On vacation a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of a big difference between my husband and me. It involves an 8-year-old boy, a first encounter with a whoopee cushion, a crowded beach store, and lots of giggles.
While shopping in one of the many tourist stores, my son came upon a self-inflating whoopee cushion. I knew he had never seen one, so I sat back to take in his reaction. Another first in his life I didn’t want to miss. In a corner at the back of the store, he repeatedly plopped his bottom onto the cushion and laughed at the resounding flatulence. He, his cousin, and sister took turns trying to get the best noise. I was the adult overseeing this nonsense and got a few giggles out of it myself, remembering my own fun with one many years ago. It wasn’t a big scene, just some innocent laughter and then I broke it up.
My son took the cushion and said he wanted to show it to his dad. I wondered how this would turn out, but I didn’t make it through the crowd in time to see my husband’s reaction.
My husband recalled the scene later: “Our son came up to the front of the store where everyone was standing in a long line at the register. He put the whoopee cushion on the floor and said, ‘Dad, you’ve got to see this!’ and plopped down on it. Pffffttttt! I just walked away and pretended he wasn’t my son.”
I sometimes feel our roles are reversed, when a whoopee cushion disturbs my husband more than me. What would I have told my son at the register in front of all those people? I know I would have told him to put it back…after I stopped laughing.