Being a Parent Means Never Having to Say “I Farted”

Photo by Barb Crawford

…at least not at the Rite Aid with a loud and chatty three year old.

Hey, at home, I am all about transparency in farting. I like to try to teach the kids to excuse themselves but there’s a lot of gas being passed at our house and, quite frankly, a lot of—well–traditions to maintain.

Daddy-O is quite fond of having the kids pull his finger (our inquisitive six year old recently asked, “How does that actually work?”) and there’s always the “Doorknob” game (involves shouting “Doorknob!” and punching the person who farted without remembering to say the word “Safety!” or, as Mommy attempts to enforce, “Excuse me.”)

Although sometimes at home, I opt not for “Excuse me” myself but for the more direct, “I farted,” which is sometimes followed by the phrase “Run away.” (“No, kids, trust me. You do not want to smell this. RUN. AWAY.”)

But we never deny. So I’m always surprised the first time one of my sweet little two year olds will answer, “Did you toot?” with “I fink the dog did it.” It seemed to be a natural developmental stage they passed through since they certainly didn’t learn it from their Father or me and it was before they started grade school.

After the Blame Someone Else phase, they enter the several-years-long Blatantly Deny phase. How many times have I asked who needs to excuse themselves (and/or possibly need to go change their underpants) only to be met with innocent faces all protesting denial? I never lie about farting, why do they?

Okay. Fine. There was that one time in Rite Aid. It was a quick stop for two items that were apparently to be found in opposite corners of the store. As we hightailed it from one end to the other I’ll admit (now) that I let out what can be referred to as a SBD (silent but deadly) and tried to quickly hurry my three year old along away from the stench and towards our destination.

Naturally, she smelled it and shouted, “WHO FAHTED?”

I tried to shush her and get her to move on but of course she again shouted, “WHO FAHTED, MOMMY? I FINK IT WAS DAT MAN OVER DERE.” Clearly she was not going to let it drop. As a mother who values honesty and good manners, I got down on my knees, looked her in the eye and said… “I really don’t know who farted.”

She stared at me and said nothing. Was she on to my ruse? I continued, “We don’t know who farted and it’s not important. It’s really not polite to keep shouting about it at the store like this so please let’s be quiet and get what we need so we can go.”

She continued staring me in the eye and said, “Actually, it was me.” Knowing full well it wasn’t her, I hid my smile, stood back up and said the only thing I could think to say in this situation.

“Well then. If you farted, what do you need to say?”
Good girl.

Gina Sampaio likes to challenge the notion of what being a stay-at-home mom means by not only staying busy with her kids but also with acting, writing, social activism and rabble rousing in general. Gina blogs about her daily adventures at Sister Serendip.

Photo: Barb Crawford


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Comments (2)

  1. KalySullivan

    Living with three boys, farting is like a recreational sport around here. We haven’t entered denial yet, but we are working on not farting at the dinner table. Baby steps.

    • Gina Sampaio

      We’re still working on “You at least have to wear underwear to the dinner table” and then maybe we’ll move on to farting…maybe.