Thursday, February 11, 2010
Great Green Gobs
When I was at the height of my teenage bitchiness, I would see friends and family taking care of their kids and tell my mother that I would never ever, under any circumstances, wipe snot from anyone else’s nose but my own.
I remember her smirking, shaking her head and saying, “Surrrre you won’t.”
Flash forward 20 years to these days when I have my very own sickly, drippy kids. I half expect a phone call from my mom asking, “So, how’s that working out for you?”
Because really…saying you’ll never wipe someone else’s nose is like saying you’ll never wipe anyone else’s butt. If you’re planning on having kids, bodily functions are part of the package. And it’s disturbing how fast you get used to it. You start by carefully wiping your infant’s nose with a soft tissue. Then, as your kids grow and the production of snot increases, you find yourself using whatever’s available – dishrag, paper towel, your own shirt – to sop up the nasty mess. I’m positive that if the folks from CSI analyzed my clothing, they would find that most of the fibers are held together by sloppy chunks of my sons’ DNA.
Snot is foremost in my mind these days because it’s foremost on our one-year-old’s face. He’s been walking around in a great green boogery haze for the last few days, held in the evil clutches of his first real cold. Nothing is more pathetic (and at the same time funnier) than a toddler reacting to goo shooting out of his face. It’s a mix of “What the heck just happened to my head?” and “Hey! Where’d this awesome salty snack come from?”
Grossest moment of the morning: He was toddling along, stumbled and fell down face-first, leaving an actual puddle of ooze on the carpet. Thank God we have dogs to lick it clean. Or some semblance of clean, anyway.
After four kids I can usually handle even the nastiest of snot situations, but I’m handicapped this time around by our complete and total lack of a decent booger sucker. (That’s “nasal aspirator” for you fancy types. As if you can sugar coat the name of a tool made to literally suck chunks out of the noses of small children.)
When Cameron was born 12 years ago one of my brothers gave me a priceless piece of parenting advice which was: STEAL THE BOOGER SUCKER FROM THE HOSPITAL. I use all-caps to relate the seriousness of his tone when he told me that. So we did – when we were packing up to leave the hospital I put Joe on the lookout for nosy nurses and quickly shoved the booger sucker into the deepest recesses of my suitcase.
I felt like such a hero. Risking my freedom and my nonexistent police record for the health of my firstborn child. I was such a naïve idiot back then. It wasn’t until years later that I realized they expect you to take the freaking booger sucker. Like they’re going to reuse them? I'm pretty sure my brother knew that too, and was sitting home cackling in glee thinking of me trying to smuggle "contraband" past hospital security.
Anyway, with each of the kids I stole the booger sucker. Quite a collection built up in our linen closet, but with such a big gap between Brandon and Evan I must have thrown away the older suckers somewhere along the line. No big deal – when I left the hospital with the new baby I took the new booger sucker.
Stuck it in my suitcase right in front of the nurse. I’m dangerous like that.
Then tragedy struck! Our stupid dumb dog ATE the booger sucker! Chewed it right in half. (I may have killed him if I didn't need him around to lick up the snot puddles.) I was irritated but not panicky until I realized there are NO DECENT BOOGER SUCKERS on the retail market. None. If you can come up with a product name and location where I can buy it you will be my best friend forever because a full year after the Booger Sucker Eating Incident, I’m still in need of a decent way to clear the baby’s nose, other than waiting for him to sneeze and cleaning up the aftermath.
I mean, seriously? How hard can it be to utilize the basic scientific principles of suction to produce a decent booger sucker? We have purchased no less than five with no luck. I don’t care if it has a Red Cross endorsement printed right on the package, it will still suck and not in the way you want it to. Those Red Cross people are LIARS. Amazing saviors of the needy and wonderful community contributors, but LIARS all the same.
And don’t get me started on the electric booger suckers! OMG I can’t imagine sticking something that looks like a drill bit inside my baby’s head. Even a battle-scarred veteran mother of four boys has her limits.
So here I am. Typing as fast as my thoughts and fingers will allow, knowing the little boy snoozing in his crib down the hall could be shaken awake at any moment by a fresh burst of boogers. Poor baby.