Bubble Gum 101

May 13, 2011

About a week ago Emma bought her first pack of Bubble Yum and started trying to learn to blow a bubble.  She tried and tried without any success but she didn’t give up.  Emma was determined to learn to blow a bubble for the same reason she usually wants to buy or do something : “because ALL my friends are doing it”.  Oh, the peer pressure when you are eight years old … I can hardly wait for those teenage years!

A few months ago Emma was on this campaign to get her ears pierced.  It was all we heard about for weeks and although I never said “no”, I never said “yes” either so Emma persisted to keep asking.  One day after asking me four times in one hour she said, “Mom, do you know WHY I want to get my ears pierced?”  I sighed, trying to not lose my patience and said, “No, Emma. Why do you want to get your ears pierced?”  Emma smiled and said, “Because ALL my friends are getting their ears pierced!”  Thinking that this would be a good learning experience I said,  “Well, if ALL your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump too?”  Emma look confused and said, “Of course not … but I don’t see what jumping off a bridge has to do with getting my ears pierced.”  Hmmm … not the teachable moment I thought I was providing.

So, back to the bubble blowing story ….

I was helping teach Emma how to blow a bubble and after she went through about 10 packs of Bubble Yum she was finally successful and blew her first bubble.   Emma was thrilled to master this new skill and continued to blow bubbles and show them to everyone.  Ethan soon realized Emma was getting way more attention than him AND that she could do something that he couldn’t .  

Ethan asked Emma if he could “borrow” a piece of gum to which she replied, “You can keep it, I don’t think I’ll want it back!”  Ethan took the piece of gum, rolled his eyes and said, “I see you have your smartie pants on again today.”

I gave Ethan the same instructions I had given Emma.  I showed him how to flatten the gum on the roof of his mouth with his tongue and then how to move the gum to the front of his mouth so he could use his teeth and tongue to make a pocket in the bubble and fill it with air.  Ethan watched closely and tried his hardest, but couldn’t make a bubble.  He was getting frustrated and the tears started to flow. 

Ethan is very competitive (especially with his twin sister). For those of you who follow my blog you may remember my earlier post on sibling rivalry vs twin rivalry.  Ethan also has little patience when it comes to learning new things. It’s like when he first started playing basketball or baseball … he thought he would be able to just pick up a basketball and make a basket or pick up a bat and hit a homerun.  We have explained to him that it takes lots and lots of practice to learn a new skill, but that doesn’t seem to help calm him down.

 In this instance I also pointed out that it took Emma an entire week to learn to blow a bubble and that he had only been trying for 10 minutes.  This didn’t’ help ….he was now sobbing and trying to blow a bubble and ended up accidentally spitting his gum out onto the floor.  I told him I thought he should take a break and try again tomorrow. 

He looked at his gum that was covered in crumbs and dirt from being on the floor and agreed. He threw his gum in the trash and in less than 5 minutes he was happily playing with his older brother, Drew, and had forgotten all about the bubble gum.   At least he bounces back quickly!

So it looks like I will be stocking up on Bubble Yum again this weekend and we will begin another class in bubble blowing. Not that I am complaining … I have actually had fun chewing gum, blowing bubbles, and feeling like a kid again.  I hadn’t blown a bubble in years, but I guess it’s kinda like riding a bike ~ once you learn how, you never forget!