Home On The Fringe

Fringe Art

Contact Us

Recent Ramblings

The Chronicles

Fringe Reads

  • Powered by Blogger
  • Weblog Commenting and 

Trackback by HaloScan.com
  • Get StatCounter!

No Kissing, No Secrets, No Gum

"What's that smell I smell?" Bryce asked from the first row of the back seat on our way to school this morning. Not knowing for sure if he was referring to the 3 months accumulation of moldy food remnants on the floor of the van or the stale, acidic aroma from the coffee cup I had forgotten to take in the house from 3 days ago, I said "What smell?"

"That smell I smell" he replied. "Is it gum?"

"Yes, it's gum", realizing I had just popped a stick of spearmint gum in my mouth.

"Can I have some?"

"No, no gum. You're not old enough to chew gum yet."

"When will I be old enough?"

"When you're seven years old"


The drive to Bryce's school is 8.3 miles one way, has 13 stop lights, is on one of the busier streets in town, has mostly commercial businesses and strip shopping centers on both sides of the street, and it takes 26 minutes to get there if I hit all 13 red lights (which is usually the case.) The drive is bad enough with all the cars pulling in and out, turning left and right, cars weaving in and out of traffic but to add two kids who don't like sitting still for 30 seconds can be very dangerous.

To keep the boys' interest (and prevent yelling and fights), I try to make up games to play along the way, or get them to sing along with me to made up songs, or make up stories about the people in the cars next to us at stop lights. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This morning I was singing "The William Tell overture". Well, not really singing, more like "ba da bum, ba da bum, ba da bum bum bum." I would do it very softly at first, then loudly at the "ba da bummmmm, (slight pause for effect) ba da bum bum bum!" The boys would wait with anticipation as I built up to the thunderous crescendo, and "ba da bum bum bum" right along with me, breaking into fits of laughter.

As we were getting closer to the school, Bryce announces to me "You have to take your gum out of your mouth."

"No, I don't. I am going to keep it for while longer."

"Dad, my school has three rules"

"Three rules?"

"Yes Dad, three rules. The rules are: no kissing, no secrets, and no gum. So you have to take the gum out before we get to my school."

"Those are the three rules at your school? No kissing, no secrets, and no gum?"

"Yes Dad, those are the three rules."

"So I can't give you a kiss goodbye before you get out of the van?"

"No, no, no, no. You can kiss me, that's OK, we just aren't allowed to kiss other kids. And no secrets, and no gum."

I decided to take the gum out of my mouth, to show him that rules are rules, and everyone must abide whether we like them or not, so I took the gum out of my mouth and wrapped it in the foil.

"Is it out?" he asked.

"Yes, it's out. I wrapped it up in the wrapper."

"Thanks, Dad" he said as we pulled up to the curb. I helped him unbuckle his carseat harness and handed him his backpack. "Have a great day!" I told him, and gave him a kiss. He jumped out of the van and headed down the sidewalk to the school entrance.

We attempt to minimize the amount of violence the kids see. We don't have any toy guns, power ranger / GI Joe videos or toys, or the like. Since this is also something the school endorses, the 3 rules consisting of no kissing, no secrets, and no gum is as great a place as any to start with 4 year olds. Just another reason Kristen and I really like Bryce's school.