It was 3 a.m. this morning and I was rocking my sick daughter to sleep on my chest — the only place she would rest — as I had been most of the night and the night before and the night before. I could feel her unusually warm and congested body start to go limp, succumbing to her fatigue, her chubby little hands clinging to me for reassurance. Skye had her first cold and an ear infection. I had tried to make her feel better by using every suggestion thrown my way by friends and Google: Vicks on the feet; steamy bathroom; a plug-in vaporizer; the crib mattress at an incline; a super-official-looking elephant-shaped humidifier. But in the end, cuddling with mommy trumped all. I rubbed Skye’s back, feeling sorry for her and, I must admit, for myself; my own body, which had just recovered from the stomach flu, was now ravaged by Skye’s virus and Mr. Candy was out of town on business. Again.
In the midst of my delirium, my mind naturally wandered to a very important topic: boogers.
Not such a surprising thought, actually, considering Skye’s nose is filled to the brim with them. Her nose is the clown car of snot; I am astounded and amazed when more snot manages to dribble out of that little thing. It is never-ending. She is so stuffed up — How stuffed up IS she, Candy? — well, she is so stuffed up, that she can’t breathe out of her nose, making it almost impossible to eat. It’s the saddest thing you’ve ever seen. Miss Skye will take a deep breath, like she’s about to go under water, then chugs as much milk as possible before passing out from lack of oxygen. Gasp for air, chug. Gasp, chug, gasp, chug, gasp… collapse on mom’s chest, exhausted.
Yeah. It’s sad.
Which led me to reminiscing about The State of MY Childhood Snot, of course, and how I couldn’t blow my nose until I was twelve years old. True story. I would twist the end of a tissue, stick it up my nose and LEAVE IT THERE. Yes! I did! My paper nose accessory made me quite popular on the playground, as you can imagine.
HEY, TISSUE GIRL! BRING YOUR NOSE OVER HERE — I NEED TO WIPE MY BUTT!
It was NOT toilet paper, I would point out, but rather a Kleenex. Ha! I showed them.
So, yes, these were the deep life reflections I was having in the middle of our illness-filled night. I asked my mom today WHY on earth I didn’t learn how to blow my nose before I was in pre-algebra class. Her answer:
“You were just too lazy.”
Of course I was. Well, MY child is going to learn the art of blowing her nose into a tissue before she moves into her college dorm room. My one parental promise to my daughter. Because that’s the kind of overachieving mother I am.
“Don’t feel too bad,” my mom added. “Your brother’s friends laughed at him because he had to ask what a ‘penis’ was when he was THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. We always called it a ‘dinky,’ so… he didn’t know.”
Parental promise #2: Teach my daughter what a “vagina” is before she yells at her seventh-grade health teacher that the REAL medical term for it is “HOO-HA,” dammit!