Childrearing

Maybe It’s Time I Stopped Farting, Burping And Picking My Nose In Front Of The Kids

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burping fartingOccasionally peering into the fishbowl is like looking in the mirror. I thought about this last week while reading a particularly resonant New York Timesarticle on the freedom of living alone – about singletons who choose to eat cereal for every meal, leave their bra on the kitchen table and drink out of the carton. For a moment there, I was feeling rather envious of all those freewheelers. Until I realized: I’ve never truly left that life behind.

Though my husband would barely notice, being out of the house a minimum of 12 hours a day, I also am guilty of leaving my skivvies in inappropriate places. I am a serial cereal-diner. And, yes, I have been known to drink out of the carton (though, in my defence, only when I know nobody else is interested in the matter at hand – and that goes for dipping my spoon in the ice cream tub, too).

I use the phrase “I have been known to” because, unlike those single folk, I often have an audience: my kids.

My girls are four and three, and yet I still behave as if they’re infants, blissfully ignorant of their mommy’s transgressions. I suppose that’s because “transgressions” can be so goddamn fun. The younger one, especially, seems to experience so much joy when she hears me fart, it would seem miserly not to indulge her. So I do, more than perhaps I should. Ditto burping. The few times my husband has heard me let one rip, he’s expressed such horror-slash-disgust that I’ve vowed to suppress my gas until the day I finally lose control of my faculties. The kids, however, can’t get enough.

Their days are numbered, though. As much as it pains me to censor myself, something tells me my children should be learning by example. If I keep this up much longer they’re likely to turn into two farting, burping, hawking, privates-scratching monkeys who eat in bed, shower irregularly and sometimes “forget” to brush their teeth before bed. So I’ve started to ask myself: how many times will I have to hear, “Ew, Mommy, get that snot off your finger” before I finally stop nose-picking with zeal?

As it stands, if I were to succumb to a speeding bus tomorrow, my husband would remember me as the lady he fell in love with (okay, so he knows about the cereal and my aversion to bathroom doors, but I remain largely untarnished in his eyes). I’m not sure I’d come off half as well if my kids were to give the eulogy.

But then, there never seems to be a good time for this committed boor to go straight. For now I guess it’s enough that I’ve recognized I have a problem; I’ve seen the error of my ways, and that’s half the battle. If there’s a 12-step program out there, I’d be open to it. An intervention? Perhaps. Just remember to keep the windows open.