There is no delicate way to say it, David has some really disgusting habits. He likes to pick his nose and on occasion, eat it. His gas rivals his father’s in both volume and pugency, which is no small feat. He is constantly digging in any dirt he can find, be it in the garden, where I am sure the neighbor’s cat poops or in the cracks on the sidewalk. Even more stomach turning, I have caught him eating the accumulated filth out from under his fingernails. David has never seem a piece of floor food too disgusting to eat, be it lint covered Cheerios from under the couch or semi- moist popcorn off the kitchen floor.
With this laundry list of questionable personal habits it is hard to pick which is the worst, but I have the definitive winner. David likes to stick both hands down his pants, pull them out, and then sniff them. Keep in mind he isn’t potty trained so he is basically sticking his hands in the toilet and then smelling them. Sometimes while doing his scratch and sniff routine, he manages to shift himself around in a way that causes his diaper to leak and anything around him to become soaked in pee. Also, one of his favorite games to play is sticking his fingers in my mouth and eyes. Now his new past time has filled each day with the fear of an impending pinkeye outbreak.
I have been at my wits end with him and have heard myself scream, ” get your hands out of your pants” enough times to realize I needed a new approach. Yesterday morning I tried something different- every time I caught David with his hands in his pants I would make him go to the bathroom to wash his hands because they were dirty. I had to do this four times in a row before he finally found another way to entertain himself. I thought this was going to be a really good way to break this habit. Then my issue of Parenting magazine showed up.
Apparently, it is natural for children to explore their bodies and you are supposed to just ignore them and let them do what they want. What you aren’t supposed to do is tell them what they are doing is wrong or “dirty”. So now I am damaging David’s burgeoning self esteem. Well excuse me, Parenting magazine, for not wanting my kid to be a pee-hand sniffer.
I don’t know what to do now. I don’t want to make him grow up with weird negative associations but I also don’t want him to have no friends because he always has his hands either down his pants or up his nose. Or both.
If anyone has any advice or suggestions, please let me know. I’m desperate.