This morning, as my kids piled out of the van at school like entertainers from a clown car, I snagged my Kindergartner by the elbow.

"Coby, are you chewing gum?" I asked sternly. "You can't have that at school, you know. And besides, I already told you that you weren't allowed to have any this morning." After you and your brothers begged and pleaded and only succeeded in pissing me off.

His brown eyes widened sheepishly. "It's from yesterday," he shrugged, spitting it into my outstretched hand. "I stored it in the cup holder."

... Gross.

As I stared at the sticky lump in my palm, trying not to imagine all the disgustingness festering there, I vowed for the umpteenth time never to let my kids have gum again. EVER.

I don't know what it is about gum, but it's the thing I hate above all other confections. Probably because it ends up everywhere except in their mouths where it's supposed to be. Like this:

 It wasn't so cool when he realized it was stuck in the hairs on the back of his neck.

Is it just my kids? Is the proper chewing and disposal of gum too advanced for them? I mean, the ones who chew it are school-aged. They are relatively intelligent. They're fully aware of the locations of each trash receptacle in our house. Is it so far-fetched to think that they're capable of chewing it for a little while, then spitting it out in the proper place?

Apparently so. 

Because yesterday afternoon they got some gum (from Dad, naturally) ... and this happened.

... And gum in the cup holder of my van. Of course.

Is there an age where kids magically start chewing gum in the way it's supposed to be chewed? Or are my kids just developmentally delayed where gum is concerned? Give it to me straight, people: are they "gum-dumb" or are your kids the same?

Inquiring minds need to know. For the sake of my sanity ... and my carpet.


  1. Ha, ha. They ALL do that! Otherwise, why would we have to scrape the undersides of desks, tables, etc to get rid of the stored and sometimes (I hope to god their) re-chewed gum? I don't think there is a magic age where they start chewing it normally...just at some point they get better at getting rid of the evidence....and by evidence I mean the actual gum. The wrappers NEVER land in the trash can where they belong.

  2. I love your posts! But this one hit home. I am the mom of 4 boys and a girl smack in the middle. We are crazy as the oldest is 7 1/2. This is also my story with the gum! My daughter does all the above and more. This week it was "saving" gum (she got from Sun night church- NOT from me) and "saving" it UNDER her pillow (daddy put her to bed). Yeah- that made for a fun morning. I feel your pain every time you write. Thanks for sharing.

  3. My older two(girls) are 9 and 10 and are still not allowed gum in the house for this very reason! I do let them have some if we are outside somewhere, but they have to spit it out if I tell them to for any reason!

  4. Gum transducers are banned from my house (which never works because the minute I put my foot down, some well-meaning person gives all 5 of my kids a "treat" of either gum or suckers, or a combination of the two.) Chewed gum, wrappers, sucker sticks show up everywhere...yuck!! Love your blog...We have 4 boys too, and one girl who is sure she's in charge of them all!

  5. Gum is evil. It must be banished from this Earth. I forbid it. I don't buy it. I LOATHE it. Yet, my kids seem to have it ALL THE TIME! Add that to magic sand, silly putty, whatever that stuff is that produces fart noises when you stick your finger into a tub of, and you have my list of most hated substances on the planet.


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