Monday, November 10, 2014

Parenthood: Week 76 – Snot & Awe

The first time I saw Ollie sneeze it was adorable. He was three days old when it happened. His body stopped moving for a second and the cutest little sneeze puffed out of his nose shaking his entire body. Afterwards Ollie had the most incredible look of confusion, exhaustion and relief.

Ollie’s sneezes aren’t quite as cute anymore . . . because of the snot.

There are a lot of things that people don’t tell you about raising kids. I heard about the tar-like newborn poo and the streams of urine but I wasn’t quite prepared for the snot.

I knew that stuffy noses were an issue for toddlers but I didn’t realize to what extent. I’ve watched parents wipe toddler’s noses and seen kids sneeze without covering up their noses but I had no idea how much toddler snot would be a part of my life.

Toddlers probably don’t sneeze anymore than adults do but when they do they completely lack the social manners of sneezing. They don’t cover their nose or grab a tissue. They just let the sneeze go, uncovered. While this is gross, this really isn’t the worst part of the situation.

If an adult sneezes and for some reason can’t grab a tissue in time, he or she will immediately wipe their faces and/or any affected surfaces immediately. Adults find the feeling of having snot and boogers on their faced uncomfortable socially as well as physically. Toddlers don’t.

The other day I was in the car with Ollie and he sneezed. I glanced at my rear-view mirror and saw in the car-seat mirror a one-inch thick stream of snot hanging out of Ollie’s nose past his upper lip. As much as I wanted to pull over and wipe his face off I couldn’t. Instead I watched in horror as he proceeded to rub the snot around his entire face with both of his hands, while licking his lips.

If I had kept looking, I probably would have crashed my car so I pushed away my rear-view mirror, turned up the music and tried to forget what I had just seen.

As I opened the backseat door I saw snot EVERYWHERE. It was in Ollie’s hair his eyebrows, around his eyes, by his ear, on his lip, dried up by his nose, underneath his chin and between his fingers. I knew that as a bad I would be picking snot out of my son’s nose but I never imagined I’d be picking his snot out of his hair.

I’m not even going to get into the torture device known as the Nose Frida. This thing is actually incredibly effective, just make sure to use saline nose spray beforehand and prepare for your baby to be screaming during the process. And no, you never get used to literally sucking your kids snot out of their nose through a tube. Yes, there’s a filter, but it’s still incredibly gross.

Of course I wipe off Ollie’s nose, pick away his dried up booger and suck out snot with the Nose Frida without hesitation. You do what you got to do for your kid and like changing poopy diapers; you got to clean up the snot.

One day years from now, Ollie will do something without thinking and I'll get frustrated with him.   I’ll just have to remember to remind myself that at least he’s not rubbing snot all over his face.

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