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“Oh my gosh, we have such a busy week next week,” I was saying to my oldest, Paige, on our haul up three flights of stairs to the girls dance studio.  I had just hauled up these stairs already, a few hours before, taking Allie to her class.  “So, next week, you have your Pen Pal Picnic at school on Wednesday.  Thursday, you’ll have your trip into Boston for your field trip to the New England Aquarium.  As soon as that’s done, you’ll have to come home, take everything off, eat quickly-” my thinking out loud is interrupted by a loud, long fart, let loose by the pretty ballerina, my daughter, following me up the stairs. 

She’s eight.  Farting is still hysterical.  And let’s face it, if it’s at an inopportune time, it usually is pretty funny.  It’s not something you expect out of the girl that makes you refer to her as ” Your Majesty” and is dressed primly in ballet tights and a leotard. 

I’ve lost her.  She’s a hysterical mess in the stairwell.  She holding herself up only by the hand rail halfway between landing one and two.  She no longer even making noise, she’s just a shaking mass, eyes half shut, sporadically making snorts and squeaks.  I’m now laughing at her.  She’s got the best laugh, and one she’s one of those people that can delight a crowd, no matter where she is.  Whether she’s dancing or farting, she’s captivating. 

I compose myself, “Anyway, you’ll have to get undressed right when you get home from your field trip Thursday, eat, and then we’ll get your costumes together and it’s off to your dress rehearsal.  Sound good?”

She can finally speak.  “Yeah,” she says, as we come to the second floor landing and start making our way to the third.  “But it doesn’t smell good.”  She’s hobbling her way up to the third floor, dragging herself along the stairs, squeaking with glee at her comical joke.  Doubled over with laughter, she’s having a hard time even lifting her foot to the next stair.  Suddenly, she shuts off.  The laughter stops, like a second personality has suddenly kicked in.  “Wait….are we still talking about the fart?” 

And I’ve lost her again.  “Apparently,” I acknowledge.  A moment later, I can’t help joining her in laughter, when I see a woman, waiting in the stairwell for her own daughter to come out of the dance studio, smirking at us.  She’s heard the whole conversation.  Fart and all.  Turns out to be quite the echo-y stairwell. 

If I see Paige in irrepresible laughter on stage this week, I’ll know why. 

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