Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Mystery Gum

As in most households with kids, we revere silence as something close to holy, though it is also regarded with a healthy degree of skepticism--what’s going on if the kids are quiet? When Destructo suddenly falls mute after a rousing, completely incomprehensible rendition of the alphabet tune, it is cause for mild to moderate concern. I go searching. When I find him, he is looking decidedly guilty, glancing at me warily from the corner of his eyes and trying hard to appear nochalant.
“What?” I say, suspiciously. “What have you done?” Guilty until proven innocent prevails at this address.
I can find nothing out of place, nothing torn to shreds, nothing adorned by great, flourishes of a so-callled, “washable marker,” nothing systematically disassembled and left in indecipherable pieces. I don’t know what to be worried about, so I ask him again, pulling his pacifier out so he can answer—and then I see it—the huge wad of vividly, pink gum stuck to the rim of his blue “na na.” As fast as a laser beam, his arm snakes out and grabs the gum-covered soothie possessively, plopping it back in his mouth and commencing a great, ferocious type of sucking. He dares me with his eyes to take it again.
“Where did you get that?” I ask, knowing he will probably take a page from Dart Guy’s play book and answer with a noncommittal grunt. Since we are not in possession of any pink gum here, I reasonably suspect this is of the ABC variety, and shudder at the thought of it. I can only hope it belonged to someone we know, and was not picked up at street side when they were outside playing. He sits blissfully watching me, then takes it out and strings it carefully across the room when I turn my back, singing the ABC song again. I guess the holy silence is over!


  1. hehe..I can imagine the condition with 3 children because we are 4!! True, too much silence means something is wrong but that changes as we grow older.Now it is hard to find all of us making noise and if there is too much,then something is definitely wrong!

  2. LOL! I think you might like Lost in Translation's post today. This was very well written - I can just see the look and the gum. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today.