Can you burp the alphabet dad?

I knew this day would come.

Like it or not my boys are at the burping stage. They have worked out how to do it and they are intrigued. For them it’s the gift that keeps on giving. My wife, Bec, hates it.

I’ve tried to explain that burping for boys goes hand in hand with a good meal, a beer or a can of Coca Cola.

It is hard to have one without the other.

If we want it to stop then they need to get over this honeymoon period. The novelty factor. They need to get it out their system. They need to burp the alphabet in order to move forward. The effort required to pull this off is enough in itself to never want to burp again.

Bec has explained in no uncertain terms that intentional burping is unacceptable; there is no place for it in public at the dinner table or in her vicinity. If one should discharge a belch, a grepps or a burp then it should be followed with a sincere “excuse me”: NOT a snigger and a poem:

“Pardon me for being so rude it wasn’t me it was my food.

It couldn’t stay down there below, so it just popped up to say hello.”

And your brother should not turn red in an attempt to copy the previous burp.

And your father should not follow this by inappropriately burping the words “stop that”.

That would be revolting and ends, I mean, could end, in a dressing down.

I could have nipped this in the bud straight away. I didn’t. I actually got a certain amount of pleasure from their discovery.

It’s a boy thing. It’s a bit like the day my boys pee’d standing up for the first time. I was a very proud dad. It might not seem like much but it connected us as males. That did quickly disappear when I realised for the next 5 years they wouldn’t be able to aim straight.

So I took them aside and told them the time my friend burped the alphabet.

“can you do it, Dad?”

I have never been able to do it. But I couldn’t tell them that. So as the boys rolled around on the floor with laughter I burped my way to the letter F before collapsing in an exhausted and light headed mess.

They tried and failed after me. They have time. They will either manage the full alphabet or give up trying. I don’t think they will be walking down the aisle burping the marriage waltz. It’s a phase.

We also discussed the appropriate etiquette. That there is a time and place for a burp and how they should deal with a rogue belch. I warned them if they did it intentionally in front of mum then I would not be able to save them. It seems to have worked so far.

Why is a burp such a terrible thing? It is a required function of the body.

Burping happens when you swallow air. It could be when you eat food too quickly or more commonly when you drink a gassy drink. When air gets into the stomach it is forced back out through the top end or quite literally, through the bottom end.

It used to be cute when they were babies. We used to encourage it. We were also excited over poo’s. Funny how things change.

Can we really blame kids for laughing or experimenting with farts or burps? Have you seen children’s TV lately? There are references and jokes about bodily functions often, on shows like The Simpsons, Rugrats, South Park, Family Guy, Spongebob Squarepants, Total Drama Island and Rugrats. Movies like The Naked Gun, Shrek, the classic camp fire scene from Blazing Saddles and any movie with Adam Sandler, also garner big laughs from people with that sense of humour.

Did you forget about Charlie and Grandpa Joe from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Mary Poppins the most prudish and polite of all characters, burping their way to freedom after being trapped on the ceiling?

It is hard to tell the kids one thing while they watch the opposite on TV.

Soon the day will come when they rush home from school, eyes wide open shouting:

“Dad, Dad, guess what????”

It will catch me off guard and I will think awards, medals or commendations. But no, they will with a massive smile on their face tell me:

“I burped the alphabet today”

And I will be so proud.

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