On Friday afternoon, B came home from school with a goodie bag from a pizza party at school. G looked longingly at the bag and asked for a piece of candy. Usually B does share. I'm torn about whether or not to make him share something he's earned--like candy for memorizing Bible verses or the goodie bag for earning good grades on six tests' worth of 9 Weeks Tests. Luckily, G had his heart set on gum, and babysitter/godmom had a canister full of the same gum. She offered him a piece.
I have never given G gum. I rarely chew it myself. I tell students to spit out gum so often, it feels wrong to chew it myself! Godmom and I tried to explain that he would chew the gum, but not swallow it. She took the extra precaution of hacking through the Double Bubble with a kitchen knife so that his first serving would only be a third of a regular serving. After grilling him one more time about what to do with the gum, she handed him his first piece.
G took it, popped it in his mouth, and concentrated on chewing. Ten seconds later, he said, "Now I spit it out?" We assured him he could chew it until he got home. He looked a little unsure, but seemed to go with it.
I loaded him in the car and watched him chew from my rearview mirror. His chewing looked funny. His furrowed eyebrows told me he was really concentrating. His lips were closed, and his dimple was in full effect. When you chew gum, are your lips closed? You're not supposed to smack gum, but he looked just like he was chewing food, which somehow looks different from chewing gum.
As soon as we got home, he wanted to spit it out. I walked him to the trashcan. Perhaps we should have described how "spitting" out gum is different from "spitting" in general. He hocked up quite a bit of saliva and spat. The gum did not come out.
It was stuck behind his teeth. He showed me where, and we took turns trying to pull it away. It was stringy and it clung to his teeth. We opted for a toothbrush. Using the toothbrush was an endeavor. It took several minutes to get it all.
Then he asked for another piece of gum.