Every time Michael learns to do something new I am so impressed and amazed. This is my little baby. Sometimes it feels like he was just born yesterday. How is it possible that he's mastered the touch pad on our laptop?
When I start to think about everything children have to learn in their first few years of life, it really is amazing. During that time they learn how to sit up, crawl, walk, and run. They also learn how to form their mouths to make sounds, learn that people communicate through words, and learn to speak at least one language. Add to that all of the eating, playing, parental manipulation, and their achievements are really outstanding.
But, in the midst of all of that, sometimes kids really struggle with what seems like a very basic concept. For example, blowing one's nose.
For the past several weeks Michael has been waking up with a stuffy nose. When I come in to get him, he informs me that he has boogers and starts rubbing his nose. I ask him if he wants a tissue and he always declines. I used to pick him up and carry him in to say good morning to Andy, but now I have to put him down so that he doesn't wipe his nose on my work clothes. Gross.
Once we get downstairs, I start in on the nose blowing lessons. Now, this seems obvious. Put the tissue to your nose and blow. Michael puts the tissue to his nose and then blows out through his mouth. He understands that this approach doesn't work, but he doesn't get that he's not doing it right.
It's clear that I actually need to teach him out to blow out through his nose. How hard can that be?
Over the past two weeks, I've demonstrated how to blow your nose, I've explained how to blow your nose. I've held Michael's fingers up under my nose as I exhale to show him what's happening. He just doesn't get it. He rubs the tissue on his nose once, tosses it aside, and then tries to rub his boogers out on my clothes again.
Today I tried explaining that he needs to close his mouth while he's blowing out. He seemed to understand what I was asking for, so he put the tissue up to his nose, closed his mouth, and blew.
His cheeks puffed up like a puffer fish.
I couldn't help but laugh. Until he tried to wipe his nose on me, that is.
Who knew something so simple could be so hard to learn?