There are some upsides to divorce. One of the best are the alternate weekends that my two school age sons spend with their dad. It provides a much-deserved break from the pint-sized invaders of my sanctity. My husband and I utilize the time well eating out at great restaurants trying a variety of red wines out for size. On a Sunday, we bask in the quiet sometimes not even speaking to each other aside from asking, “More coffee, honey?"
Then Sunday night comes. They return. Full of boundless energy. It's as if the transition from their father’s house to mine gives them renewed strength for out of control silliness and attacks of the giggles. Two boys ages 7 & 8. If you have any experience with this population you know what it's all about. It's about farts.
This bizarre bodily function that we adults try so desperately to avoid is the very topic of choice for young boys. Most adults never address the issue of flatulence, in fact, we will deny that it even occurs. We go through great lengths to avoid it, never admitting it and forever blaming the dog. We all know that even Mother Teresa farted in her habit but it’s never open for discussion.
Tell this to my sons who want nothing more than a constant fart-fest! I came to believe that the very word sends them into a fit of hyena-esque laughter. It takes me an eternity to calm them down all the while lecturing them as to why such humor is inappropriate. Surely it doesn’t help matters that their father, my ex-husband, is the Pull-My-Finger king! When I poo-poo his humor (pun intended) he counters with, “But farts are funny,” which then sends my sons into orbit and starts the cycle all over again.
Are they really that funny? Against my lady-like nature, I put this to the test. My sons entered the kitchen after school and I said nothing. “Hi mom,” they greeted. I answered, “FART!” To my chagrin, they doubled over in laughter, faces purple and couldn’t utter a word for nearly twenty minutes. So it really was that simple! Now that I’ve set this in motion and there would be no end to it.
"OK, OK. Joke's over," I say in an attempt to get it to stop, but they are just roaring! It would seem the only thing funnier than a fart is Mom’s distain for the fart jokes. It's pretty much out of my hands at this point. They are in full-on hysterics and the only word they are able to eek out between breaths is of course, "fart."
I must admit, to see them laughing, to hear their squeaks and squeals, does my heart good, no matter the topic. Something came over me – seemingly beyond my control. Their laughter is contagious and I, too, am now laughing at the fart jokes. Guess if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.