Dirty David

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.


6 thoughts on “Dirty David

  1. whats the bucket idea? Im interested…
    my first advice: cancel your Parenting subscription and get Mothering. its a trillion times better.
    my second advice: lose the diaper when your at home. its good for kids to explore their bodies..not their waste! I already let Eli freeball it (yes, thats what we call it!) all the time when we’re at home. sure, he pees everywhere…but I just clean it up and show him where he’s supposed to go. he’ll get it eventually.
    I think the hand washing is a good way to handle it. the way I made sure that Gabe always washed his hands after using the bathroom was by telling him about a story I had heard on the news about a lady who got a brain worm..and that they are spread by people who dont wash their hands after using the restroom. needless to say..he NEVER leaves the bathroom without washing..with soap! sometimes you have to scare ’em 😉
    and btw…Im still yelling at TJ to get his fingers out of his nose and his hands out of his pants..so don’t feel too bad ;)~

  2. Oh my goodness Jamie! Don’t worry, you’re not going to damage him by telling him that pee and poop don’t belong on hands. Wash, wash and wash some more. And I’m curious about the bucket idea as well…

    • The bucket idea:

      The first time I hung out with my darling friend jenni, I was complaining about something David was doing. Jenni, who doesn’t have kids yet, suggested that I “put him in a bucket”. I think she was sincerely trying to help. She later stepped away from the table and came back to tell me she had called her mom and she said not to worry, David was just being a normal little boy. That was when I knew Jenni would be someone that I would always want around.

      As a side note- months later I was taking a walk and saw a kid swinging from a tree in a bucket and I thought of Jenni!

  3. He will grow out of it, but it will seriously take a while. Kids have absolutely no concept of dirt and germs no matter how many times you explain it to them. Frances drank her bath water probably until just very recently (she’s 6 now). The threat of it causing diarrhea didn’t faze her whatsoever. She still eats her boogers (she actually prefers them to vegetables) and I think the only thing that will break that habit is once her peers see her doing it and make fun of her. Nothing like public humiliation by your peers. When she was 4, she still played with her poo if you weren’t paying careful attention when she was on the pot. She even pooed in the bathtub! The look on her father’s face was priceless!!! Oh, and she loved to masturbate while watching TV. She grew out of that during her 4th year, thank god! We did explain to her that it was ok to play with your yoni (that’s what we call it), but only in private. Anyway, the bottom line is that kids are just gross sometimes and all you can do is teach them how to wash their hands and remind them a billion times that poo and boogers are dirty. It will sink in eventually. They probably won’t be sticking their hands down their pants and then smelling them once they’re in grade school. At least not in public!

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