Snot: a Problem

'Tis the season!

No, I'm not talking about the holidays. Although 'tis that season too. No, what I'm talking about is far less enjoyable.

Snot, y'all.

All my kids, it seems, have almost-perpetually snotty noses this time of year. It's disgusting. We go through tissues like someone is eating them.*

*Okay, so Cameron may actually be eating them ... but you know what I mean. 

But despite the mass consumption of Kleenex, I feel like I still deal with an inordinately large amount of mucus around this piece. When the kids were all little, I had to worry about them wiping their noses on me. I had snot smears on every single garment I ever attempted to wear within five minutes of putting it on.

Now, though, I'm in an extra-special position. Because having an eight-year-old, a five-year-old, a four-year-old, and an eighteen-month-old, I have all kinds of different booger disposal methods to deal with: it's not just wiping noses on Mommy's pants and/or shoulders any more.

Take, for example, my eight-year-old. He's obviously old enough to know better than to wipe his snot on me; he's evidently not old enough, however, to remember to use a tissue every single time. Because he has this habit of running his snotty nose along the length of his sleeve, as though he couldn't possibly take the time out of tinkering with his computer or playing with his LEGOs or tormenting his brothers to actually go and get a Kleenex and use that. His sleeves are always streaked with vague dry smears of white. Blecch.

Then there's my five-year-old, who is apparently just as busy as his older brother - because instead of fetching a tissue, he just uses the handy built-in utensil I like to call HIS TONGUE. Blecch. Got a pesky blob of green goo streaming from your nose? No biggie - just a couple of licks and it's gone. This, however, creates a different problem: a horribly chapped, red, scaly area that not only encompasses his upper lip but the skin under his nose. So he walks around looking like he's sporting one hell of a Kool-Aid mustache unless I slather it with heavy-duty moisturizer three or four times a day. During which he screams "My liiiiiiips!" like someone is trying to murder him and I yell, "Then use a Kleenex and stop licking them!" Over. And over. And over. It's like ... it never actually sinks in.

When this isn't happening, you can find him at any given time with a finger wedged firmly in his nostril. Who knows: maybe he's trying to plug it so it won't run. Or maybe he's trying to touch his brain.

Either way, I just hope he outgrows all this before he tries to, you know, get a girlfriend.

And my four-year-old. He doesn't eat his boogers, thank goodness, but that's only because he seems horrified by snot in general. When his nose starts to run, he starts to scream - and doesn't stop until I've had a heart attack and rushed over to see if he's bleeding. "My nooooooose!" he bellows, in a tone that would usually be reserved for someone trying to snatch it off his face.

He is perfectly capable of reaching the tissues. He is perfectly capable of wiping his own nose (and he's learning to blow, unlike the time he shoved a popcorn kernel up there). I'm not sure what the deal is, but a runny nose renders him temporarily helpless. And more than slightly annoying.

Most of the time, I don't wish the years away. I try to take the advice of all the wise mothers who came before me, who tell me, "It goes so fast. They'll be grown up before you know it." BUT. When it comes to everyone controlling their own bodily functions - properly - I'm pretty sure I'm willing to hit the fast-forward button on that one.

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  1. LOL, the first thing I did when I came in your house last night was wipe Cameron's nose so he wouldn't lick it! He's got us both trained!

  2. That description of Cameron had me gagging..... (blech)

  3. My son also despises having his nose or any other part of his body wiped off. I am a big fan of those "boog wipes", they are supposedly more gentle on their skin than baby wipes or regular tissues.


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