Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Strip Mining For Booger Nuggets

Ever since we moved to Manitoba #1 has had HER chair. It is a burgundy, wing-backed chair that sits in one corner of our living room. This chair is also known as the "bouncing chair" because #1 has this weird soothing mechanism where she rocks back and forth on the chair using the springs in the back of the chair to propel herself forward. She rocks when she's tired, when she's mad, when she's pouting, when she's sad, when she's listening to music. She's always bouncing in that chair.

One day, about a year ago, I was sitting in #1's chair and noticed that something was scratching my left arm. It felt like a piece of glass was sticking out of the arm rest or something. Looking back, I wish it had been glass or a rusty staple or anything other than what it turned out to be. It turned out I was rubbing my arm up against a piece of petrified snot. Engage gag reflex!!

How gross is that!? What kind of person wipes snot on the arm of a chair? Bleach! That was just the tip of the iceberg, as I soon discovered. The entire side of the arm rest was plastered with booger fossils and that's not all! They went all the way up the wing of the chair too! There must have been a hundred disgusting nose remnants running up the entire side of the chair.

I have never seen anything that disgusting. The snot dried in the same position in which it was laid. It was like some kind of sick time capsule. They retained that gross smeared look and the shine of a freshly deposited snot wad. Some were blackish, some were green, some yellow and some even had a bit of blood mixed in. It makes me shudder to think about it. And just to keep things even there was a matching collection on the other side of the chair.

She must have been doing it for quite a while to build up such a large collection. How did we not notice this abomination?

We got the chair all cleaned up and told #1 to stop it or we were going to show it to all of her friends at school. That seemed to do the trick, although I still have to make a point of checking that chair from time to time and there is always one or two nuggets waiting for me. I guess old habits die hard.

A couple of weeks ago #2 came up to me. She was really excited to show me something in her room. I followed her and she pointed to her wall. I couldn't figure out what she was talking about so I asked, "What are you pointing at? The picture?"

"No! Right here!" she said pointing at a speckled area.

I put my face closer so I could see what she was pointing at. It was another booger collection.

WTF?! It was a smaller collection than the one #1 had made but it was equally sickening. She was definitely on her way. I seriously think she was expecting praise for her nice collection. She just stood there smiling expectantly like I was going to say something like "Good Job!" or "That's a nice one!" Instead all she got was, "That's gross! Clean it up!" She seemed just as pleased with that reaction.

The only good thing I can say about #2's collection is, at least she kept it in her own room.

I understand that changing dirty diapers and cleaning up vomit are things that you just have to deal with when you become a parent, but chipping away at someone else's snot collection is where I draw the line.

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