My daughter's class held a poetry reading yesterday at lunch. I cut out of work to soak in a little first grade culture.
Each kid got up, performed their readings, and then sat back down with their classmates. Parents clapped supportively. Everything was going according to plan.
Midway through the hour a fart ripped through the room. All the students around Daisy whipped around and looked accusingly at her. She shrugged her shoulders in a delicate admission of guilt and smiled sheepishly. Her classmates laughed and silently pointed at her. Daisy's smile turned to a frown and she quietly urged them to quit teasing her. The teacher soon noticed the disturbance and told everyone to sit quietly.
As it turns out, this is a frequent occurrence for Daisy. Like her old man, she's a farter. Although this is an entertaining attribute for me, a work-at-home guy, it's a cause for ridicule for sweet Daisy.
I can only assume that something in her diet is causing all the flatulence. However, due to all her allergies, her diet is already fairly restricted. No dairy, no eggs, and no nuts. I'm reluctant to start removing even more foods in the hopes of reducing the fart problem. So, rather than address the root cause, I decided a different approach was required.
"Daisy," I declared at dinner yesterday, "I've been thinking about your farts."
She eyed me, warily.
"Do you know how to fart silently? So that no one knows you farted?"
"No...." she said curiously, "How do you do that?"
"STOP THIS!" Hank yelled. "You're just doing this so that you have something to write about in y our blog!"
"That's not true. Farting silently is an important part of etiquette. Now, Daisy, gather 'round. Let your ol' poppy impart some wisdom."
So, I schooled her in the basics. We covered the following important techniques.
1) The One Cheek - This is the bread and butter of school farting, where students are often forced to sit for long periods of time. It involves shifting your weight over to one butt cheek and lifting the other cheek slightly. Then, once the .... uh.... anus is partially dilated, you release the fart. It should emerge quietly now that it does not have to squeeze out between clenched cheeks. Then, once the smell is noticed, you merely have to deny deny deny when accusing fingers start pointing.
2) The Dribbler - This technique involves letting the fart out a tiny bit at a time. You clench, holding it in, and then release for an instant, letting out a tiny bit of fart. Ideally these mini-farts can be timed to coincide with some other noises. If not, you just have to be experienced enough to make them quiet. This requires practice. In the best case scenario, the stink is let out slowly enough so that no one notices.
3) The Disappearing Act - The advantage of this technique is that it disperses the smell, but it can only be performed if you're allowed to walk around. The idea is to let out the fart, silently, as you walk through a crowd. By the time someone smells it, you're long gone. Unfortunately, letting out a silent fart while walking is hard to teach. Once again, this requires practice. It's worth it though.
Daisy listened quietly as I explained the options, focusing on the One Cheek as her top school option.
"OR, you could just excuse yourself and go to the bathroom," Hank interrupted.
"I think I'll just hold them in," Daisy said, exasperated.
Parenting is hard.