looks at me with those gigantic innocent-looking eyes. I will not be fooled.

“Open your mouth,” I say.

Doug looks at me like I am speaking French, which annoys me. I know he can understand me.

I repeat myself louder and slower. I stand up, making myself look as large and intimidating as possible.

Doug opens his mouth. It’s gum. Two pieces. They have been gnawed upon but still hold their basic original structure. Doug has not completely mastered the art of gum chewing yet.

I place my cupped hand under his mouth and tell him to spit. He does.

All of the drool in his mouth, which is a substantial amount, slowly dribbles off of his tongue and into my hands. None of the gum does.

At this point in my life, kid spit does not faze me. I accept, no embrace, it. I wipe the minty fluid on my jeans and begin digging the soggy gum out of his mouth. I go to the bathroom to throw the gum away and noticed a dozen little foil wrappers scattered across the room. And there is a stack of naked gum rectangles next to the toilet.

And all I can do is laugh, because toddlers like gum. It is the best. It is chewy. It is forbidden.


birdbabies said...

i absolutely agree...kids LOVE gum. My sister actually uses gum to get her kids to behave while in the store or on long car trips. and it's amazing how well it works! you're a great mom so don't worry about anyone judging your mommy skills.

Ryan said...

You are amazing. I love the stories you tell. I miss you guys and all of the fun adventures you have while I am gone. Tell that kid that dad is coming home to smack that gum right out of his mouth.

Tris said...

That is too funny...at least he is getting the gum out of the drawer and not underneath the bench at the park!

Dirk -- Laura -- Hayden said...

That's cute. Hayden likes to find packs of gum and just bite right in without unwrapping. It makes a big mess of gummy foil.

Rachel Evans said...

He is so cute! Boston loves gum so much that he even pulled a piece out of the garbage the other day that I had chewed earlier. Yup! Toddlers like gum!

Steve, Jenn and Tyson said...

You are too funny. I always look at your blog first because your stories are the best. Tyson eats gum whenever and WHEREVER he can find it. If he can't find gum in my purse (aka the diaper bag) he'll settle for the wrappers. Apparently they taste just as good. Garbage gum is good too. I've settled on "good boy" treats when he does something nice or that I ask him to and usually it's ONE M&M but sometimes it's a sliver of gum. He loves it. :)