Today I had one of those “stop the world I want to get off” moments. As I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I came across an article titled: “How To Decode Your Child’s Snot Based On The Colour: A Detailed Guide”.
Yes. You read that correctly.
For fuck’s sake.
Can someone please tell me why we need an article – nay, a “detailed guide” – on “decoding” the colour of boogers, and written by a doctor no less?
(Actually, the jury is out on whether “Dr Sam” is a real medical doctor. Like Dr Chris, Dr Phil or Dr FeelGood, he could indeed be a vet, a talk show host or even a sex therapist. On the other hand, Dr Sam might truly be a “snot specialist”??)
To save you rushing off to search for the article (let me assure you it is certainly riveting reading), here is my somewhat less detailed guide to the colour of your child’s snot:
If it is clear and constantly streaming down their face: they most likely have the beginning of a cold.
If it is thick and green and sticky and the physical process of blowing it into a tissue sounds like the foghorn on a large ship: they are most likely nearing the end of the aforementioned cold.
Lastly, if it is red and streaming down their face: that is red snot. Otherwise known as blood. It is either an extremely hot day or they have copped an elbow to the face. Most likely courtesy of their sibling…
Look at me, gifting you all of this common sense information, and I don’t even have a medical degree!!
Yes, I am completely taking the piss but let me be clear: I am taking the piss out of these stupid parenting websites that pressure mums (particularly new mums) into thinking that this stuff is crucial knowledge. Mums, and especially new mums, need LESS pressure, less “detailed guides” to study and more compassion and understanding. (Oh, and someone to wash the dishes and wipe down the kitchen bench once in a while would be awesome too!)
I am not however taking the piss out of the mums who buy into the bullshit and do treat the “detailed guide” like gospel.
After all, that was once me.
But not with snot.
When my eldest son was born, the second thing the nurse handed me (the first being my son) was a pictorial chart, detailing the sequence of poo to expect from my newly emerged bundle of joy.
If you haven’t lost all dignity during the actual birthing process, there comes a point where you have happily ticked off the meconium poo (aka the road tar disaster) and are eagerly searching your baby’s soiled nappy for poo that resembles “mustard seeds” and there it is: that is the point that your dignity has well and truly gone.
From then on the only way to sink lower is to frequently discuss your baby’s poo with numerous other people, and spend your valuable time while the baby is napping learning how to “decode” the colour of their snot.
Has the pendulum swung so far in the pursuit of perfect parenting that we think ticking off poo diagrams and learning how to decode boogers is vitally important?
Does it really matter at the end of the day?
I say Fuck No!!
I learned this more casual (some would say fatalistic) approach the hard way, after the birth of my second son. Watching the doctors desperately trying to pump out the meconium that had settled so stubbornly in his lungs, all thoughts of pictorial charts went out the window. Because THAT is when shit matters: when it is in the seriously wrong place.
Besides, one day they are going to grow up and become teenagers and let me assure you – there are no “detailed guides” that can prepare you for that. (Not unless it’s titled “Armageddon”).
And once they are teenagers the only time you will think about snot is when one flicks it at the other, then the “flicker” ends up with “red snot” streaming out of their nose because the “flickee” has taken umbrage to having snot flicked at them and has inflicted a headlock, and possibly a couple of well placed punches to the face.
Or is that just in my house?
What is the most ridiculous “how to / guide / advice” re: raising children that you have come across?
I dare you to share…..