Tuesday, April 25, 2006

*burp* Excuse Me *giggle*

Every night, our family sits down together for dinner. It is a wonderful time. A time of peace and love and joy, where we all can share in each hardship and triumph from the day. It's truly beautiful, I'm telling you.

Oh yeah. There's one more thing that my kids, especially, like to share. Burps.

When it comes to bodily noises, I admit I'm severely lacking in the burp department. My burps sound more like hiccups, at best. I'm also untalented in the ability to burp on demand.

My children, however, are experts. Not only so, but they find nothing more hysterical than to listen to one another burp. It is a bit disheartening to look over to your four-year-old, watch him take a sip of milk, and then let 'em rip. Over and over and over. Such a tiny body, and he's capable of some awfully big ones.

Then the older boys join in, as their giggling allows. I feel as though in one brief moment, I lose control, and the peace, love, and joy we were sharing has vanished entirely.

"Come on," I say, stern faced, not giving in to the rudeness that has overcome my family. "That's enough."



I glare at the kids. I glare at my wife, who has just a bit too much of a lift to the corners of her mouth to be disgust. I glare at my two-year-old daughter, who despite her inability to purposely burp finds the entire gala exciting, and is starting to make this croaking sound in imitation of a burp.

My four-year-old is quite polite about his rudeness. After each burp, which by this time has approached a periodic rate of about one burp every five seconds, my son proudly says, "Excuse me!"

And the only way to end the madness is by changing the subject. "Oh, Josiah...how did you do on your piano today?" or "So, I was thinking we need to go to the store after dinner." If that doesn't work, I try threats. "If you don't stop burping, you're going to have to unload the dishwasher."

This of course works for the exactly two microseconds that pass before they realize they would have to unload the dishwasher anyhow.

Next thing I know, the loudest burp ever roars through the dining room, laughter ensues. This time, it was my wife, and I'm left as the only one at the table not in the riotous mood everyone else is.

But it occurs to me that I'm not really disgusted, nor do I not find the whole thing absent of humor, really. I'm jealous. I'm jealous because I can't join in the fun. Try as I may, any attempt I make to croak a burp or two myself is a complete failure. So, if I can't play along, then no one is gonna play. My way or the highway.

"Just swallow air," I've been told since my childhood.

Just swallow air? It isn't a concept I grasp. Air is something you breathe, not swallow. And if you swallow air, don't you just end up with the hiccups?

So, I'm left out. An observer. And I'll admit, there was a time or two that I actually smirked. Just for a moment. I was weak, I admit it. It won't happen again.


"Excuse me!"


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