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Greg and I have always been discreet about bodily functions like passing gas from either end, although the lines have been blurring more recently.  But I guess, because I am a bit of an adolescent, Michael has always found it funny to burp and “toot” on command.

When he was just a wee boy at about two, he figured out how to suck in air and burp—I think it was on accident.  But fantastic accident it was—Mikey had become his own new toy!  We quickly added “pardon me” to his vocabulary, not that he remembered to use it.  Then a year ago at a family birthday, my sister-in-law thought it would be funny to show Michael a real burp.  Off she went to the kitchen to guzzle some soda.  She returned momentarily primed and ready to perform.  We had our video cameras poised to record this performance and audience reaction, of course.   Well, Tomi let out this everlasting rumble that made us worry that she might expel more than just air; and Mikey, he just stared in horrified disbelief—not a word was said.  He was traumatized!  To this day, if he burps when we are out at a restaurant we threaten to get Tomi on the phone.  She even got to threaten him in person on Mother’s Day when we were all out to brunch.  The place got so backed up that they forgot about all nine of us (four children, in the middle of the dining room—and we were overlooked?)  It took an hour and a half to get our meals, so there were many, MANY opportunities to threaten Michael in an effort to maintain some order.  Poor Tomi, I think her original attempt was intended to make her some kind of super hero in her nephew’s eyes, unfortunately that backfired.  However, it gave us something far more valuable—a disciplinary threat!  As a side note, Pierce has not figured out this talent yet, but his ability to mimic a perfect burp is astonishing!

Tooting is the joke my son plays on me.  It started as just the necessity for avoiding gas pains, that and the normal toddler response to cultural mores that he has yet to comply with.  Then it became amusing (probably something I did, like, I don’t know—laugh, roll my eyes?!)  So it became the new source of entertainment—for Mikey, I mean.  He seems to have an ending supply of these noxious fumes, because within moments, he can decidedly squeeze out a toot.  I sometimes worry that he is going to fill his pants; he works so hard at it! 

The other day we were at Grammy and Papa’s, swimming in the pool.  After lots of horseplay and putting Pierce down for a nap, I was back in the water with Michael while Grammy was sunbathing on the chaise.  Hanging out at the edge, I was attempting to have a conversation with MY mom, and Mr. “Toot’s “Thielman was goofing off in and out of the water.  We have had a little trouble yet conveying that children should not interrupt adults, so, naturally my conversation with MY mom is halted many times.  Only this time, it is about the air passing from my child’s bum into the water and what sound it makes.  He wandered off a few feet, made his music, and swam back over to tell grammy and me exactly how it went, giggling and entertaining himself with his own charms.  To make matters worse, Grammy and I expressed amusement, which unfortunately ended our deep conversation about God knows what.

So I am subject to both random and precisely planned toots on a daily basis, accompanied by a fiendish look and lots of giggling.  Lucky me…

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