The Age of Flatulence

My kids are “fart jokes” years old. You know the age — everything is “poopy” this and “pee pee” that with a little bit of “butts” sprinkled in. It’s all toilet humor, all the time in our house. And what I’ve noticed is that some of the shows they watch and books they read are reinforcing those comments. It’s as if flatulence is de rigueur.

For instance, take the game, “Gas Out.” One of my wife’s family members gave it to our kids for Christmas. The goal of the game is avoid squeezing the “fart” out of the game piece, after squeezing it the amount of times listed on a game card. My kids think the game is hilarious. The game is actually quite fun; it’s a little like Duck, Duck, Goose of the fart variety. Basically, you don’t want to be the one who makes the fart fart. Unless you’re my kids. That’s all they want to do.

And everywhere you turn — or smell — it’s all about the farts. My kids favorite character in the “Crossy Road” video that they’re currently addicted to is Poopy Pigeon, of course. And there’s a cartoon on Netflix called “Mutant Busters” where a disaster known as the “Great Fart” takes place. The whole show is one extended fart joke. Boy, I suppose these authors and game creators know their audience. At least they know my kids.

I guess I’m wondering how to feel about this. It’s not like farts and bodily functions are a secret. Farts are funny. Every comedian knows that. And they’re a gold mine in the minds of kids, especially little boys. But it makes me uncomfortable in the sense that I want my kids to know that there are boundaries and that some things in life are simply rude, like farts, burps and scatological conversations.

My oldest, 7, told me that kids in his class fart all the time. I love that freedom and wish that I could do that at my workplace but it also feels like we’re entering a slippery slope of fart excess.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not a prude. I’m a guy, after all. I can fart and burp with the best of them. But I want my kids to know that there’s a time and place for everything and sometimes farts and burps and potty talk is best kept in-house or, better yet, in the bathroom.

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