Pull My Finger: A Guide To Parenting


Yesterday my son made me incredibly angry. This happens on most days that end in a y but yesterday was a little bit different. Normally my son makes me angry by hitting or not listening or playing with something he’s not supposed to or being mean to his sister. But yesterday was a little but different because yesterday my son farted on me. Let me paint you a picture.

It was bath time. My son had been super rambunctious all day. Thursday is never a good day for us. It’s the day where we have NO school and NO extra curricular activities and mom is gone for anywhere from 8-12 hours. It’s a long day, at the end of a long week. Vader OFTEN loses his TV privileges on Thursday evenings because he just can’t seem to keep it together. On this particular day he should have lost them a few times but I was trying to give his as many chances as possible because that hour of TV time is such a blessing after such a long day.

In the tub, Vader was squirting his sister in the face with bath toys, splashing me (which drives me bonkers) and generally being a huge nuisance. But I kept giving him chance after chance. I finally convinced him that it was a good idea for him to get out of the tub because he was going to lose his TV time if he kept misbehaving. I was toweling him off when he turned around. I assumed that he was turning around so that I could towel off his back but when you assume, your son will fart on you and then laugh like it’s the funniest thing that had ever happened. I was furious.

I explained to him how inappropriate it was and the kicker was that as I was telling him this, he laughed directly in my face. I sent him out of the room to go get his underwear. He came back in and I began to explain how wrong his actions were. He seemed to really be absorbing the whole conversation, truly beginning to understand the gravity of the situation. He then turned to walk out of the bathroom to the living room. Halfway out the room he stopped, turned so that his bum was facing me and farted…again.

I was LIVID. TV time was cancelled. Tantrums ensued.

After a period of INTENSE tears and Vader telling me over and over again that “that is terrible” (his new favorite phrase), he actually calmed down and got it together. He colored for a half hour and bed time actually went relatively well. My wife arrived home and I let her know how the day had gone before I headed off to board game night.

I told her what Vader had done and she asked if this was something that boys just did. I stood in the kitchen, astounded. I had come to a startling revelation. You see, I was just in Ottawa visiting my best friend for a few days (an annual Super Bowl tradition) and I realized that I had farted on him about 4 days prior…and laughed and laughed and laughed.

NOW, there are still very good reasons to convince your children not to fart on people and then laugh. My best friend and I are, well, best friends. We’ve been farting on each other since ’93. It’s important for your child to understand what’s appropriate inside the home and among close friends and what’s not and I don’t believe that my 4 year-old son has the ability to distinguish these things.

I made my way to board game night where I told this story to our “team”. There was a general snicker amongst the team and when I asked what was so funny, they reminded me that somewhere around 30-40% of the humor of game night surrounded flatulence. From the member of our team that always lifts a cheek the wrong way to the strange looks from one of the guys who tries to pretend that he didn’t just do that.

The point is not that people should fart on other people and we should all be fine with that. The point is that your kid is, in every conceivable way, YOUR kid. Think of everything that your kid does that makes your angry. Do you know why they do that? Because YOU do that. Kid won’t sleep? Neither did you. Kid stands on their head on the couch and watches TV and can’t sit still? Well, in that case, it’s their grandmother’s fault. So the next time that your kid pushes your buttons, remember…those are your buttons.