When Your Child Speaks In Fart

I took Tristan (10) shopping for a dress shirt and shoes for my mother’s retirement party, and the whole time he spoke to me in fart noises.

The party started in just over an hour, so we really didn’t have time to speak in fart, but that didn’t give him any pause.

“What do you think of this?” I asked.

Fart sound.

“This has rockets ships on it, that’s cool.”

Fart sounds.

I’d love to say that this lasted for a few moments, but we shopped for a good 30 minutes, and outside of refusing to try on anything I handed him, he responded to everything in fart.

Despite my red embarrassment face and my threats of grounding him for eternity, he spoke in fart.

We were in the shoe section when I looked down at him, his tongue slightly out for a particular long and wet imitation, and all I wanted to do was smack him right in his puckered, fart sound making, lips. I didn’t. I never would. But words cannot describe how irritated I was with my son in this moment. It burned inside me like a white hot flame that grew hotter with each “pppphhhhhrrrr.”

I took a breath, and crouched down to look him in the face, and as I did, I didn’t feel anger anymore, but fear, because frankly, he looked and acted a lot like I did at his age, stocky and blue-eyed, with an obnoxious dimpled grin.

He was my son, no doubt about it. And yes, my mother warned me that someday I’d have a child just as irritating as myself. But I never believed her. No one ever believes their mother until they are face to face with their own obnoxious offspring making fart sounds in a department store.

“Listen,” I said. “When I was your age, I thought stuff like this was funny. And do you know what happened?”

Fart sound.

“I was a little older than you, and I met someone I liked, and I did something stupid like speaking in fart because I thought they’d think it was funny. But they didn’t. They thought it was nasty. I did that a few times until I started to realize that it was nasty and immature and I needed to cut it out. Do you know why I’m telling you this?”

Fart sound.

“Because you are a lot like me, and I’d love to save you that embarrassment.”

He was quiet for a moment. His eyes moved side to side in his little skull. Eventually he looked up at me with sincerity, and made a fart sound.

“I have a feeling you might just have to figure this one out the hard way, same as I did,” I said.

We purchased his new shirt and shoes, and walked out to the van, Tristan making fart sounds the whole way.

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