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Ever since I can remember I’ve been windy. In life you either seem to be a mouth burper or a bottom popper. I was a card-carrying member of the later group. I can’t belch for the life of me, although some people can burp the entire national anthem - imagine that!
Much to my Mothers horror my wind was so infamous it was referenced in two of the four wedding speeches on my big day…. actually make that three I just remembered I referenced it.
Anyway I digress, back to my ‘back ‘bottom and digestive system. It was always a bit of a thing for me. Nine out of ten times my pop-offs were just very noisy luckily (unless I had eaten a curry) and I wasn’t the silent and deadly type. I actually thought mine were quite musical at times. And yes just like every young boy does I would have a giggle every time I passed wind. I was so windy. I mean I didn’t keep count but they were a large part of my day and night. Worst of all I didn’t even have a dog or child to blame back then.
I remember one time I was with my ex and he had hurt his knee and was on crutches. As it was his right knee and he was not long out of hospital I was driving him around chauffeur-style. We had just spent an hour at the physio, which was part of his daily recovery plan. The ex was hopping along the road and I was slightly ahead of him. We had just passed a gentlemen as I let a bit of wind out. Now as I mentioned earlier I was quite vocal down there (think fog horn). The passer by was just ahead of my ex and at the crucial point they were eye-to-eye. Obviously the gentleman thought it was him not me. The ex and the gentleman stopped and looked at each other and the chap said “Oh!!” and shook his finger at him half smirking. My ex was rightly mortified. However, as any nine year old boy trapped in a grown woman’s body would do, I laughed all the way home.
Fast-forward a few years later and pregnant with my son things changed. For a start (and as most women who have been pregnant would know first hand) things got dire in the wind department. I stopped being musical and started to become lethal. How the ex survived some of those nights in our bedroom is a miracle. They were dark, dark, dark times. We are talking eye watering and flower wilting wind
The funny thing is my wind completely changed after the pregnancy. It was if as my baby grew and got bigger in my tummy he inadvertently burst my inner whoopee cushion. I was still windy of course but the daily multiples had turned into just the ‘one’ first thing in the morning. Over night (well nine months to be exact) I had become a ‘one hit wonder’.
This was actually really great. I was thrilled. Honestly I was over the moon. I didn’t ever want to be a wind machine but that was the hand I had been dealt. And, as I once read in a trivia book (the type left by the side of a toilet) a man in the US actually broke two ribs trying to hold his wind in on a date. Based on this book I never risked a rib let alone two.
The wind of change.... sing it boys.
Life changed once I was a ‘one hit wonder’, I think maybe I grew up a bit when it came to my orchestral bottom. My inner nine year old boy finally made way for a more grown up feminine me, and my public wind outbursts started to cease. Don’t get me wrong I was still like the horn section blowing their way through Beethoven’s 5th first thing in the morning – but that was it.
This windy start was fine when I was still married. When I was sharing a room with someone who loved me and my pop-off alarm clock bottom for better or for worse. However things got tricky in that department once I was single.
I met a lovely chap, let’s call him Basil (clearly names have been changed to protect the innocent). Basil was my first serious relationship after my marriage ended. I still lived in the Northern Beaches but worked in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and it was easier to stay over at Basil’s as he lived near my office. He shared his terrace with his two teenage sons and one dog. A very sweet house but with only one bathroom which was situated directly under one of his son’s bedrooms.
I would wake up first, always with that awful pain in my tummy. The pain that could only be released if you broke wind. Knowing how vocal I was there was no way I could try to sneak it out while laying next to my new man. NO WAY. So, I would have to creep out of bed, down the rickety stairs and hope the family dog would remain deathly quiet as not to wake up the whole household. It was like a scene from Mission Impossible and yes just like Tom Cruise I do all my own stunts. There would always be a stray school bag, sneaker or dog’s toy laid out on my route to the bathroom trying to sabotage my mission.
Oh God the feeling of exquisite joy when I would get to the bathroom at the back of the house was overwhelming. But I wasn’t home and dry just yet. The next stage of ‘mission release the beast’ was to create a muffler out of sheets, and sheets of toilet roll.
You see I couldn’t just sit on the loo and let it go – with a thin ceiling and sleeping teenager above the noise and vibration would surely wake him. So with my three trees worth of toilet paper almost corking my back bottom I would slowly, ever so slowly, push and pray. Who needs coffee after such a heightened anxiety ridden start to your day?!
This scenario got worse once I had moved back to the East. The ‘small one’ and I had moved to a lovely top floor art deco pad. It was a-stone’s throw from my son’s new school and it was on a gorgeous tree lined street. The downside (apart from the bats and bat poo everywhere which is what you get when you live on a gorgeous tree lined street kids) was the one bathroom was next to the main bedroom and the toilet and bed head were on an adjoining wall. Can you see where I am going with this??
Basil was now able to stay at mine as it was close to both of our places of work and he would only stay when the ‘small one’ was at his Dad’s. My art deco pad was a great teenage free sanctuary and meant we got to watch what we wanted on TV. It was lovely to get some child and dog free time together. Except when it came to the mornings..
I felt like I was playing Russian roulette every time I had to let out my ‘one hit wonder’. I got myself into such a state I would almost try to avoid going to the loo and wait till I went to work that morning to use the toilet. This was ridiculous and saw me buying more De-gas tablets for my trapped wind than I had a budget for.
I finally came up with a solution. A solution I am not proud of. A solution I hope my son never finds out about.
I would go into the ‘small ones’ room (remember he was never there when Basil was) and I would arrange his selection of cuddly toys in a pile. Ellie the elephant was usually on top as he was huge. I would lie on top of the toys and slowly release what needed releasing. In short I had fashioned a cuddly toy bottom silencer. It worked a treat. I am not proud and would like to take this opportunity to apologise to both my son and his toys but I’d especially like to single out Ellie who bore the brunt of Mission ‘Release the Beast’.