I hate chewing gum.
Ok, fine. I’m a bit of a hypocrite when I say that because I do chew gum myself but only at work and it’s only to get rid of my coffee breath before I see my patients. There is nothing worse then not feeling good and having a nurse with coffee stink breath in your face.
I guess what I really hate about chewing gum is little kids having gum. I feel like gum has no place in the mouths of children.
I didn’t always feel this way.
No, I used to allow my kids to have gum once in a while. They would chew it for a while and then swallow it and that was that. But then one day Quinn decided to take a piece of gum he was chewing on and when he didn’t want it anymore, set it on our brand new couch and then I proceeded to sit on it while wearing my favorite (and only) pair of designer jeans.
I was able to save the couch but my jeans… not so much.
So that was when I made the rule that in this house, children are not allowed to have gum until they are 15.
Well when you take something away from someone that they really really like, they only want it more. And that would be Quinn. That little dude has a big hard on for gum. He is always trying to sneak a piece or ask me, “Mommy, will I be 15 tomorrow?”
The way he looks at me with his big eyes almost makes me want to cave but then I remember my couch, my jeans and the annoying chewing gum chewers make and I hold firm.
Yup, just call me the meanest mom in the world.
The kids and I took a quick trip to Target to pick up 2 things we needed and leave with 20 things we didn’t. As I scanned and paid for our items, the kids ran to a near by drinking fountain for a drink. I gathered the bags and called all the kids to follow me.
Just as we were about to walk outside the door, I realized Quinn was chewing something and I didn’t remember giving anyone anything to eat.
“Quinn,” I said, “What’s in your mouth?”
Quinn stops dead in his tracks and just looks at me.
“Quinn, what is in your mouth?” I repeated.
Again, Quinn says nothing and just stares at me. I know something is up. I can read it all over his face. I figured that he was just pulling a ‘Hayden’ and found a random piece of something on the floor and popped it in his mouth to chew on because that is apparently what you do with random things on the floor.
“Quinn! What is in your mouth?!” I asked for the third time this time in my ‘very stern I am so serious you better tell me’ mom tone.
Quinn instantly begins to wail and as he does a small piece of white gum falls out from his mouth and lands at my feet.
Hayden quickly steps up to tell me what happened, that kid loves to throw his younger siblings under the bus, “Mom, he found that piece of gum at the drinking fountain and put it in his mouth to chew.”
I look at Quinn wailing and then at the chewed, ‘already been chewed’ by something else and Quinn, gum at my feet and instantly started dry heaving.
“Quinn did you put a chewed piece of gum in your mouth and start chewing on it?” I ask.
I dry heave again.
“Quinn someone else chewed that piece. That had been in someone else’s mouth,” I lectured, “We don’t do that. That’s disgusting!”
Quinn wailed louder. People around us were now watching and I knew we had to leave. I bent over picked up the piece of gum because I didn’t feel like I could just leave it there, that would be gross, and put it in the near by trash can.
I got my hand sanitizer out of my purse and scrubbed my hands, contemplated putting some in Quinn’s mouth but gave him some for his hands instead because I had to do something and we walked out of the store.
Once we reached the van, I spoke… “Quinn, when we get home you are going to brush your teeth twice and no gum until you are 16!”