No, this is not a blog 'theme' day, but something I have to endure on a week-in, week-out basis.
Normally, bottom humor is reserved for the males of our species, but not in my house. Love Chunks, a proud male who enjoys burping, the footy and food, is most definitely not a public or proud farter. He uses the modus operandi of the tooth fairy - we're pretty sure it happens, but have never actually seen or experienced it directly ourselves.
My butt-exhaust habits are slightly less pristine, but most likely are more normal (good gracious me: I'm writing about my flatulence!). My method is less Tooth Fairy and more the Tasmanian Tiger - we know that it exists, but anyone who was around to witness it is now crazy, dead or both. Pregnancy was the exception in my case. I merely had to bend over without giving my ever-increasing body five minutes notice and a quick-but-loud 'Parrp!' would erupt. My poor work mates got sick and tired of my weak, "Oh dear, was it worth the two minutes of fun in Malaysia" line after it's seventh uttering during the same meeting. When I was sitting still. If I was ever in the photocopying room loading the second tray with paper they'd stick an 'ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK' sign on the door frame.
Sapphire, unfortunately, has the farting habits of a bogan's 1985 commodore - in your face, frequently loud and very proud. All she's missing is the backwards baseball cap, pounding Doof Doof music and the 'I'm Naked From the Waist Down' bumper sticker on her back.
Despite being raised by two extremely intelligent, kindly, supportive and well-mannered parents, the hidden Benny Hill gene seems to have established itself with about as much delicacy as a moose on a music stand. She may be the brightest in her class and have the ability to read a novel in one sitting but give her the opportunity to blurt out a good butt blast and she's laughing so hard I can't tell where the joyous tears end and the snot trails begin.
I blame my brothers. They clearly had the Benny Hill Fart Gene and it's carried through to their usually adorable seven year old niece. I've mentioned before that younger brother/pest/turkey David would derive endless amusement from letting a ripsnorter off right in my face whilst I was smothered in our huge velvet beanbag watching 'Mork and Mindy'. He and his easily-satisfied cackling laughter were long gone by the time I angrily struggled out of the bag and onto my feet.
He shared a room with me until I was ten, because older - and much stronger - brother Rob wasn't a good sleeper and didn't tolerate Dave's regular nighttime asthma attacks with much sympathy. I merely slept through them, unless he'd still be coming down from the Ventolin high and decide to treat himself - and me, only two metres away - to a few doona lifters and giggles. At that stage of my life, I learned early that farting and boys naturally go together like Ape and S**t.
When these sad scenes of childhood suffering are relayed back to Carly, she laughs in genuine merriment. Or should it be described as wicked delight, because she has a laugh that only emerges when Farts, Fluffs, Pop-offs, Bums, Butts, Snot, Boogers, Poos, Willies and Wees are mentioned, preferably in the same story. It doesn't help when Love Chunks, working on the computer, overhears and adds, "Don't worry Sapphire your Mum isn't innocent. She regularly gives me the pleasure of her Dutch Ovens at night...." Thanks, love.
All very tasteful to discuss, but let's get back to Friday nights. Sapphire's had a busy and eventful week at school and LC and I have had our big weeks at work. If we don't have plans, we tend to flop out on the lounge and feel the lethargy and tiredness attack us from all fronts. This increased state of relaxation clearly tempts Sapphire's sphincter region to let more than a few dozen go. Some of them silent, some noisy but all are decidely deadly to endure.
"For gods' sake Sapphire, stop doing that or you can go and sit in your room!" Even Dogadoo is roused from her sleep at our feet, and stares at Sapphire reproachfully. "See? You know you're being revolting when even the dog is annoyed!"
Sapphire laughs so hard that LC looks at her with concern, wondering if her chocolate milk or even a lung is going to come out of her nose and flop like a caught fish on the coffee table in front of us. "Sapphire," I say quietly, trying another angle, "Do you do these at school?"
"Of course not Mum," she snorts, as if I'm a complete idiot.
"Then why do you do them here at home?"
Again, the 'Mum, You're A Total Mental Pgymy' look in response. "Because I'm at HOME. I can do what I like at home. I spend all day squashing 'em and pushing 'em back up and at home I can let 'em out. It's funny! Plus, I can't help it.....' she trailed off, looking at me with her huge, innocent blue eyes that I forever feel as though I could jump into.
"OK, but do Dad and I ever do it to you?"
"No, but Dad NEVER does them. YOU do them to Dad at nighttime, 'cos he told me," she said, her giggles starting up again. Then a new thought enters her head, and she snaps her head back to me, looking worried. "Mum, you're not going to tell anyone at school, are you?"
Hah, now I've got her! "Well that all depends...... wouldn't the boys in your class think you're really cool and want to see your butt in action?"
Sapphire's face wrestles with the humour of the idea and the sheer horror of its reality. "NO! It would be embarrassing! Josh and Kain do them all the time and us girls just roll our eyes and say how unsophisticated they are."
I pause, remembering that this is what I told her to say when said boys continued to thump her in the arm and run away, hoping she'll chase after them. She'd come home feeling frustrated, asking me why they did it to her all the time. "Oh boys are very unsophisticated creatures," I said. After explaining to her what unsophisticated meant, she took the explanation to heart, and has used it ever since to account for any bit of silly boy behaviour she's endured.
"OK, it would be embarrassing for you, but is it fair for poor Dad and I to have to put up your pop-offs and their terrible stench---"
"Hey Mum, I can't help how they smell. If I could make them smell like our rose toilet spray, I would you know."
It was my turn to laugh. "Fair enough, but you've got to stop playing it up, and you should only do them when you're on your own because it's a bad habit that will soon make you very unpopular. Besides," I added, in what I thought was an added 'load her down with the weight of fairness and dignity' flourish, "When have I ever shoved any of my bad habits in front of you?"
Oh dear, it was too late to retract that last, pompous utternance. "Well," she shot back, with the beginnings of another wicked giggle session, "What about when I hear you blow your nose in the shower; or when you farted as you emptied the bins outside and then it followed you in? No, Mum don't interrupt me - what about when you kiss the dog and then try and kiss me straight after, or those times when Dad can't believe that you still use the big drawer to frisbee the tupperware lids into instead of stacking them; or when you get dressed into your tracksuit and ugg boots after work and don't put your bra back on and when you always------"
"Er, OK Sapphire, you've made your point. Perhaps I'll just move over to the other sofa where I'm closer to the open door...."