Friday, February 26, 2016

Boogers and Hand Jobs

I had a few hours to myself today and decided that I needed to clean off my home desk, which is filled with scrawled-upon post-its, napkins, magazine pages, receipts, and anything else I have on me when an idea hits that simply can’t wait.  I decided that I’d find an old idea that I hadn’t yet had a chance to type up and get to work on doing so. 

The result, I thought, came at precisely the right time in my little family’s life, as I just received a note from my younger son’s pre-K teacher that said, “That kid just can’t keep those fingers out of his nose. Always picking! We talked to him about this and would appreciate it if you could work on it at home, too.”

Believe me, sister, I do work on it.  I do. But keeping that kid’s hands out of his nostrils is about as easy as it would have been keeping drunk 22-year-old me from giving hand jobs to random dudes behind the Dumpsters of bars after closing time.  (Read:  Impossible.) But I never got paid, so that “whore” nickname that I earned from all the regulars was totally inaccurate.

Incidentally, the day I got the note, I was driving my boys home from school when I heard my younger son’s squeaky voice pipe up from his booster seat in the back.  “Mommy?” he said in that adorable everything’s-a-question way of speaking that little kids have.  I glanced in the rearview and saw that he was holding up his index finger, studying it intently.  “This booger looks like a tiny pancake…with syrup on it.”

Holy shit. 

And when I say “holy shit,” I don’t mean that I thought his comment was weird. I mean that you’ve never seen a more pancake-looking booger with syrup on it in all your life.

Anyhoo, judging from the notes I kept from at least a year ago, my boy’s nose-picking business has been going on for a long time, so I’m thinking it’s going to be a hard habit to break.  Here’s the story that I ended up writing about it:

Last year, my younger son and I were walking into his preschool hand-in-hand.  Suddenly, he stopped, pulled his hand away from mine, and proceeded to pick his nose.  When he was finished, he looked up at me, index finger—upon which rested a juicy green booger—upheld.

“Mommy,” he said, “where should I put my booger?”

It’s a question I heard at least 300 times a day last year because he was 3 and his absolute favorite thing to do was pick his nose.  In fact, if he’d been filling out a resume and asked for my help, I would have advised him to list it in the “Other Interests and Activities” section.

I always tried to get creative with my answers because I had learned long before that day that “Wipe it on this Kleenex” was not an acceptable answer to him. Anytime I would use that as my reply, he would continue to hold up his index finger, staring off into the distance for a few moments as if he’d forgotten what he was doing.  Then he would snap back into focus, look at the booger, and then look back at me once more, asking again, “Mommy, where should I put my booger?”

If you hadn’t noticed this about me, I kind of like saying stupid shit.  So some of the answers I had fun coming up with in the past were:

Wipe it on the couch
Wipe it on your brother’s sleeve
Wipe it on your dad’s pillow
Wipe it on the cat
Wipe it on my jeans…but down by the ankle, where my co-workers won’t notice

Of course, I never actually intended for him to do these things; I just had fun coming up with answers. He always ended our goofy stalemate in defeat, wiping his boogers on the Kleenex that I retrieved from my pocket.

That morning, the response I decided to go with was “Wipe it on your coat.”

And then can you believe, after all the times he’d ignored me when I’d told him to do the right thing and wipe it on a Kleenex, he had the nerve to grimace at me and say, “Ugh.  That’s gross, Mommy”?

“Wipe it wherever you want, then,” I replied.

He paused for a moment, thinking.  “Can I wipe it on your car?” he asked, glancing back at our parking spot, which was only a few feet away.

“Sure,” I shrugged, grabbing his hand again and getting ready to lead him safely to my front bumper, where I could pretend I was going to let him wipe his booger until he caved and wiped it on the Kleenex.  (I’m a stubborn motherfucker, peeps, and I was going to win. I’m not exactly sure how being stubborn suited me in this situation or what the hell the prize was for winning the booger war, but there it was.)

Instead, though, my son kept going, walking into preschool and taking a look around. He surveyed the atmosphere before deciding on the wall.

He extended that finger, his eyes on me the whole time, and I swear it was as if it happened in slow motion. That little bastard called my bluff.

He actually wiped his booger on the wall.

And the thing about it was that I couldn’t even get mad at him because he had this raised-eyebrow kind of look on him, like, “You didn’t think I would, did you?” and I just couldn’t stop laughing.  You can rest assured that I did, however, get a Kleenex from the stash in my pocket and wipe his booger off of the wall.

Ah, motherhood:  The time of life where you do shit that you couldn’t ever have possibly fathomed you’d do. 

Hm. 

On second thought, maybe my closing line would be more on-point if it went like this:

Ah, motherhood:  The time of life where you thank God every day that you’ve grown up and are now wiping boogers off of walls instead of giving random hand jobs behind the Dumpsters of your favorite bars.

2 comments:

  1. Okay, I've got to come clean here. Although I was definitely a slooter in my own rite in my early 20's, the hand job behind the Dumpster thing wasn't actually me. It was a story I was told about another girl and as soon as I heard it, I knew I was going to have to use it in somehow, someday. That day was this post.

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  2. Shay! This whole blog cracks me up, pure genius!

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