Rites of Bubble Gum Passage

Violet Beauregarde, eat your heart out. There’s a new gum champ in town.

It happened in the middle of IKEA, Saturday afternoon. Annabelle blew her first bubble gum bubble.

I was so proud. It hasn’t been a huge focus for her, but from time to time she’s asked me how to blow a bubble, and it’s one of those things that’s so instinctual, you can’t really explain it. At least, I can’t. I showed her how I wad the gum up with my tongue, against the top of my mouth, then poke my tongue through and — well, you know how to blow a bubble gum bubble, I don’t need to tell you.

And now I don’t need to tell Annabelle. She needs some more practice, sure, but after several minutes of focus (literally) in the mirror department, she was a pro by the time we got to the patio furniture.

That’s nothing, I’ve gotta say, compared to the gum milestone Sophie experienced the previous week, when we bought the package of Trident that led to Annabelle’s first bubble.

It was Sophie’s first piece of gum. I hesitated for obvious, myriad reasons. But Annabelle picked out the package of blueberry gum (another nod to Violet, I don’t have the package anymore but it WAS blue so we’ll call it blueberry, it was some kind of berry) and Sophie was right there in the cart with her, begging, so I agreed.

It was a solemn moment. I unwrapped the small piece and handed it over. “Don’t swallow!” Annabelle and I both insisted, loudly and often, as we made our way through the check out aisle and out to the car.

The problem was, Sophie took us too literally. Not only didn’t she swallow the gum, she didn’t swallow any of the accompanying saliva — making it pretty gross when she spit her gum into my hand. And possibly decreasing the enjoyment of chewing a piece of gum.

We’ll work on it.


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One response to “Rites of Bubble Gum Passage

  1. kittymama

    When we moved here from California, I got recurring ear infections (I think it was from swimming a lot). Among my treatments was to chew bubble gum. I don’t know why it had to be bubble gum and not just any old gum (sugar-free hadn’t been introduced yet). I saved a big pile of Bazooka Joe comics, but I’ve never blown a bubble (I did try), and I have never enjoyed chewing gum. If we had more time to think about it, I’m sure it would be interesting to think about why some people or families like gum and some don’t.

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