Raising Little Girls…Sort Of
This post is part of my Recycled Series. Before you read any further the next few paragraphs are chock full of euphemisms for gas. If you consider bodily emissions taboo and/or your maturity level surpasses that of a 6-year-old’s, then you may want to stop reading.
Attention Editors: These columns have been previously published, but are available for reprint. Please contact me at kmwicker[at]gmail[dot]com for reprint fees and further information.
My girls are glad to wear dresses (although 4-year-old Madeline often prefers t-shirts and jeans). They say “please” and “thank you” (or in Rae’s case “peas” and “tank cue.”). They love tea parties and think fairies are magical. They’d spend all day in the kitchen baking if I’d let them and most of the time, they don’t mind having bows in their hair.
But there’s one area where my little women lose a few points in femininity. My girls think beanies are hilarious. Potty humor never fails to get a laugh and when either one of my girls pass gas, they start to giggle before saying excuse me. Now that we have a gassy infant (another girl who’s sure to think stinky butts are the height of hilarity in no time) in the house, unashamed glee ensues every time the little one rips one. Honestly, how does such a sweet, small thing create such loud and noxious gas? (My husband says she’s just one big GI tract – she takes my milk in and then pushes it out either via spit up, poop, pee, or yes, smelly gas.)
I wish I could blame my girls’ love for all things stinky on their dad, but he honestly thinks his girls’ pooting is pretty gross.
Case in point: Recently, I asked him all seriousness to name three things that I did that make him feel uncomfortable and/or irritated (the purpose of this little exercise inspired by the book The Love Dare was to create an increased sense of unity in our marriage). His only response: “Your noxious gas.”
Now please be easy on me, okay? This conversation occurred when I was pregnant and had all these crazy hormones surfing through me and yes, I did experience some pregnancy-induced flatulence. I’m sorry for the TMI moment, but it’s something that’s just natural, right? Besides, I have to look on the bright side. What my dearly beloved was really saying is that we’d have a perfect marriage if weren’t for the fact that I produce more methane than a field full of gassy cows when I’m pregnant.
Honestly, I thought everyone thought beanies were hilarious. Maybe it’s because I grew up with brothers, but I didn’t realize quite how juvenile I was being until I started encountering people who thought passing gas was something you did alone shut away in a closet, and you certainly didn’t talk, or for goodness’ sake publish an essay about your bodily functions.
Once, when I was in the seventh grade, I made the mistake of saying the word “fart” in front of my friend’s Old South parents.
They let my faux pas slide. I was a clueless Yankee, after all, but my friend told me to never, ever use that word again. Apparently, if you had to refer to gas, you called it a “poot.” Who knew? I certainly didn’t.
Even in my current homeschooling co-op I’ve learned there are some families who think far…I mean poots…are funny and just fine to discuss among friends. Others, however, would never allow their kids to use “fart” (the other “F word”) or any other euphemism for gas as a part of their everyday vernacular.
Although I’ve had to give my girls a “tootorial” (I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself) about how it’s not appropriate to pass gas at the dinner table or around others (some things are best done in private or with close family members) and that we should always say “excuse me” before convulsing into giggles, I’m afraid I’ll never mature completely and will always find beanies to be a bit funny.
And in all likelihood, so will my girls. It’s in their genes (and sometimes their jeans, too, when they’re emitting gas). It comes from my family where one particular uncle whom I’d only see once or twice a year would greet me with “Pull my finger.” (This was the same totally cool uncle who once opened his car’s sunroof so snow would fall down on me as we cruised the streets of Chicago. He never really grew up and neither have I.) Even my sweet 88-year-old nana frequently gives my dad whoopee cushions and the like as gifts.
A friend of mine who knows my family and their maturity level quite well once told me I’d better have some boys, so we could share in our inanity over potty humor.
But here I am with three silly, gas-lovin’ girls. And while my husband isn’t fully on board in the pooting department and thinks it’s more vulgar than funny, he is thankful our girls are in touch with their feminine side but aren’t afraid to stick their hands in the mud to dig for earthworms or to sometimes trade in their fairy wings for pirate swords.
I’m thankful, too. I’m all for tea parties and ballet recitals, but there’s nothing wrong with an occasional belching contest, hunting for frogs, or slipping into a Super Man costume every once in awhile.
A few weeks back, we visited a friend who has four boys and I looked outside to see my girls wildly running around, wielding light sabers. I thought to myself, “Lukes, I am your mother,” and I was happy that my little ladies aren’t afraid to sometimes run with the boys.