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January 30, 2012

A Scratch or a Pick?...HELP!!!

I worked with this guy one time. Long before we even thought about having children, he volunteered – very much at random, as I remember it – that his children didn’t do gross things. “They don’t pick their noses and eat their boogers. That’s disgusting, and I won’t allow it.”

At the time I thought, “Well, duh…who would allow their children to do gross things???

And now, I can only rationalize that Michael worked long hours and traveled on top of that…such that he was rarely home to witness any grossness.

In the scheme of the world, I feel like the grossness at our house is relatively nominal…or maybe I was just desensitized long ago by projectile spit-up and diaper blowouts.

Still, I counted it as a small victory that I had not had to deal with any nose- / booger-related issues.

Until now.

It’s like Baby B has just discovered her nose, and she is so mesmerized by its spelunking opportunities that she can’t keep her fingers out of it.

Fortunately – KNOCK ON WOOD – everybody is healthy at our house, and her digging has been purely recreational…in that I don’t think she’s scored any gold.

But frankly, I’m at a loss.

There was a day or so that I “counted” her each time I saw her fingers in her nose, and she served a couple of time-outs. Alternately, I’ve told her, “Big girls don’t put their fingers in their noses.”

But I have a boogie!

Well come with Mommy into the bathroom and we’ll get a tissue.”

No avail.

At three years old, I thought we were past the “body exploration” of infanthood.


I’m looking for some advice from you seasoned mamas. Is this a phase that will pass? Should I just ignore it? Should I punish it?

Help, please! I would so like to be able to claim, “My children don’t do gross things!


Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I think it's normal and we can try to stop it, but for a while, it's a fruitless effort.

Hailey picks her nose with the immediate need to put her finger in her mouth. Half the time, I don't even think she has anything on her finger, but there is that immediate need to have her finger right in her mouth. Even when I knock her hand away from her face before she puts it in her mouth, she still has the kneejerk reaction to put it in her an OCD patient!

I try. I count. I warn. I finally think something has gotten through after she was so sick...and we were all so sick...because I kept saying, "you see how we're all sick? This is what happens when you keep putting your hands in your nose and mouth. Can we stop that now?" She also bites her nails...I'm doomed.

My name is Rebecca and my Crazies do gross things.

Carrie said...

ah! We have entered the nose picking stage as well. It's like they can't stop even when you're running at them with a Kleenex. I think it'll just pass the more you say, no don't do that it's gross. At least I hope it'll pass. I felt our girls didn't do too many gross things, but then this came along. ick!

Deanna said...

I think it's part of the normal stage of childhood. Personally, we are pretty much letting it run its course, because it seems like a LOT of concentrated effort to stop something that will not be a very big deal in the long run.

I tell my girls all the time to "STOP! That's GROSS!!!", but they seem to think gross=hilarious. Ack!

Look at it this way...if that behavior keeps up (which I'm sure it won't!), you won't have to worry about the issue of boys for a VERY long time! : )

Eric, Marilyn, and Elliott said...

I shudder just to think about this! Elliott was never a big nose-miner. We caught him at it a time or two and chose to distract instead of punish. I don't know if that worked or if he just never fell in love with the habit. :) He has other gross habits like sticking his fingers in his mouth. Not thumb sucking, just sticking all 4 fingers of one hand in his mouth and letting them marinate in there. (Yuck.) And for a while he kept doing it with his toes. (Double yuck.) A little "Hey, look at this thing!" as we pull his hand out seemed to make it a short-lived problem. Good luck!

PS--Your friend was either living in a state of denial or maybe he had fake children. They ALL do gross things! :)

Brad Jenkins said...

I think if you just stop doing it they will probably stop too.

While we're not at the diggin anything out stage, one of ours does love to put her finger in her nose.

I love the big girls don't do that comment, and we'll be employing that soon. Just keep reinforcing it, just like you've done for everything else you've taught them. Sooner than later they'll get it.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

You had me at spelunking!

I say things like "do you want to go to the hospital again?" (yes, I threaten) Well then, stop doing that because there are GERMS.

And so on.

I also say it's bad manners :)

Marcia (123 blog) said...

PS I just saw on Helene's post

"If you've never told your kids little white lies, such as "An angel cries every time a child picks his nose" are a better mom than me."


Onesie Mommy said...

Ahh, darling... you know I can't help you here. We've got the same issue. But in Miss B's defence, she's getting over a cold. I haven't been reacting negatively to her when she does it because I figure if she's digging, there's a reason. Something in there is bugging her. So, I just give her a tissue and say "use this".

Let's hope A doesn't catch on to what B's doing! :)

Barbara Manatee said...

Oh dear Lord...I am NOT one to ask for advice on my children's hygiene issues...just wait for my post tomorrow. I'm waiting for someone to come along and condemn our house...

Johanna said...

Haha! Gray went through a nose-picking phase - probably right around the same age. It seems like I was forever telling her to get her finger out of her nose. I actually have some total gems in the OVERHEARD section dedicated to her favorite pastime of nasal exploration. But, guess what? She doesn't do it anymore, so YES. It is a phase! :)

Heather B said...

lol, we are there too, it is gross. And then the scientist in me remembers that research actually shows that kiddos who (yuck) pick and eat their boogers are healthier on average than kids who do not.(eeeew) I try to push the bad manners route, though. Has yet to be successful!

reanbean said...

Tiny is a nose picker, but seems to have found it less interesting as time has gone on. I never counted it or put her in time out for it, but both T and I do reinforce that it's yucky, yucky, yucky, and I hand her a tissue anytime I see her finger in there (whether she actually needs it or not). Now, most of the time, she'll ask for a tissue and spends less time digging in her nose. Thank goodness!

Julia said...

Not sure how I missed this the first time.

I have no advice, but the "spelunking opporutunities" comment made me laugh out loud! You are hilarious!