The burping in our house has been getting out of control.
Our six-year-old son says it’s always by accident. But he says it with a grin. And the burps always have that crisp, upward sound, ending with a ‘t.’ You only get it when you push a burp out and try to make it louder.
A couple years ago, my brother-in-law and his wife gave me John Eldridge’s book “Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul.” The essence of the book is that Christian men have been emasculated by the responsibilities of modern fatherhood and should instead be more adventurous and bold. The application to parenting was to let boys be boys and stop cutting them off at the knees and demanding perfect manners from a creature that is incapable of providing them. But our son is 6, so there’s no way he can understand that while it might be okay to burp around Dad, it’s not okay around Mom and absolutely forbidden around the grandparents.
Always do we make him say “excuse me” after he burps, but he does it with the same relish he would show after grabbing the last cupcake and making his little sister cry. For weeks, my Lovely Bride and I told him to press his lips together to try to make it come out silently – that way he wouldn’t have to say “excuse me.” No go.
Then on the day after Halloween, when the boy collected his body weight in candy, we found something that worked. Each time he burped, on purpose or not, we would take a piece of candy out of his orange plastic pumpkin. And eat it in front of him. Yesterday, he lost seven pieces of candy. Today, only two. Victory?
Now if only we could do something about the farting.