Surrounded By Farts and Other Gross Things

As the lone woman in a house of boys, one mom chronicles the farts, boogers and other things that push her into 'testosterone overload'

father and three sons

I am surrounded by males. Two boys of my own plus a stepson. I have a husband, an ex-husband and a male dog. I am surrounded by testosterone and farts. My oldest son has ADHD as does my ex-husband, which means not only is my world gross, it’s loud, wild, chaotic, jittery and hilarious. As a result, I have developed what we’ll call TONB, which is a syndrome spreading like wildfire in the Mommy community (I would think, right??) but is widely under-diagnosed and unknown.

TONB syndrome: Testosterone Overload, Need Bubbles. Bubbles in any form, from a hot bath with no one coming in saying, “Oh My God, I saw your boobies,” to a nice glass of Prosecco without someone asking, “Can you smell the fart I just let? I can, it’s bad. Can you smell it, here does this help?” as they use their hands to fan the smell my way.

If there is any question that TONB is real, let me assure you that for me, it is as real taxes. Let me detail some of the occurrences in my world that have led to my TONB — I’ve heard, said and experienced the following:


“Mommy, I farted and the fart bubble is stuck in my butt.”

“Mommy, Aidan farted on my head and said farts leave tiny poops behind. Get it off!”

“Hey, lets’ see if we can fill this balloon with farts.”

“Mommy!!! I farted but it came out as poop.”

“Boys, you do not fart at the table.” Which then led to them standing up quickly and walking behind their chair, farting and claiming, “But it wasn’t AT the table!”

“Mommy, I farted and it hurt my butt. I need to stay home from school.”


Note home from school for my oldest: “I wanted to let you know today Aidan had to spend second recess inside for burping in a classmate's face. When I asked him about the situation (which I witnessed) he said, ‘I didn’t burp in her face. I was burping and her face got in the way.’ Even I had to chuckle at that. But please remind Aidan, burping in people’s faces is not OK.”

“Haha! My burp came out my butt.” (Could also be included in above section.)

When reminding my boys not to burp at the table, “But if it stays inside it will get bigger and I’ll explode!”

Note home from school for my oldest: “There was an incident in our spelling lesson today where I asked who could recite the whole alphabet. Aidan raised his hand and proceeded to belch out his ABCs. I was able to get him to stop by F, but the class was out of control laughing by then, and the rest of the lesson time was spent calming them down. When I tried to talk to Aidan about it he said the burp was stuck in his brain and burping it out was the only way to get the letters out of his mouth. Please remind Aidan, burping in class is not acceptable.”

“Burps are mother nature’s way of letting us make a breeze.” (Now this I thought was quite clever but still had to remind him it was not OK to do in my friends face. Even if she did say she needed more fresh air.)

The penis

“Mommy look! My penis is hard and it is so big!”

“Please don’t put your dinosaurs in your penis hole!”

“No, you need fresh air. Your penis does not. We’re at the park, pull your pants up!”

“Mommy, I have a boner! Make it stop!”

“Take the toilet paper off. Your penis is not a mummy!”

“No your penis does not need a drink. Don’t even think about putting it in your milk.”


“Because wiping your boogers on your wall is gross, that’s why.”

One morning my son was singing to his finger. When I looked, I saw he had a booger on it. He cried bloody murder as I wiped it off, lamenting, “He was my friend!”

“I understand it is show-and-tell today and the letter is B. That does not mean you show and tell about your boogers.”

“Please stop picking your nose. No, your boogers are not lonely and need attention.”

I could go on, believe me, there are more. But I imagine you get the picture at this point. I’m surrounded by all things … gross. And I simply long for a warm bath, in a candlelit bathroom, with a glass of bubbly and a good book.

And no, boys, I am not in the bathroom making my own bubbles.

And no, you cannot come in and play in the bathwater with your toys.

Nope, I don’t want to see your penis do tricks, and no I am not impressed that you could burp the Little Einstein’s cartoon theme song.

OK, well, that one might be a little cool.

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