My family and I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas for a wedding. If you’ve every traveled with kids, it seems almost inevitable that they will return home with some sort of ailment. This time was no different for my 6-year-old daughter. I thought we had largely avoided any sickness, but in the evening of the second day back home, my daughter began to complain that her stomach was hurting.
This stomach bug wasn’t particularly concerning. She’s had way worse stomach viruses before. There was no vomit, but everything was sliding out the other end for the better part of two days. Standard treatment in our house for diarrhea: Pedialyte and popsicles. She stayed home from school for 2 days, and finally when the squirts seemed to have subsided, we were fully prepared to send her to school the next day.
As I was preparing my daughter’s lunch for school the next day, I casually moseyed into the living room and asked, “If I make a quesadilla for your lunch tomorrow, will you eat it?”
She got about half way through her one-word answer, “ye—.” Instantly her eyes grew to the size of saucers! She sprinted the 20 feet from the couch to the bathroom, and in the count of 1 — 2 – 3, I hear, “DAAAAD!!!!!”
I won’t get into the gruesome details, but it was bad… really bad.
I had a split second to decide how I was going to react to the situation, as I was at a pivotal cross-roads. My initial inclination was to laugh hysterically. It was so funny! However, my daughter is very sensitive, and I knew humor would not be welcomed. Looking into my daughter’s tear-filled eyes, I said, “It’s okay. It happens to the best of us.”
I cleaned her up a bit, pitched the soiled clothes in the trash, and started the shower for her. She was mortified and just kept saying, “I’m sorry Daddy! I’m so so sorry!” I assured her there’s nothing to be sorry about, and I asked, “Do you want to talk about it? Do you mind telling me what happened? You haven’t had trouble getting to the toilet in time the past few days.”
She began to reply, “I farted, and…” That’s when she really started to sob. So to try and calm her down, I offered her an embarrassing story of my own. I reached into the deepest, darkest recesses of my brain to retrieve a memory I have suppressed for nearly 30 years.
I recounted the tale of when I was a young lad, maybe 6 or 7 years old. My family made a stop at McDonalds to grab some grub before my upcoming Little League game. Standing at the tiny urinal in the McDonald’s bathroom, I felt a fart come on, so I let it rip! Not unlike my daughter’s eyes, my eyes grew 10-fold as I immediately realized my mistake. Again, I’ll omit the gross details, but I’ve had a lot of embarrassing memories in my life, and this one is definitely toward the top of the list!
I ended my story by saying, “…and that’s the day I learned the same lesson you just learned: Not all farts can be trusted.”
My daughter started to laugh, and she began to calm down. She finished her shower, got dried off, and into her jammies. I grabbed two popsicles from the freezer, one for her and one for me; and then we sat side by side on the couch enjoying our popsicles while watching Captain Underpants on Netflix. A few minutes into the movie, I let a little toot slip. My daughter whipped her head around and said, “Daaa-aaad. Remember, you can’t always trust your farts!”
With a wink, I replied, “I like to live dangerously.” 😉
Article guest-written by an anonymous dad 🙂