That’s Not Where Snot Goes

Here’s something I learned: I can only ask, “Do you need a Kleenex?” 17 times within a four hour period before I give up. Arlo inherited a clean nose obsession from me. If I feel anything clinging or flapping around in there like a sad little prisoner, I can do nothing else until I free it. Usually I blow it into a Kleenex, but sometimes I pick my nose because I’m a grown-ass man who can do whatever he wants while sitting at a red light or standing in line at the pharmacy.

I don’t carry around a handkerchief because who wants a 16 square foot piece of cloth smattered with nasal effluvium in his pocket? Also, I’m not 85 years old. My grandmother used to store a tissue inside the sleeve of her shirt nestled comfortably against her wrist and I’m still upset about it. When I see a guy pull out a “hanky,” toot his giant man nose, and then stuff it back into his pocket, I think, “Why not do the same thing with toilet paper, you frightening maniac?”

Of course I’m wrong about all this, but it’s just one of the many ridiculous opinions I hold onto that makes me a precious snowflake.

So my three year old son picks his nose. I know I know, but look — it’s hard enough to keep him from throwing a puppet at the TV or ripping up his brother’s wizard hat, so I have to prioritize. And my wife concurs. When I asked her what we should do about “the whole nose picking thing,” she answered as if I’d asked her if she’d read any good books lately: “What? Oh God, that’s so not on my radar right now.”

When my kid has his finger in his nose (and my kid is really really cute so it’s not gross — really), I say, “Stop picking your nose” (because I’m trying). He responds with “But I have a boogie.” “Can I get you a Kleenex?” I ask. “NO.” Well, OK then, I guess you have this all figured out and your mom and I will just commit to washing your sweatshirt more frequently and making sure you use extra Purel after visiting the petting zoo. I have to pick my battles as a parent and I think it’s best if I abdicate this one to his teachers and peers at preschool.

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gary says:

I loved the precious snowflake line. I’ve been using it for YEARS to make people (including myself) feel insignificant. Also to relay the fact that believing they are “unique” is naive. Just found your blog; very glad that i did. I have a 15 month old and I already see a lot of the things that you write so eloquently about.

@Mama411NYC says:

A funny essay on nose picking to enjoy with your morning coffee. You are welcome.

dan says:

Actual quote from convo from about 17 years ago with my oldest (almost two at the time): “Why are you picking your nose?” “Boogies are tight!”

rhiannon says:

I find getting up in his face and yelling give me my gold!!! stops him for a little while

teagansmomma says:

My daughter turned two last month. She’s got allergies, which means lots of snot and a constant (ugh) runny nose. On the rare days that her nose actually dries out, she;s left with monster boulder boogers. She picks them out and runs to me. I can either stop everything I’m doing at the present moment and accept her gracious gift with a tissue, otherwise she likes to wipe it on my shirt. Yesterday she came running up with her arms wide open. I was thinking “Yay, a hug!”. Nope, not that lucky. She landed in my chest face first, wiped her nose across my chest, then ran off. I looked like I was the one mauled by slugs. lol

PaulaKeenan says:

After asking our daughter repeatedly not to eat her boogers I too decided to go the peer route. I said, “you’re in Kindergarten now sweetie. You can’t eat your boogers. Kindergarteners don’t eat their boogers” to which she responded by naming every one of her kindergartener classmates that eat their boogers. She’ll either figure it out on her own or as goodevilgenious points out, continue to have a stellar immune system.

BG5 says:

My daughter used to pick her nose and tired to eat it and I told her we
don’t eat boogers and her very serious response (she was about 2 1/2)
was “But we eat them when they go down the back of our nose” I had nothing to respond to that lol!

thebeatgoeson says:

My daughter used to pick her nose and eat the results. My mother told her “That’s disgusting. I don’t want to see that” and she promptly replied “then don’t look at me”. Perfect response in my opinion.

KristiYoung says:

None of my 5 EVER needed a Kleenex either. I kept asking tho. You’d think after like 20 years of “Uh-uh” I’d stop. I can’t stop!!! Why can’t I stop? Now there are grand kids. * Sigh