02 July 2007

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Now I am going to write about nose picking. I am WhyMommy obsessed (and sweet/ salty Kate obsessed too), and I’ve had a hard time writing about my daily life. But I know they’re having a regular life in the throws of it all. I think everybody’s 2-year-old picks her nose. Actually, I think everybody picks their nose. And that’s the problem. How do we teach our kids not to do what we adults do?

I don’t buy “do what I say, not what I do.” I think we should be changing our behavior- or at least thinking about the reasons behind behavior and asking for reasonable accommodation. This goes for swearing, eating in the living room, snacking on chocolate before dinner, and leaving the house before going to the bathroom. On nose picking, our house rule is: No picking in public, but at home or in the car is ok. I wanted to be realistic, that’s why we added the car as an acceptable place. You might not know I pick my nose in the car. I avoid it at stoplights when there are other cars present. When I see you coming in my rearview mirror, I quick pull my finger from my nose. And if I have a passenger other than family, I don’t pick. Ever. The nose picking rule works, because I can keep picking where I find it acceptable.

Even weirder than thinking so much about nose picking rules, is thinking about reasons behind nose picking. It seems Stella always has her finger up her nose. When I started paying attention, I realized with horror that I do to. Nightime nursing: pick. On the phone: pick. Watching TV: pick, pick. It’s disgusting and oh, so satisfying at the same time. And it’s addictive (and sadly a diagnosable obsession). I don’t have a cold, yet the slightest sensation of something extra in my nostril sends me running for a private place where I can go get it. So who sees her mother picking her nose all the time? Now I get it.

Oh, and another house rule is: Wash your hands often.


Ally said...

Yes yes! I have the same rule-- if you're going to pick, do it in private. Who doesn't pick their nose? How else is one to remove the unwanted obstructions?

Fidget said...

my kids too. My middle child I am always on about nose picking b/c she picks hers bloody, otherwise I ask that you refrain from doing it at the table, in front of company or while you are speaking directly to me. I also observe these rules. Life is good