Friday, November 13, 2009

Snot the right way.

It's a privilege to watch one's children grow up, exciting to see them figure out how to do things on their own. Hubby and I have both marveled recently at how Little Bit already knows to pop the top off of his sandwich cookie* so as to maximize his icing intake as he enjoys the treat. No one taught him to do that. We did teach him how to kiss us good night, wave good night, and dance when he hears music. Or, at least we're taking credit.

Bub's at an age where we're constantly surprised by what he knows or has figured out on his own. He can quote from movies, as when earlier this evening Little Bit kept messing up Bub's puzzle and Bub said, "This is useless." Where did he hear that? Simon. Simon who? Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks, a favorite movie but also one Bub has not seen in at least a month. Always interesting to see what he's picked up or remembered. Of course, we've taught him things too: his last name, his ABC's (with reinforcement from the Leap Frog Letter Factory video), the "Our Father."

Again, it's a privilege to watch kids grow up, to see how and what they learn from us and on their own.

But here's one thing Bub has not learned and that we cannot manage to teach him no matter how many demos we have done and how many tissues wasted: how to blow his nose.

When he gets congested, his instinct is to suck all the snot back in, not blow it out. I think that's part of the reason that he's been wet coughing for a month. Wouldn't you if there were a pile of snot inside of you?

"No, blow it out," we say.
"Like this," we say, as we blow our own noses.
"Put your hand under Daddy's nose. Feel how the air is coming out. Can you do that?"
"Watch mommy. Watch mommy blow her nose."

He watches and smiles then grabs a fresh tissue, holds it to his nose, and sucks in more snot.

Is nose-blowing instinctual or learned?

I don't know. I just know that we need some help here. The primary goal is, of course, to teach Bub how to blow his nose. In the meantime though, I'd also be interested in solutions for helping him to clean out, so to speak. Our babysitter keeps telling me, "Warm salt water. Try warm salt water." The idea appeals to me, but the logistics baffle me. I have no idea how to go about pouring warm salt water up Bub's nose in a way that might effectively trigger some, ahem, drainage. To begin with, how would I get him to stay still?

Anyway, those of you whose kids know how to blow their noses (NTB!!!), please help.

*Trader Joe's Maple Leaf cookies are a MAJOR treat around here. They are vanilla sandwich cookies in the shape of a leaf with a maple-flavored creme filling. The boys love them.


Anonymous said...

I am sitting here trying to figure out why I never even thought about this. You would think it would come up at sometime in all those years of parenting. Is it easier to learn to blow one nostril at a time? Perhaps pretending like you are blowing our birthday candles but with your nose not your mouth. When you figure it out, the congestion will probably already be gone, go figure. m

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Um. I don't know. They just... figure it out? Eventually? How about having him blow out of his mouth and in, to feel the air moving? Or just have him breathe through his mouth while he's sick? ;)

Anonymous said...

The one nostril approach worked for Fancy...mouth closed, finger holding one side down, then blow.

Spittng toothpaste into the sink was something else that seemed to require more instruction than I would have thought necessary. LAP

E... said...

Something seemed to click for O. when I changed the terms from "blow out" to "blow DOWN". He got it for the first time when I said this, but still is inconsistent on the execution.

ellipses said...

This is such an odd thing to teach kids!! Honestly - as a kid my mom could never get me to blow my nose, and I still don't like to do it. I don't like how it feels inside my nose. Crazy, yes, I know. My oldest refuses to blow & I guess he's like me. My daughter though, she could care less I think she likes how excited we get when she does it. *shrug* They'll do it eventually is my thought!!

Amy said...

I've never thought about this. I put a tissue over Annika's nose, say "blow" and she does; not sure if we taught her this. We used Baby Ayr nose saline when she was younger and she didn't like it, so maybe she learned to blow trying to get it out. It did always provoke a huge, snot full sneeze which helped to get the stuff out.

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