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.