Monday, November 27, 2006


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!"
Now what??
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.


Anonymous said...

That is funny and gross:) I hate germs ! I'm not crazy with it, but I do wash my hands or use antibacterial stuff several times a day.
I'd be afraid to let my guy (2 1/2) chew gum, I'm afraid it would end up in his or his sisters hair.

Haley-O said...

I just HATE gum. I can barely read about it here without gagging! Seriously. I have nightmares about gum -- it's that bad....

But, I CANNOT believe he was chewing pre-chewed gum!!!!!! EWWWW! and hilarious! ;)

becky said...

Hey Laural,
I went to costco and took Kyla to the huge gum isle and let her pick her favorite. Who cares? She loves gum and she learned. I think she was matty's age. We just have a mountain of swallowed gum that is in her tummy, but she eventually learned. Know its great - it takes the place of candy all the time!

Amanda said...

Oh, that sure is quite the dillema you have on your hands! I don't know what to say really. Honestly, I cannot say much as my daughter isn't at that stage *YET* and I have learned not to give out too much advice for children older than her because you really cannot get it until you are there. However, having said that, I am thinking a few things. First of all, some people say that chewing sugar free gum is good for children as it helps clean their teeth when their teeth don't necessarily get brushed all that well. I also think that I would feel the same way as you that buying gum is a much better alternative to chewing pre-chewed gum! I wonder if you could rationalize a bit with him and tell him a story about someone who ate pre-chewed gum who got sick from it?
Good luck! This is a tough one.