Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Incident Involving Gum

While Diane gears up for the big race (go Diane!), I'm happy to help keep her mind off her blog and take over posting for a day.

Oh, and I'm Laural from Mamasphere, by the way. Nice to meet all of you!


I’ve had an incident from the weekend on my mind. An incident involving gum.

Gabi, my just turned four year old daughter, LOVES gum. And now that she loves gum, I have come to HATE gum.

I used to be a fan of gum, but gum and preschoolers do not mix. They are like oil and water. Whenever Gabi has gum, it slides right out of her mouth and attaches to something else in the house. Or car. And then I get very upset. So gum and I are no longer buds.

After too many furniture, hair and blanket tragedies, I banned gum and made a new rule (we're all about rules at our house lately) that Gabi isn't allowed to have any more gum until she is five.

And when gum isn’t in sight, she’s pretty accepting of this rule. But then she’ll see a gum commercial or another kid chewing away and all heck breaks loose and ultimately ends in tears. But after everything I’ve already gone through with the sticky stuff, tears do not sway me. This new rule is a hill I will die on.

Or so I thought.

Over the weekend I received a box of goodies from a Favorite Things swap I participated in. One of the items was gum. And Gabi honed in on that little pack like it was the only thing in the whole room. She petted it. She smelled it. She watched me with her big green eyes to see if I would let her have a piece. Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore.

Gabi: Mommy? I need to tell you something.

Me: What is it?

Gabi: Mommy, I'm telling the TRUTH. Really I am. Mommy, I need to tell you something really important.

She rubbed her hands against my cheeks, trying to butter me up.

Gabi: I promise that this time I won't do what I did last time if you let me have a piece of your gum.

Me: No, honey. You know the rule.

Gabi: PLEASE, mommy. I promise to be good. I'm telling you the truth, I really am! That thing I did last time, I promise I won't do it again!

Knowing this was going to go on and on, I resorted to an old mom's standby and said something to make her think I was saying yes.

Me: Okay, honey, WE'LL SEE.

And then the fun began.

Gabi: Yay! I know, mommy! I will do three chores and then I can have a piece of gum! I'm going to make a CHART!

And she did. She drew a picture for each chore she was going to do, then put a check next to it after it was done.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that her work was all for naught, so after the third check had been marked (and, oh, how my organizationally obsessed heart sang when she wanted to make a chart! and then used checks!) I relented and let her have a piece of gum. I mean, list making deserves an award!

Gabi was in total heaven for the whole two minutes that the gum stayed in her mouth.

Why oh why did I think I could look away for even a second? Because that gum slid straight out of her mouth and attached itself to a couch cushion.

And Gabi, afraid she'd get in trouble, didn't pick it up or tell me about it. So when I sat down later that day, I didn't know that I was in for a really special surprise. A gummy couch AND gummy pajama pants.

Luckily our cushions are treated and the gum came off without too much damage (though damage there is). But the pajama pants had to go in the garbage.

The rest of the gum pack is with me here at work, safely out of the reach of a gum loving four year old that just isn't quite old enough to handle the responsibility attached to such a treat.

I’m wondering if five is far enough off. Maybe we should make it seven.


amanda said...

oh gabi :)

love that she made the check list - a mommy's dream!!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I hate gum too but we live next door to my parents and one of the treats that they give my kids is gum. Ugh!

Susie said...

Thank God my daughter's don't chew gum!! The dentist is scary enough!

Shanna said...

Ohhhhh that stings! LOL poor Gabi gets no more gum ... FOREVER muwahahha ;)

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

She soooo deserved that gum. What a cutie!

Jenn said...

OMG that is too funny. I hate to tell you this, but my dd will be 6 next month and she still can't handle her gum. I'm thinking 10 (or maybe 15?)

McMommy said...


Matty has only had one accident with gum: It was minor. I just chopped that bit of hair off his head.

My mother had a heart attack though when she saw his hair.

Autumn's Mom said...

Gum and Candy are two things I'd rather not have in the house. Both end up stuck to the carpet or worse! Cute that she was willing to work for gum.

Susan said...

A chart and check marks...I totally would have caved too!

Lynette said...

Poor Gabi. My son was so in love with gum that he would ask strangers on the street "Hidoyouhaveanygum?" He never dropped it anywhere though. He SWALLOWED it. Every time. Until he was 8.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I'd like to punch whoever invented gum ;)

Simona said...

Oh, Laural, could Gabi be any more like you? The chart is just too much!

Oh, and serves you right for giving in! What made you think the gum was actually going to stay in her mouth? (;

Leslie said...

Oh Laural, how cute that she made a list!!! I too would have given her the gum. My step-daughter was the same way with gum. It took a LONG time for her to get it right.