Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top Ten Ways to Wipe a Nose

We had a discussion on my author group about whether I had any kind of expertise to offer the world at large, you know, so I could get exposure and have ten seconds to plug my book. I'm a mom. Not an expert mom, not mom-of-the-year, just the normal, garden variety. I said (sarcastically), "Oh sure, like everyone is dying to know the top ten ways to wipe a nose."

Then someone challenged me to write it. Being the stubborn person I am, I accepted the challenge even though I was just kidding. So here it is. The "Top Ten Ways to Wipe a Nose"

10. Pass the Buck. "Junior, wipe your nose!"

9. Bait and Switch. Hold out a gummy bear and when the child approaches, you attack the nose. This rarely works more than once.

8. Covert. Sneak up behind the child and reach around from the back. This often requires cleanup from the front after child realizes defeat.

7. Feint. Hide the tissue and pull out a comb. The highly skilled may be able to accomplish the hair-combing simultaneous with the nose wipe, but not recommended on girls. (See Top Ten Ways to Remove Foreign Objects Hopelessly Entangled in Long Hair)

6. Nonchalant. Don't draw attention to the runny nose or the resulting cascade of green mucous so obviously overtaking the landscape of the child's face. Don't announce your intentions, but don't try to hide it either. Hold the tissue in plain sight and calmly reach out and touch someone. Under the nose. This also only works once.

5. The Incidental Approach. "No, I'm not going to wipe your nose. I need to wash your face. Oh look how filthy you are. Forget it and get in the bath tub." Nose gets clean as collateral damage to the rest of the body.

4. Outlast the Standoff. Children eventually succumb to sleep. If they pass out before you, you get to wipe the nose. However, sometimes the standoff lasts for hours and the snot which started out runny and relatively easy to remove may have become cemented to the upper lip like a stone mustache.

3. Jealousy. Wipe your own nose and declare how great it feels, how much cleaner and better it looks. "I don't have to deal with all that gunkus getting in my way. Don't you want to be like Mommy?"

2. Reverse Psychology. "See if I care if you get a throbbing, burning case of chapped upper lip that will leave you writhing in agony. It's no skin off my nose."

1. The Nike Approach aka "Just Do It". Let them scream and try to get away. Suck it up. You're bigger and stronger than them.

I live in a mobile home with my husband, two teens, an 8-year-old (who can now wipe his own nose, thank God), a dog, a cat, two big rats, and a tankful of guppies. Please, buy my fiction so I don't have to resort to this sort of pathetic cry for attention.

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