Saturday, June 04, 2005

Do heffalumps fart?

This morning, Sophie and I were playing in my bed; you know the drill--hiding under the covers, tickle fights, being kitty mommy and kitty baby, etc. During the course of our play, I farted. Loudly. You know, one of those that had been waiting all night and then Ka Blam! Sophie went very still. Her eyes grew wide. She asked, "Was that a heffalump Mommy?" (Non-parents of toddlers--a heffalump is a very cuddly elephantine creature who lives with Pooh, et. al. in the Hundred Acre Wood--recently introduced in "The Heffalump Movie"--and who makes a very loud trumpeting type sound.)

So now we have it. Our official family farting euphemism. Every family needs one--and we haven't really settled on one until now. Yes--we did things like blame it on the cat, or each other. We'd call farts toots or stink bombs or other various silly 10 year old boy inspired things, but now we are truly a family because when someone farts, we'll all ask together, "Was that a heffalump?"

In my mom and dad's house, we called farting "speaking." Here's why. Apparently when I was around Sophie's age, we were at a family reunion. I was in the high-chair being doted upon by various aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Suddenly I farted very loudly, surprising both myself and my retinue. In amazement I said, "Oh! My bottom speaks!" Though I don't remember uttering this ill fated turn of phrase, I have never been allowed to forget that I said it, and in doing so renamed the fart for my entire extended family.

Of course, some people and families are uptight about farting, and probably wouldn't say fart if they were blown out of their chair by an especially violent burst of LIG. (LIG is the fart euphemism of my uncle's family. It stands for "Large Intestinal Gas." I don't know the story behind it--though I'm feeling inspired to do a little research.) To me--family and farting go hand in hand. Who else can you fart in front of if not your family?

When Erik and I were dating, I would never have dreamed of farting in front of him. In fact, he lived in a total piece of shit apartment, and the toilet didn't really work. He was the only one who could make it flush. So rather than suffer through the horror of using the bathroom at his house and asking him to flush for me, I would make excuses to go to the gas station across the street and pee there.

After we were married, I was still mortified at the idea of farting in front of him. In fact, I'd wait for him to leave the house to even poop. Then one day, all that changed, and with it, we transitioned from the hazy glow of newlywed-ness into officially married people.

I thought Erik was out of the apartment. He wasn't. He was just in the other room. I had just gotten out of the shower and was wrapped in a towel. For some reason, I sat down on one of our wooden kitchen chairs. Then--I farted one of the loudest farts of my life. Plus, the combination of the wooden chair and my bare-butt created a kind of resonating clapping sound. I remember thinking to myself, "Wow! That was a really loud one!" Just then, Erik walked in the room, laughing so hard he wasn't making a sound. Just kind of jerking and twitching and turning red. When he could breath again, he gasped, "Was that really you?" Luckily, I decided to laugh along with him, and since then, have farted freely in his presence.

So back to the Heffalump call of this morning. Sophie REALLY thought that there was a Heffalump near by. I told her that no, Heffalumps are pretend, and that the sound was just Mommy farting. She was disappointed that she couldn't see a Heffalump, but pretty impressed by my fart. Like her mommy, Soph is a bit of a gassy gal, and this afternoon, she let one rip. She looked at me and smiled, waiting expectantly. I asked her, "Was that a heffalump?" and we had a great laugh together.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sharing an inside joke together

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
How nice that yesterday, I had a hard time thinking about a best thing, and today, I'm having a hard time thinking of a worst thing. This is a bit of a repeat from yesterday, but I'm going to have to go with the mess. Damn that girl can sure trash a room, and fast.


patrice said...

I love this post. so excellent.

in my family, we called it "shooting a bunny." I have no idea where that came from. but boy, did my dad shoot a lot of bunnies. trent then used to call it "bunnying" - as in "excuse me, I bunnied." but now, as a 12 year old, he just lets em rip with abandon and laughs uncontrollably.

I wonder what we'll call it with bella. she farts every single morning at least 5 times as she wakes up. stretch-fart-stretch-fart... but sean doesn't like the bunny term. I guess time will tell. I hope she asks if it's a heffalump. that soph, she's cuter than cute.

NME said...

I've never been a fan of discussions of bathroom functions - but I swear that is now all I talk about.
Mark and I often say "It must have been that bean I ate." I'm pretty sure it's a Simpsons quote - much of what Mark says is.

lonna said...

How funny. It was shot a bunny in my house too. My grandparents said that and now my parents and cousins do too. I hate it, so I refuse to say it. Although my mom has said it my son.

I have to admit I think that Heffalump is better than anything I would have come up with.

patrice said...

ps, I still don't fart in front of sean. or anyone except trent and bella. and not even trent so much anymore. I also don't allow sean to see me go to the bathroom. childish, sure, but hey.

rob said...

Growing up with my family, it was "butt burps".