My two year old son has a new found obsession with gum.
I'm not sure where it came from. It just appeared.
Lots of kids like gum. My niece, for instance, used to beg me for gum. And I would (and still will) buy her the good gum - Hubba Bubba or Bubblicious. She understood the concept of chewing and then spitting it out. She was enamoured when I blew bubbles.
I thought this would be the same thing with my son.
One time I let him have gum. And he loved it. It seemed he understood the concept. You chew till the flavour is gone then give it to Mommy. No biggie.
Then we had an incident where he had gum in his mouth at daycare - a big no no.
So I listened to the advice of his teacher and limited the gum. This worked for awhile.
We just kept saying "no gum" and life was good.
This lasted like a day. He now asks for gum constantly. And we constantly said no. This is consistent parenting. The child does not need gum.
And then the other day we were at a restaurant. And Matthew climbed under the table. And he hit pay dirt.
We realized he was being really quiet while we were eating our lunch (and no, it was not McDonald's. It was Tucker's).
A couple of minutes later up popped a very excited Matthew.
"Look what I found mommy!" He shouted.
I figured he had found some of the cheese that he had dropped or maybe a roll. But no.
He found pre-chewed gum under the table. And, he was chewing it.
So much for being strict. Our kid has gotten around the rules. Why ask Mommy for gum when you can find it for yourself.
We kind of freaked out and then he spit it out and we made him drink some juice and that was that.
You can't exactly reason with a two year old who has found the motherlode of gum.
We put the incident out of our minds and went on with our day.
The today we were sitting on the bus. Suddenly Matt hopped off the seat and crawled under it.
"What are you doing, Matt?" I naively asked.
"Looking for gum, Mommy!"
Since we were already en route to the grocery store I promised him that I would get him his very own pack of gum.
All you naysayers ... I get it. Kids shouldn't chew gum. But, chewing pre-chewed gum is far worse. I bought the sugar free kind, and I plan to dole it when asked.
And you know what? If nothing else my child will have the freshest breath on the block.