So I’ve been letting Charlotte have gum.  Sugarless, of course.  But still.  Gum is not necessary.  It’s not a nutrient.  It’s not medicinal.  It doesn’t enhance your appearance.  So here, kid, have a piece.

I chew gum a lot.  Not so much in the presence of my kids, but when I’m on the go, or am trying to neutralize coffee-breath at the office.  My go-to is Trident original (blue package).  But I’ve been dabbling in some of the “dessert” flavors I’m seeing at the impulse-purchase traps, aka supermarket check-outs.  Does it taste like strawberry shortcake or key lime pie?  No.  But the packaging is awesome!

Charlotte is almost 5.  And she’s wised up to consumerism.  She asks for stuff when we go shopping, any kind of shopping.  She bargains for mid-day ice cream.  She hondles for permission to wear my jewelry.  Everything has its price, as far as she’s concerned.  And I just figured, of all the battles, gum was the one I was willing to lose because I was going to anyway.  I mean, isn’t that a rite of passage in elementary school?

I was around her age when I first had gum.  I remember being handed a half a stick of Juicy Fruit (“Ahh, Juicy Fruit…”) by my mother in the elevator of our old building, from which we moved when I was 5.  Ma always had that or Chiclets in her bag.  Never a fan of Chiclets.  How could you be satisfied by chewing gum for, like 10 seconds before the flavor’s gone?

Of course, now that she just started kindergarten, I had to make a big deal about gum not being allowed in school.  “You mean you have to spit it right out as soon as you go in?  Like, ptooey?”  she demonstrates.  “Yes,” I say.  “But do it in the nearest trash can.  And please tell anyone who asks that it doesn’t have sugar.  Please?”

So now I share my gum with Charlotte.  And she wants to learn how to blow a bubble.  How do you even teach someone that?  “You’ll just have to keep practicing,” I tell her.

(By the way, who else was PSYCHED to see Fruit Stripe make a come back a few years ago??)


What questionable habits have YOU proudly passed along to your kids?



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2 responses to “Gumslinger

  1. The Laotian Commotion

    Chewing nails. FAIL.

    I once caught Humnoy chewing on his out of habit and boredom before bedtime. He’s only a year and a half! God help me.

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