Kids and Gum (@#$%&^*!!!!!)

Let’s talk about kids and gum, shall we? My daughter never had any issues, but Charlie would just swallow it, so I adopted my sister’s rule: “You have to be five to get gum.” Now I wish we had said six. Charlie turned five on Friday. His one birthday wish – a gum ball machine.

Originally, I bought a beautiful antique-looking one that was shiny, red and black. But I took it back, and I am so glad I did.

After thinking about a gum ball machine as a permanent fixture, I decided we would be better off with something that would break. I happened to know from the begging that happens at the grocery store that Charlie’s idea of a gum ball machine is a very small plastic one. So that’s what we got.

We gave it to him on his birthday. He was overjoyed. He chewed through all the gum (which is so bad that it only has flavor for about 12 seconds) and then it broke. This is good, right?

Yes. But where did all that already-been-chewed gum go?

It went into his other present. Charlie likes to play with money so I got him a petty cash box.

He loves it, but that didn’t stop him from spitting gum into the change compartments, or anywhere else for that matter. I also found some on the carpet (fortunately, it was hard as a rock and had not been stepped on). And I even found some on a marker, which made me shake my head (and, of course, get my camera).

I thought he was out of gum, but oh no, no.  Like a bloodhound he located some in a leftover goodie bag from his party, which he chewed and then attempted to store …in his EAR! I kid you not, Friends. Today I picked gum out of my son’s ear.

How? How does this happen? Apparently, bad information from a grown-up and bad eye-hand coordination.

At a wedding this weekend, someone with white curly hair told Charlie that when she was little she used to save her gum behind her ear. Well, little Charlie tucked that information away and today tried to tuck his gum away – and missed. At least he was smart enough to know something was wrong, so he mentioned it to me as I was driving. When we got home, I checked, and, sure enough, there it was, in all it’s sticky pink glory.

I couldn’t get it out. The napkin wasn’t working and ice would have eliminated his cooperation. So I actually took a piece of that hard-as-a-rock gum, chewed it up, and poor Charlie had to endure warm slimy gum from my mouth in his ear as I tried to get it out. OY. VEY. Are you kidding me?! Talk about things you never thought you would do.

Well, he’s officially out of gum, and I am officially out of my mind.

Does anyone else have gum craziness happening at their house?

13 Responses to Kids and Gum (@#$%&^*!!!!!)

  1. Teri June 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    I have 2 childhood gum stories:

    I, like you, always thought using chewed gum to remove stuck gum was the best tool. On a car ride to zoo one day, I was practicing my bubble blowing and popping with my purple Hubba Bubba. I popped a big bubble on my face and proceeding to remove it with the gum from my mouth. This must have been a particularly sticky piece of gum because it not only did NOT remove the gum from my face but it stuck more to my face and in the process stuck all over my hands. Obviously a brilliant child, I continued to try to get the gum off. In the end, both hands and my face were covered with gum and my dad ended up having to pull over at a closed gas station. Desperate, he tried using drops of gasoline to get the gum off. I don’t remember if the gas worked, but to this day I hate the smell of gasoline.

    I was probably about 9 or 10 years old. I was very proud of my really long hair that actually touched my butt. One evening when I was outside playing with my sister I noticed this clump of gum in my hair. Long story short, my 5 year old sister eventually admitted to placing the gum in my hair because “she didn’t have anywhere else to put it.”

    • Heather June 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Oh those are GREAT stories! I have many a memory of Hubba Bubba (grape was awesome!) and Bubbalicious and Big League Chew. We cut it out of my hair once, but I don’t remember the details. I also remember it being on a favorite nightgown that had to go away after that. I guess I went to sleep with gum in my mouth.

      That story about your long hair and your sister is hilarious and made me laugh out loud! It’s not lost on me that you said she was FIVE at the time. Ah, good times. thanks for sharing, Teri.

  2. Lisa June 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    This is why I miss you from the UPSer’shood. Gum rule is, yes you can have gum, but you get to only chew (insert however many pieces you are willing to tolerate in a day) for 10 minutes. Then you have to surrender it to a napkin in my hand. Think of this as the opposite of the time out chair. And if you are still willing to do it, I have a lovely gumball machine that is left over from the UPS M&M’s campaign of the past that I would love to send you.

    The lunch table is noticeably bare. The fun has left. The department has turned to the dark side.

    • Heather June 5, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Miss you guys, too. Time out gum is SO smart! Not sure how that would work since Molly (my Molly) handles it well. She would feel punished by it, and I don’t know how I could do it with Charlie only. I wish I had done something like that from the get go with both kids. Note to the other moms who haven’t gotten to gum yet: consider Lisa’s gum surrender plan!

      Good to hear from you, Lisa. Miss you, too!

  3. Lisa June 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Oh, and I miss you because no one else brings me Dove Chocolates when I’m having Alexander’s very bad, no good, rotten day.

    • Heather June 5, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      Lisa, I somehow missed the fact that you are a blogger! Wow, there’s so much going on with you. Wish I could be there and we could eat some chocolate together! Sending you good thoughts.

  4. Beth @ Free Stylin' June 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Oh my gosh!! This is crazy!! I’m with you…no gum until you are 6…no, 36…sounds good to me! I used to hide my gum in the back of my mouth before bed because I wanted to show of and chew it at school the next day. Yeah…it ALWAYS got caught in my hair instead. But the ear? I think that takes the cake, friend!! :)

    • Heather June 5, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      I remember going to bed with gum in my mouth, too. I guess we didn’t brush our teeth on those nights. I don’t remember my motivation for keeping it, but your memory of wanting to show it off at school the next day is probably not far from my line of thinking.

  5. Jane June 5, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Gum in the ear! How funny. I detest gum that isn’t in someone’s mouth. Inevitably, I always end up stepping in it or sitting on it.

    • Heather June 5, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      I wanna know which white haired lady at the wedding told him that. I’d like to put some gum in her ear.

  6. Diana Hatcher June 5, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    We don’t do gum in my house either (and my UPS gumball machine just sits up on a shelf collecting dust) but occasionally a relative or friend gives my son a piece. Because he never gets it, he covets the pieces he is given by placing his chewed gum that long ago lost its flavor in a baggie and carrying it around so it is available for his chewing pleasure for many days (or until I find the bag and toss it in the trash).

    • Heather June 5, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      The baggie is awesome. I love the way kids think. Gum preservation. Good stuff. You are the second person to mention the UPS gum ball machine. Are you talking about the truck that had M&Ms? I can’t remember the gum one…


  1. » Motherhood Moments: Kids Are Messy - August 12, 2012

    [...] Found gum on a straw. Better here than in Charlie’s ear. [...]

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