Good Enough for Babies

Age is something that’s never bothered me.  My mom always taught me that chronological age is vastly different from maturity and that the latter is far more important.  She also believed in celebrating birthdays with lots of fanfare and specialness thrown in, which is why I’ve never dreaded turning another year older.

So for my 30th birthday, I threw myself an Over the Hill party as a complete joke.  Firstly, because no one is “over the hill” at 30, and secondly, because I wanted to get the concept of being “old” out of the way.  My mom and friends came to my apartment back in Chicago and the rule was they were to get me gag gifts that year.  I got the requisite “Old Fart Pills,” and other paraphernalia that you can find in the OtH section of party stores, but my favorite gift was something that my best friend, Nikki, bought me.

There are two books that apparently get used a lot over in Asian countries: Everyone Poops and The Gas We Pass.  These two books brought us much laughter that day, especially when read aloud in an over-stated manner (Yes, my friends and I can act like twelve year-old boys when we want to).

I’ve kept these books for the last ten-plus years for two reasons: as a fun reminder of that day; and because they both symbolize something I feel very strongly about.  (WARNING: the rest of this blog might offend those of you with “weaker” stomachs.)

I think we adults need to embrace the bodily functions that we have.  Yes, sometimes a fart is VERY stinky, and some belches have been known to shake glass, but the majority of gas passing is relatively quiet and only slightly odoriferous.  I’m not saying that we need to bring them up as chit-chat topics at a party (especially where bean dip is being served), but there seems to be this pervasive avoidance of them once people reach a certain age.

When babies are born, parents always know that they need to burp their babies after they’ve eaten, in order to calm their stomach.  If they don’t know this, they learn it very quickly when the little one spits up all over their best suit or dress.  It’s a natural reaction that our bodies have from digesting certain types of foods.  And, much like allergies or other body functions, it differs for everyone.  Some people pass gas when eating eggs, or onions, or whatever.  Beans seem to affect everyone, as do cucumbers.

The same is true for pooping.  How many times has a parent made some big to-do over a baby’s diaper?  All the cooing and “good boy/girl” that goes on, especially if the little one has had difficulty with producing waste.  Or even the hoopla and accolades bestowed on toddlers when they poop or pee while potty training.  Children are taught that it’s okay, even good, to expel the waste from their bodies.

Then, when we hit our pre-teen years (and for some boys, even into the teen years), farts and burps become hilarious forms of entertainment.  Some even learn the skill of creating fake ones using your cupped hand in your armpit.  And to be fair, some discharges can sound very funny.

But the part that gets me is why, as adults, we’re expected to treat these normal reactions as something to be ashamed of?  Again, I’m not saying it’s a topic for the water cooler, but there’s some prevailing mind set that you’re supposed to suppress those emittances when around other people.  I don’t know if it’s for fear of offending others with our personal odors, or if we’re all afraid of seeming like twelve year-olds if we burst into laughter at a particularly boisterous belch.  Whatever the reason, I think it’s silly.

We don’t seem to freak out when our pets perform these acts.  Cat owners quietly clean out the litter box, and dog owners actually pick up the chunks with baggies.  I’ve even heard some owners say “good boy/girl” to the dog.  Other’s clean out the cages or change the newspaper for their pets.  So why is it some sort of taboo for humans?

Like the books I got at my Over the Hill party state, EVERYBODY poops, and WE ALL pass gas.  If doing those things are good enough for babies, I say they’re good enough for adults.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaye george
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 08:29:23

    Funny post! Thanks for a chuckle today.


  2. Camille Minichino/Ada Madison
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 09:06:36

    I can always count on you for insight as well as entertainment!

    I think part of the reason it’s not as accepted, or funny, as adults is that it represents the loss of control we have as we get older. With babies, we know they’re going to “grow out of that phase” as they gain control of their muscles and functions. Just a thought.


    • Alyx Morgan
      Jan 25, 2013 @ 09:31:33

      Hmmm…you bring up a good point, Camille. One that I never thought of. I know that it’s a “plight” for women that we’re never out of “diapers,” but it never occurred to me to make the association you just did.

      Thanks for your insight. 🙂


  3. Dana Fredsti
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 09:43:55

    First… I had no idea you were over thirty. I am shocked at this revelation, Ms. Baby Face! Second, I agree with Camille about why bodily functions become more taboo when we get older. That being said, I’m as mature as Terrance and Philip when it comes to fart humor… which is to say, I’ll match your inner 12 year old boy and raise it with my three year old who just learned to do the “pull my finger” routine.


    • Alyx Morgan
      Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:16:35

      LMAO, Dana! I LOVE T&P, but my specialty is actually the belches. I could give Booger (Revenge of the Nerds) a run for his money.

      And, thanks for the compliment. I’ll be 43 this year.


  4. Camille Minichino/Ada Madison
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:13:54

    A little 12-y-o boy goes a long way :+)


  5. Camille Minichino/Ada Madison
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:14:32

    Take it from one with a 13-y-o grandson!


    • Alyx Morgan
      Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:18:03

      I agree, Camille, that a small dose of a 12 year-old boy can last a long time. My nephews are right around those ages. We don’t discuss farts & burps on the phone when we talk, but I go visit them, oh the giggling over the smallest expulsion. 😉


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