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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Boogie time

In an attempt to dilute the oogie-factor of this post, I'm going to insert these cute pictures of my adorable and gorgeous daughter through out.  Hard to believe it's the same person we're talking about!
Tess has this really annoying little habit of blowing her nose.
You may be thinking, why is this habit of nose-blowing annoying?  Certainly a toddler blowing her own nose is a good thing.
You see, she doesn't use Kleenix.  Or a paper towel.  Or a napkin.  Or tissue.  Or her sleeve.  Or the hem of my shirt.  Or anything.  She just blows her nose!  Really hard!  You can get hit if your close by.   Hit by a big slimy long boogie.  Then she looks you dead in the eye, with a really slimy boogie face and waits for a reaction.  If you ignore her, she comes to find you to show you!  It happens several times a day.

{At this point in the post I'm hoping that you are distracted at least a little by the cute pictures, and not getting too grossed out!  Is it working?}
She does it when she's ticked off or stressed about something.  {Brace yourself for evil mama!}  Like when she takes a Lego from Jujube, and I make her give it back.  Or when I tell her she can't wear a coat outside because it's 105 degrees.  Or like this morning, in an attempt to get her to expand her fruit-eating repertoire, I put some jam on one piece of her pancake.  (in addition to syrup I'll have you know just in case you were getting the idea that I was some type of evil dictator)  I knew I was skating on thin ice by even attempting the introduction of fruit!
It threw her into a tail spin.
Snot coming.
Then brief silence... inhale... and then...  it happened... The big nose blow!  All over.  Down her face.  Down her jammies.  And the rest of us sat there trying to enjoy of family breakfast... in the midst of all that snot.
It irritates me to no end!  It cuts to my core, and everything that I believe about grace and parenting is thrown out the window!    The sounds of it.  The bad manners.  The hygiene factor.  What do I say to outsiders when it happens?  The "what if's" surface.  Remaining calm is difficult for me when she does this!  Today I found myself crawling the walls at the sound of her constant blowing to get her way!  All this anxiety over a little snot!  Ok... all over a LOT of snot!
I've often been proactive, thinking, this nasty little habit is one that I MUST promptly deal with.  Lest Tess go to meet her future mother-in-law and be upset by her political stance on national immigration.  Time for some active parenting for my sweet darling Tess.
We've tried to ignore it, and that doesn't go over so well when you are a guest sitting around the dinner table at a friend's house.  We've tried natural consequences, because what toddler likes to get their face washed, especially so frequently.  We've tried consequences, which doesn't sit well for a child with attachment issues and is a control fanatic.  We've tried huge big ol' praises when she uses a Kleenix.  Oh you silly girl!  You have to use a Kleenix!  Here, blow your nose now into this.  Yea!  You're such a good girl for using a Kleenix, Tess!  the crazy mama says with an adoring smile as she wipes the boogers from her own cheek.  Mostly we are using a combination of all of these depending on the circumstances and my mood.  Maybe this inconsistency is part of the problem.
Help!  I'm melting into a pile of goo... goo covered in snot!  I will take any advice or parental suggestions!  Any suggestions at all?   Anything?

That's all I got.  Just keeping it real today


  1. How funny! Definitely something she will be mortified with when she grows up but you will have great memories of it and laugh at it one day too! These photos are beautiful, wow!

  2. Totally distracted by the beauty of the pictures. :) And if it makes you feel better {probably not} said actions are totally normal in China. Well...kind of, the blow it out without a tissue is common behavior. But people are pretty good at aiming it at the street and keeping it off their face. :)

  3. I feel your pain! Our sweet Jorja came home doing that exact same thing! I do believe that when spat in the face - the snot does have a moisturizing effect! Maybe we can bottle it!

  4. oh my gosh, how gross! LOL my 4yo likes to pick her nose and wipe it on anything around. It is super gross, not as gross as the snot everywhere, but I kind of get your feelings on it :) I hope you figure something out soon. Hopefully it is a phase that she will forget about. Sounds like you are trying everything a good mama would. Keep up the good work!

  5. really, it is common in China? Huh, that explains my husband and his parents a little better now. Guess I could have asked why he thought it was okay to just snot onto the ground instead of the tissue I was handing him but it never occured to me it could be common where he comes from. Love this bloggy world and all the knowledge I get from it!

  6. i thought and thought.

    this is totally random, but maybe it gives her a feeling of control or power to gross people out.

    OR maybe she doesn't realize how yucky it is. you know better than i, BUT, either way, maybe if you did it back to her? is that terrible?

    i am trying to think outside the box for the attachmenty stuff... i dunno.

  7. Staci- It positively IS a type of control. Tess knows exactly what pushes my buttons. She's real good at trying to find new things that bug me, then unleashes them when she doesn't get her way. I've said many times she's the ultimate temper tantrum thrower! She loves to throw things, break things, use topple things over, bite, pull hair... Amazing for a 3 year old. Recently she tried shoving the just used Kleenix in her mouth after using it. For some reason it didn't phase me much. She's tried this about 20-30 times, but I haven't even winced so this Kleenix-stuffing behavior is dying off.
    Thank for the suggestions. Really... thank you! I've had some clarity today and a wee bit of triumph. But I'm in need of mama-support on this one.

  8. What to say? GREAT photos & I hope the behavior ends SOON. She is lovely!

  9. Now that's funny!!! At least for us!

    Believe kids do some crazy things too and to others it may be okay but for's not. I'm new to your blog so I'm not sure what kind of advice to give. My daughter (adopted form Guatemala) had some real bad habits that I'm still trying to break. I believe she had/has and attachment disorder and who knows if I'm doing it the right or wrong way?!

    Thanks for sharing and keeping it real! =)
    I'll be back to your blog! =)

  10. Yikes, your frustration is totally understandable, I would be very annoyed by this as well. Just curious does it phase her when the snot is on her? I wish I had some advice for you but I'm afraid I don't. In the mean time I'll pray for you.

  11. Oh, I feel for you! This would drive me insane! The attachment issues really throw a kink into ways you can deal with it. For her, any attentione, even negative attention, is what she seeks. As hard as it may be, I would think that totally ignoring the behavior would be best...and when she deals with her snot appropriately (that sounds weird to say!), then praise, praise, praise. Otherwise, totally ignore. Just an idea....

  12. Ummm yeah, round here we call that a "snot rocket" ..hehehe. And for some odd reason L was playing outside yesterday with 4 cousins and came in to tell me she needed a tissue. Right in front of my friend she stood and launched. I was shocked! And embarrassed. And did I mention embarrassed?
    Now as for what to do about it? Well I have been feeling quite defeated by M lately and I have become so inventive in coming up with ideas to get her to stop things, but she JUST. WON'T. STOP. So I am at a loss. I get to the point I start thinking of ways of torture...hehehe.
    Maybe you could set times for Tess to blow her nose? Just randomly come up to her throughout the day and give it a wipe? Or have the tissue in hand and ready at all times and when you see it coming on, ATTACK! : ) . Or start having all of the other kids blow their nose in front of her (in a tissue!) and then reward them with something she likes? It makes ya just want to go threaten with the baby boogie sucker, doesn't it? You know that thing I am talking about?
    Good luck. Keep me posted because I'm running out of creativeness with M.

  13. No great advice here, but I did want to say hang in there!! And keep your wonderful sense of least the snot stories make for great blogging material! ;o)

  14. First time commenter here, but I had to chime in today. Our daughter does the SAME THING. It completely grosses me out. The only good thing that has come of it is that she learned to blow her nose at a very early age. She's almost 5 now, but will still do the no kleenex thing when she wants a reaction. Probably not a good thing that she gets one, but like I grosses me out.

  15. Nancy...your commentary cracks me up! I'm bummed, my husbands conference is in Florida this year instead of Pheonix...Maybe next year we will be back to visit.

  16. Kim---I HOPE you do come for a visit again someday! It was a joy.

  17. You just make me laugh! Thank you for being real today....
    Wish I had some advice, but honestly, we have some similar issues at my house. It's not snot - yet - but definitely similar kinds of manipulations especially when things don't go the way of the desires. A little jam on the edge of a pancake would for sure tip the scales!
    ps. I'm working up a post on the control issues we're dealing with - stay tuned.

  18. Oh, this is too funny!!

    Never have had that happen...yet with my crew!

    That is probably why I think it is funny.

    The pictures of your sweet little (snot-blowing) cutie are adorable!


  19. Hi Nancy, I'm new to your blog and was reading up on your days in Vietnam to bring the kiddos home. I haven't gotten to the part yet where you discover what exactly is the issue that Tess deals with. I came to this post out of curiosity and I guess one of them (and hopefully the only one) is attachment. Do you have any routines or therapies that you do with Tess regarding this?
    By the way, gorgeous children - all of them.


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