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My Kid’s Booger Problem Just Got Personal

Dear friends, my brain is fried and it needs a break for a few days. So, rerun post today! An oldie but goodie.

noah-picking-noseNoah has been working lately on not eating his boogers. And by working on it, I mean that he’s working on doing it more discretely. And by more discretely, I mean he doesn’t care at all. No matter how much I beg, warn, threaten, plea, or ask, he shoves his finger up his nose whenever he feels like it and munches on whatever tasty morsel attaches to it.

This, of course, disgusts Dad who gets very sick, veryeasily, at the sight of other people’s boogers. And when I get another person’s booger on me … well, it’s all over. Such instances are at least semi-decadal, always freakish by nature, and when it happens, I become absolutely paralyzed. I dry-heave while trying not to ralph my lunch onto whoever or whatever happens to be in my path.

Anyway, Noah’s little habit has gotten bad lately. And so, I’ve been getting on his case every time I see him with his finger in his nose. If I have to watch one more booger go into his mouth, I may lose it. “Everybody picks their nose,” I tell him. “But you’ve gotta do it in the bathroom where nobody can see you, and you’ve gotta put it in a tissue, not in your mouth.” He always chirps back, “Okay!” so innocently. And then he usually digs immediately back in for more.

I don’t know how I’m going to break him of the habit, but I’m determined to.

In the meantime, I’ve gotta find a way to survive it.

Sunday night, we were at a big family gathering. We were standing around before dinner while my dad introduced all the visitors to us regulars. I was holding Noah, and in the middle of it all, his finger went knuckle-deep into his nose at the same time that he locked guilty eyes with me.

My lips tightened and I gave him a look that said: “Tissue. Bathroom. Now.”

While keeping his eyes glued to mine, he slowly pulled a green slimy booger out of his nose. “Noah, that’s disgusting.” I stammered as my stomach clenched-up on me. “Don’t you dare eat it. Go wipe it on something appropriate, right now.”

His eyes were still locked on mine and he cracked a tiny, mischievous grin. Then, it happened.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

252 comments
Kimberly Kranig
Kimberly Kranig

My son has declared that he will stop picking his nose "When I'm 5" - just around the corner!

Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller

okay, time for a joke. What is the difference between broccoli and boogers? Kids won't eat broccoli LOL

Casey Vo
Casey Vo

Omg that has to be one of the funniest articles I have read in a long time!

Stacey365
Stacey365

OMG you are so much stronger than me.  I wouldn't have been able to NOT vomit.  I can handle vomit, poop, you name it but not boogers.  


Manouk Vd Woestijne
Manouk Vd Woestijne

Try the " snot suckers", a little ballon like something thats sucks the snot out of your nose, its pretty impressive cause after you're done you can sqeeuze your " work" out. Much more fun then a tissue, you just dont " get it". ;)

Ann Schmechel
Ann Schmechel

This is a picture that will come back to haunt and hurt both of you. Public humiliation just never works out well as discipline. Not a good personal habit, but the damage done with this route is going to do far more then some embarrassing moments.

Laurie Keaney
Laurie Keaney

I just KNEW how this story was going to end ;-)

Crushed Lotus
Crushed Lotus

May I suggest... a neti pot? I don't how other people manage, but having crusty boogers in my nose makes me nuts. If I can't flush them out, I will have to fight the urge to pick them (I'm also 40 years old). No amount of blowing or subtle nose rubbing will work, they HAVE to come out. Imagine always having hair in your eyes, and someone telling you that you can't brush it away because its inappropriate. I'm sensitive and my nose has always run a lot, kleenex or handkerchiefs are MUST at all times. Once they start to dry and get crusty, I feel like I can't breathe. Noah is probably just dealing with something that's making him uncomfortable, like scratching an itch or rubbing his eyes. 

lindseyagilbertrn
lindseyagilbertrn

We have a family friend who lost his pointer finger on one hand in a work accident. Well, he had a friend whose little boy would pick his nose and eat it ALL the time. Said family friend one day went up to the little boy and told him that he used to do that all the time too, but he better stop or he'll end up like him (and showed him the nub of his pointer finger). Many years later when the little boy was in his 20's, they ran into each other again and the now adult said after that moment he was scarred for life and was too afraid to ever put a finger in his nose again. Maybe you have a friend that is missing a finger? lol

Lori Stoffers
Lori Stoffers

OMG. That's hilarious. Gross, yes. Funny and normal? Definitely!

lifeisgood1
lifeisgood1

rare that i read one of your posts a second time, but this one cracked me up both times that I read it (cracked up and grossed me out, and I don't gross out easily).  Reading a few of the comments, I have to add my two cents -  i think you handled it perfectly (for such an imperfect person :o) 

Holistik
Holistik

Ugh.  I feel your pain.  My eldest daughter used to wipe her boogers on the wall :( SO nasty, and worse than cement to remove! 

But to gross you out even more... when they were infants and they'd get hella congested, I'd put my mouth over their nose and mouth and suck it all out.  I'd spit it the hell out immediately, but it would make my husband hurl to watch/hear.  It's a mom thing.  When I was a midwife in Bangladesh, I saw the village mums doing this.  I vowed I'd never do something so gross, until my little tiny babies were suffering from super-stuffy nosies!!

Janie McNeil
Janie McNeil

I literally just read this after lunch - big mistake! I don't know how you managed not to be sick Dan - I wouldn't have been able to stop it. I know people say its natural and it is - but there is definitely a time and place and I admit I try to enforce it on my nephews with varying degrees of success. But I seriously hope the booger face episode NEVER happened again... or if it did - tell us what more than an uh-oh involves! o-O

Anna Nygma
Anna Nygma

They've actually proven that when kids eat their boogers, they're improving their immune system. It's like a self-vaccination.

KellsBellsTells
KellsBellsTells

YOu are feeding his negative attention need, so try to ignore the behavior and not spotlight it. Oh and boogers are part of building a healthy immune system so try to see some positive viewpoints before you jump out at the groose ones. By all means after he does something like that in public make him go and clean his hands in the bathroom and be loud about it this way you look like a hero Dad and you are addressing the situation without shame, so other people will want to hold Noah's hand too! I think boogers are not as bad as poop, and you have a kid so you must have been pooped on at some point, be thankful it isn't poop!

Chris Gordon
Chris Gordon

Normal or not, I almost hurled reading it. Kids are so cute and wonderful...but so insanely gross at the same time!

Ashley Anderson Darnell
Ashley Anderson Darnell

My husband told my son a 6 or 7 minute long tale about how his finger would turn green, shrivel up and fall off. Either he believed it or he didn't want to have to sit through another long story because he stopped most of his gold digging. LOL

MichaelCarius
MichaelCarius

There are studies about boog eating and immune systems. General theory is that air borne germs are caught in the mucus and die. then when eaten. The ingested dead germs are like vaccines. Building immunities. I'm sure it is a phase... Must... Get... More... Power.

أميرة كامل
أميرة كامل

I wish I didn't read this. eww to the infinite power. I'm sure when I am done gagging I will lol

Jayay
Jayay

It's great having sons and they do all sorts of things that you really wish they wouldn't...believe me it gets worse as they get older but hey you aren't always around them to witness all they do so praise The Lord for that!!!!!

BekYoung
BekYoung

Oh God, I'm dry heaving just reading this... You are a far stronger person than I, because I'd have totally just bolted to the bathroom and tossed my cookies.

Moira O'Connor
Moira O'Connor

OMG, this made me laugh out loud and cringe. I'm lucky that I have a very high level of tolerance for boogies and over bodily fluids. My son was a big time booger eater and the only thing that stopped it was time.

Samipants
Samipants

I share this very deep hatred for boogers just as much as you, I can handle poop,pee,vomit even blood before i can handle snot! (I'm a preschool teacher- so you can imagine the struggle I have on the daily) A few years ago I was a nanny for a funny little 6 year old boy...oh man did this kid love to push buttons (as well as be quite the charmer). He knew well of my booger fear and used this to his advantage -__- One day we were at the pool and he had some gnarly snotagae going on, I announced it was time to go and the kid flipped! I was trying my best to stay patient but get home quickly so i picked him up with his towel wrapped around his arms so he couldn't fight me too much...trust me i would of rather had flying arms then what happened... As i picked him up in front of me he blew all the snot out of his nose as hard as he could and it landed all on my mouth  I dropped him ...and then i puked and then i cried. That little boy felt so bad I never had a problem getting him to leave somewhere again. 

Carole Thorpe
Carole Thorpe

Save the picture. You never know when it might be useful as a parent of a teenaged kid. Just sayin'

Tanya Eade
Tanya Eade

Oh my goodness, I threw up a little bit in my mouth just reading that! How you managed not to puke there and then is beyond me!! Yuckkkkk!!!!!!!!!!

Aimee Daniello
Aimee Daniello

OMGOMGOMG. i'm an EMT. which means that i deal with other peoples poop vomit blood guts etc pretty regularly. However, reading this post was one of the hardest things i have done. i had to stop my own dry heaves. so thanks for that

Monna Clare Payne
Monna Clare Payne

I love this SO MUCH. Not the end result for you but knowing my kid is just - normal. So gross. You held it together with admirable restraint. STILL laughing 20 minutes later!

Sean Secord
Sean Secord

incredibly! but that's also because I was in emergency nurse for a long time. people who were too sick to go to work, came to my work!

Sean Secord
Sean Secord

studies show that 'booger eaters' have an immune system far better than 'non-booger eaters'. perhaps we should not doubt how evolution has left us with upward pointing fingers and downward pointing finger-sized notstrils!

mamabear
mamabear

Try "stop the bite" . . . it's similar to a nail polish but it's clear, and you can put it on nails or the tips of the fingers.  It's designed to teach kids to stop biting their nails - but I'm sure it would work in this situation, too -- Noah won't want that finger in his nose or his mouth with that on it!  You should be able to find it at Target or Wal Mart.  If not, try Sally Beauty or Ulta.  I've bought it at all four of those places for my sons who used to bite their nails.  One stopped altogether, and the other one now picks at the cuticles, which is worse than biting them . . .   Anyway, good luck!  

Allison Graham
Allison Graham

I should not have read this while eating tomatillo chicken soup..... *gag*

Lisa Helms
Lisa Helms

Oh man, that was too funny! Could not stop laughing!! Thank you. LOL

Dawn Marie Svanoe
Dawn Marie Svanoe

Here's a poem that worked for my sister's son. LOL ;-) Warning Inside everybody's nose There lives a sharp-toothed snail. So if you stick your finger in, He may bite off your nail. Stick it farther up inside, And he may bite your ring off. Stick it all the way, and he May bite the whole darn thing off. - Shel Silverstein

DawnMarieSvanoe
DawnMarieSvanoe

Here's a poem that worked for my sister's son. LOL ;-)

Warning

Inside everybody's nose
There lives a sharp-toothed snail.
So if you stick your finger in,
He may bite off your nail.
Stick it farther up inside,
And he may bite your ring off.
Stick it all the way, and he
May bite the whole darn thing off.

- Shel Silverstein

LisaThom1
LisaThom1

Well he has one thing going for him. Studies show that children who eat their boogers have a stronger immune system. ;)

Portagefun
Portagefun

I love that you call it an uh-oh!!

EricaChristine
EricaChristine

That is GROSS!  I'm horrified on your behalf. And your self control is amazing. I would have taken all my kids toys away for a year. Grounded Forever.  

And maybe have your kid carry around a tissue/handkerchief so he doesn't have to go get one every time. 

Cindy Balzomo
Cindy Balzomo

Better than poop. I had an ex roommate whose little girl wiped her poop all over my leg because she wiped her butt with her hand. (Not my mouth thank goodness.)

lifeisgood1
lifeisgood1

@Holistik Good on you if it worked for you, but I'm so sorry, that is NOT a mom thing.  lol.  Putting a few drops of saline water in their nose worked good for me...