It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Tissue Trauma

There are only three children here today. (Only three children! Practically a day off!) Two of said children are playing happily on the other love seat in the living room, a game that involves much giggling and manoeuvring of small blocks in and around the seat cushions while I fire off a two-paragraph email, quick-quick.

Nigel, however, is at loose ends, and the laptop which so engrosses me must be interesting! Oh, and look! Buttons! Lots and lots of lovely buttons! My right hand flicks his hand gently away at ever-decreasing intervals. (Flick.) I could – and should! – just focus (flick) on the boy for a sec and redirect him (flick), but I just want to get this one (flick) thing (flick) done (flick).

Now, Nigel isn’t often at loose ends. Nigel is a lovely, lively 12-month-old, busy, quiet, happy. He spends much of his day toddling here and there, picking up first one item and then the next, putting them in his mouth, drooling, gagging, and throwing the now sodden item to the floor before moving on to the next edible treat. My home is littered with soggy bits of this and that. Once every couple of hours I go through with a shovel and a mop, and we’re good to go.

But this morning, with less mayhem to amuse and, now that I’ve removed the box of kleenex and the cup of water that someone (not me!) left on the FLOOR, nothing edible or splashable in immediate range, he’s toodled over to the laptop. It’s not splashable yet, but given a few minutes drool time, he can rectify that.

A dimpled finger reaches for the button. “No, Nigel. Not for babies.” Flick. He knows I’m not to be taken seriously, not as distracted as I am. Back comes the little finger, hovering damply over the keyboard. Flick. “Not for babies, Nigel. Just a sec.” Fli–then I catch sight of his nose.

It’s been a little damp all morning, requiring occasional wipes. What I see now is not longer “a little” anything. The cold has ramped up production: two thick yellow ribbons curl over his upper lip. Eew. “Bring me that nose, little boy,” I instruct, reaching for one of the crumpled but clean (and miraculously dry!) rescued tissues.

Being a normal one-year-old, he goes into evade mode. Duck and run, baby! Duck and run! I am far too practiced to be so easily evaded, and the kleenex has swiped over his shoulder and wrapped round his seeping nose before he’s taken a full pace, much too quickly for him even to utter the wail of protest he’d so richly inhaled for. Well, poop.

The trauma decisively over, he returns to the laptop. His little face peeps past the monitor. I reach for the kleenex. He eyes the kleenex, held ready and warningly in my hand, his finger hesistates in the air. His eyes flick from the keyboard to the tissue, temptation and trauma, back and forth, back…and… Nope. Not worth the bother.

A moment or two later, I’m done with the laptop, but Nigel doesn’t care: he’s dropping tiny toys in the potty. Who needs a laptop with a tissue threat when potty mayhem awaits?

February 20, 2006 - Posted by | eeewww, Mischief, Nigel


  1. ewwwww.

    I have so been there.

    Comment by MsSisyphus | February 20, 2006 | Reply

  2. that’s great- poor little boy traumatized by tissues, I bet that you have a lot more raw noses up there than we do down here because of the cold and such, causing many children to fear the attack of the tissue monster!

    while you only have three children- I have the whole day off because it’s a holiday down here and mom actually decided to spend the whole day with her children, usually I end up with them for half the day if a holiday lands on a Monday- or else making up time later in the week, but not this one, yay!

    Comment by Angela | February 20, 2006 | Reply

  3. Well written! I was practically right there with you, sitting in the chair beside the couch.

    (And don’t I wish I actually was. Try and scare me off with a kleenex β€” see how effective it is!)

    You should write a book.

    Comment by Q | February 20, 2006 | Reply


    Okay, maybe not RIGHT now, but soon! Right after Nigel goes home, perhaps.

    Comment by Susan | February 20, 2006 | Reply

  5. Book! Book! Book!

    Comment by Candace | February 20, 2006 | Reply

  6. MsS: Haven’t we all?? Babies are…moist.

    Angela: You could argue that being more used to the things, they’d fight them less, but noooo…

    Enjoy your day off!

    Q: I rather suspect that sitting on the couch and fluttering a tissue in your direction would be more akin to a red flag to a bull: none of the rage, but all of the focussed attention…

    Susan: I’m still only 2/3 of the way through the one I started back in November. I know! I’ll just quit my job and write. I’ll have nothing to write ABOUT, without my little snotty inspirations, but I’ll have lots of time…

    Candace: This blog is the basis of a book. It’ll happen! It may never get published, but it’ll get writ! Really.

    Comment by Mary P. | February 20, 2006 | Reply

  7. A book, great. I’ve wanted to suggest that several times. Your stories are priceless and so well written. (But they are not really stories; they are real!!!)

    Comment by jw | February 20, 2006 | Reply

  8. I am so excited that this blog is the basis of a book!!!

    And I love Nigel. Nigel, Darcy, George, and Arthur are my favorites.

    Comment by jen-o-rama | February 20, 2006 | Reply

  9. Great hand exercise on those “flicks”. ;P

    Comment by Queen Bee | February 21, 2006 | Reply

  10. JW: Don’t hold your breath: it’ll get written, but it’s not exactly immanent… LOL

    Jen: See comment above. πŸ™‚

    QyeenBee: I’m good with my hands. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Mary P. | February 21, 2006 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: