Nose Picking & Other Disgusting Habits: The Primal Pleasures of Motherhood

snot nosed food on face toddler

Fellow comrades -- that would be you, mamas! -- I have a confession to make. It’s pretty disgusting and most would find a disclosure of this sort embarrassing. But such is the joy I gain from the primal pleasures of motherhood that I just don’t give a damn.

Here we go.


I derive an almost sensual satisfaction from extrapolating dried mucous from the nostrils of my 17-month-old son. I’ve been at it since the day he was born, lying there so motionless in his cot, a wallop of tantalizing snot suspended just so. Teasing me, dare I say, to dig into my makeup bag for my Tweezermans to extract it like a funny bone in Operation.

If I might be so bold, my repulsive tendencies do not stop there. I have what some might consider an unhealthy obsession with the size, smell, consistency, and look of his caca -- yes, more so now than ever. He’s just eating so many new things and I want to make sure that everything comes out okay and ...

You see? There I go again. Incorrigible.

I recently had to stop myself from discussing it with a work colleague. I’m amazed that I have any friends, let alone a husband who manages to find me attractive regardless of my constant "how's it 
looking?" inquiries.

Ah, the caca dialogues. Now that we’re on the subject, there’s something else I must tell you. Whenever I must do the doo, I invite my son into the bathroom with me so that I can demonstrate how moms and dads “go" hoping that he’ll get the point and take to the throne sooner rather than later. As it stands, though, he just looks at me as if I’m unhinged.  

Unhinged I am, damn it! I’ve been vomited on, pooped on, drooled on, and peed on. I’m a walking, talking trash bin and when he’s done eating half of whatever it is he’s eating, a human garbage disposal, as I’m happy to finish it for him. I’m also a human paper towel and an occasional roll of toilet paper.

And honestly? I don’t mind at all.

The other day I looked at my snotty-nosed angel with banana mashed into his hair and a load in his pants. “You know what?” I said to my husband, “I have never been this close to another human being before.”

While I engage in some pretty nasty stuff with my tot every day, it's in those primal moments that I discover the humility of motherhood. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I like the smell of his butt.

Okay. So that’s my dirt. What’s yours?


Image via K. Emily Bond

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