I don’t know nothin’ ’bout burpin’ no babies

            It is a grammatical fantasy to turn “burp” into a word with a direct object.  The subject of a sentence can burp, as in “I burped so loudly the windows shook,” but the subject of the sentence cannot burp the direct object.

            As in: “I burped the baby.” 

            Babies cannot be burped.  After having three of them, I have concluded that it is hubris to imagine we have any control over this particular activity.  I know because, try though I might, I never seemed to have any effect whatsoever on my sons’ ability to get out those gas bubbles.  My husband was somewhat more effective, but since he was out of town so frequently, I could not rely on him to show up after every feeding and use those broad shoulders to coax out the burps.  So, I would sit there, holding Zach in an upright position for twenty minutes till he got around to burping on his own.  Benjamin was even worse, and we had to start giving him special drops to help him move his gas along.

            So, imagine my delight the first time I fed Lilah and then positioned her for a sitting burp, only to have her belch before I could even start the process.  Yes, much as her brothers were the world’s worst burpers, Lilah is quite possibly gifted.  Every time she pulls off the breast and looks up at me placidly, I sit her up and she lets out an enormous burp.  She rarely fusses about it; she just pulls away and waits for me to sit her up.  Except for the times, of course, when she burps right there at the breast.

            I never knew a child could be so exemplary at this particular activity.  I never fathomed the beauty of a child who, instead of writhing in discomfort for a half an hour and then spitting up half of a feeding, simply sits up and burps.

            It may be a small talent, and it will probably cease to amuse me when she is eight and having dinner at a friend’s house, but for the time being, I am absurdly proud of her burping ability. 

            My daughter, the frat brother.

19 responses to “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout burpin’ no babies

  1. *frat brother* — HAHA!

    My first two didn’t burp much but also did not seem to need to burp much (??) so it was fine. Bear however, was just like your Lilah! I’d sit him up and he’d belch like a sailor! So long and incredibly loud for such a small person everyone in the house would turn and laugh.

  2. Being absurdly proud about things we cannot control – this is how I felt the first time I picked up Silas, and he immediately settled down. Asher was such a fussy newborn that I simply had to decide how to react to it, because nothing I did was going to calm him. So to have the ability to soothe my child – I felt like Superwoman, when really it never had anything to do with me.

  3. She’s already gifted! No wonder you’re proud!


  4. Hehehe. My boys would have definitely been in that frat. 😉

  5. Some children just have the gift! My three year old can burp on cue, every time. His father is so proud.

  6. There is definitely a sense of satisfaction in a baby’s burp that is missing in a 10 year old’s!

  7. Ahh, the Little Mister was excellent as well. Except when he wasn’t. Can’t complain much when there are no problems 19 times out of 20, right?

  8. Ahh, just like my Six, she is.

    And love the GWTW reference.

  9. My girl has this gift. I’ve never heard anything like it. High five to Lilah!

  10. she may soon be teaching her borhters how to burp the alphabet

  11. Alex does that too. And then he smiles at me, like mom, I’ve got this. It’s so much easier. Yea for Lilah that she can do it too.

  12. My first two had to be coaxed into burping by being held at a sit and very gently joggled (veeeeery gently or the joggling produced fountains of milk rather than the desired burp). The third was like your Lilah – perhaps it’s a third child thing? Now, can anyone tell me how to get the darn kid to STOP?

  13. ha HA!! rock on, little girl!

  14. oh yeah. She’ll be making you REAL proud along the way. (My sassy can burp with the best of them. And she’s damn proud of it.)

  15. I love that last sentence. Love.

  16. Now that is a talent to be proud of – this baby is clearly going to be gifted at the art of living, because the one thing that stands between a baby and a contented life is that burp. If she’s figured that out already, her life should be plain sailing!

  17. Mini still burps like a frat boy. It’s still hilarious. I love it when they go so against gender stereotypes like this.

  18. Ah, it’s good to have a skill at such a young age…

  19. So skillful for such a little girl! The Poose was not so gifted on the burping end, but now he’s quite good with the , er, other end. Nothin’ cuter than a little pooter!