"Mommy, you made me hurt my nose!"
This is what Ty yelled out as I was making a left-hand turn into traffic this afternoon.
"Was your finger in your nose?"
"Then hurting your nose is your fault, not mine."
I'm trying to get my children to accept a little more responsibility for their actions this summer. Namely, I'm tired of taking all of the blame for their boo-boos and blunders. From now on, unless I actually stick a finger up my child's nose, intentionally slam a door in one's face, or toss the banana peel on my kitchen floor that causes one to slip, I'm not taking the rap for any ouchies. Because if I've learned anything from motherhood, I can't "make" my children do anything.
But I have to ask, What is the deal with three-year olds and noses? Nostrils are to pre-schoolers what electric sockets are to toddlers: Hey, there's a hole here! I wonder what can I fill it with...
When Emily was three years old, she stuck a tea cup up her nose. Yup, a tea cup. My mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table when Emily's twin sister Evie walked jibber-jabbering up to us. It was tough to tell just what she was chattering on about. "Wait," Mom finally interrupted. "Did she just say something about a tea cup in Emily's nose?"
I thought her translation was rather unlikely until I saw Mom race for the basement door. "There are tea cups in the doll house downstairs!"
Sure enough, when we found her, Emily had a teeny, tiny yellow tea cup in her nose.
"How did it get up there, Emily?"
"I was hiding it from Evie," she replied, big crocodile tears rolling down her cheeks.
It was a good hiding spot. She was certainly successful in keeping the tea cup from Evie's grasping hands. Not to mention my grasping tweezers. I finally broke down and drove her to the nearest Urgent Care. The doctor who retrieved the tea cup asked if I would like it back. I told him no thanks.
Two short years later, Ty shoved a pink plastic bead up his nose.
On date night.
As we were walking out the door.
Fortunately, the wife of the couple we were double-dating with that night is a PA. She met us at her Urgent Care down the street and, bypassing the paper work, strapped my boy down and got that bead out in about 2.6 seconds. She's the mother of 3 young boys and there was no way she was missing date night. This time, though, I kept the bead. I'm hoping it will remind me to keep small items out of the reach of small children... with small noses.
I can't stop the fingers, though. These days, Ty keeps a finger parked in his nose every time he gets tired. Sometimes he falls asleep with it in there. See?
Of course, this means I'd better take my turns a little slower. I wouldn't want to "make" the kid hurt his nose. I can't really force him take responsibility for being a sleep-picker now, can I?