Thursday 28 July 2011

Kids Are too Damned Nice These Days

Used to be that a mom could count on certain things.  A mom could count on a dose of antihistamines to ensure a peaceful drive to the cottage.  A mom could count on a fear of trolls to get her kids to eat their vegetables.  And a mom could count on peer pressure to get her kids to shed certain socially unacceptable behaviours.

Like most children, Frick developed the nasty habit of picking his nose.  I didn't stress about it at the time.  I was confident that once in school some observant little shit would notice Frick's nose-plundering, tease him mercilessly about it, thereby providing him with the necessary incentive to stop.  Worked like a charm when I was a kid.
I was realistic.  I knew that statistically this was unlikely to happen in kindergarten because I have yet to meet a five year old that does not struggle with booger-addiction.  But when Frick reached third grade and still had not kicked it I knew something was going wrong.  One day when I yet again caught him snacking on a fresh nose-truffle I asked him if anyone ever teased him about it and he seemed mildly surprised as he answered in the negative.  Not one of his peers had tried to pressure him or make fun of him in any way whatsoever.  I had half a mind to call up their parents and ask them what the hell was wrong with them?  How fucking irresponsible is it to raise your kids to be so nice that they won't ridicule each other into conformity?

(Sigh).  It looked like it was going to be up to me to help him.  And I love my kids too much to deprive them of what they really need, so I got to work.  I had to spy on Frick around the house, watching and waiting until he thought he was alone so he could pick his nose in relative peace.  The moment he was about to stick that booger into his mouth I would leap out from my hiding place pointing my finger at him and shouting:

"Ew!!!  You're eating boogers!!!  Frick is a nose-picker!  He likes to eat his boogers!  Hey everyone, look at Frick!"

This went on for weeks. Apparently boogers are like kiddie-crack.  Also, ambushing your kid is exhausting.  You have to get really creative after a while because they are very smart and they catch on to your regular hiding places.  And you can't let them get away with a single nugget.  It's important to be consistent with your kids, y'know?  By the time Frick finally broke this nasty habit I was a qualified ninja and he little jumpy.  I'm sure he'll be alright.  Eventually.

So, thanks a lot nice parents.  There's a reason nature intended this job for kids.  I've got one more kid to get through and I am way too old for this shit.  Do you have any idea how undignified this is for a grownup?