I don’t know what it is with my 8-year-old son that renders him unable to blow his nose. To my satisfaction, that is.
All I want is for mucus to actually leave his head so I don’t have to hear that horrible shnurking sound of someone who can’t find a tissue. And of someone who’s going to damage his ears. And I want him to blow his nose more than once on the tissue and not just ball the thing up after a half-hearted, mucus-free blow.
Yes, I know I’m stark raving mad to actually care about this. And I pride myself on not hovering over my children, to mixed results. But if you had to listen to the shnurking as much as I do, and you went through tissues like we do in my house, and your kid left balled up tissues all over creation, you’d start to micromanage the nose blowing, too.
At first I just pecked and pecked at him.
“Eddie, blow your nose.”
“No, actually blow.”
“Don’t just wipe and toss.”
“You have to let your nostrils be open for the mucus to come out. Don’t pinch your nose shut the instant you start blowing. Then nothing comes out! Now come here, and I’ll help you blow your nose.”
Eddie: “Da-aaaaaddddd!!! Owwww!”
It got so bad that my Lovely Bride finally blew up – at Eddie and at me. It’s not like I enjoy it, but no more nagging on the nose-blowing, she said. And no more leaving snotty tissues on the floor, she told him, unless you want Daddy to send you to nose-blowing class. (We threatened a real-live, pay-for-it manners class last month, but it would have ruined the last week of summer.)
I’ve tried being really positive when he does a big snotty blow.
“Yaaaaaay! What a good nose blowing! Doesn’t that feel so much better?”
But it sounds really fake. Then he drops the tissue on the rug and the celebration ends.
Try using a trashcan, kiddo.
I finally realized that it’s about obedience and listening. And I know I’m just like Eddie – if a rule or law is stupid, then I shouldn’t have to follow it. Like going 60 on an interstate or our elementary school principal’s reminder not to walk dogs to school with your children because they might frighten other kids.
I just want him to realize that on little things like this, I’ll get out of his hair a lot quicker if he just sucks it up and follows directions.
Months ago, we had a big bed-making brouhaha, and I just didn’t get it. When I was growing up, if Mom said to make your bed, you made your bed. Why put up a fight? Now I embrace it as a way to straighten up your room, get ready for your day, and, most importantly, not crawl back into bed. So I made Eddie miserable over taking both pillows off, stretching the sheet tight, folding it down at the top, smoothing out the comforter and getting both pillows back off the floor. Eventually, I learned to accept just about anything as a made bed, except when it has a huge lump in the middle. Just get it done.
Of course, now Eddie is old enough to ask why you have to make your bed when you’re only going to mess it up again at the end of the day. Sigh. Because I said so, that’s why!
So with the nose blowing, it’s kind of the same thing.
You just can’t go around shnurffling all the time. And you can’t pinch your nose shut as soon as you start to blow because you might as well not blow at all.
So if I tell you to blow your nose, then BLOW!
Oh, and we’re having him tested by a pediatric allergist next month. Maybe there’s a pill for this.