A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The road not taken…by my kid…on the can

I just found a dried booger on my shower curtain.

It’s about two feet off the ground, on the outside of the curtain, right next to the toilet in my kids’ bathroom.

After three kids, very little surprises me, and yet—there is something intriguing about the decision making process that went into this random little DNA deposit.

Picture this, if you will…

You’re a kid, somewhere between the age of 6 and 14, and you’re sitting on the can, doing your business.

Maybe it’s taking a long time. Maybe you forgot to bring in a book or your iThing. Clearly you’re not eating enough fruit or drinking enough water.

Minutes pass. Boredom strikes.

You’re stuck, waiting for the magic to happen.

Your mind wanders.

You start to get a little antsy.

You tap your feet.

You drum your fingers on your legs.

Nope. Still bored.

A-ha! An idea strikes! You can mine for gold in your nose! Hey, you’re only human, and the dry winter heat has been doing a number on your sinuses.

Perhaps while you’re sitting there, slowly rotating your finger to explore the entire surface area of your right nostril, you discover something worth excavating. “Ooooh,” you think to yourself, “I’ve got one! And it’s ripe for the picking!”

You manage to get your fingernail under the edge of it, pry it loose, and slowly extract your finger to examine your findings.

Yep. There’s gold in them thar hills!

But now you have a choice…

…what to do with your unhygienic haul.

You could turn your upper body 90 degrees to the left and tear off a square of toilet paper on which to wipe your nose-nugget, and then drop it into the toilet… but ooooh, that’s a multistep task requiring a number of large muscle groups, core strength, and fine motor skills.

Nah. Too hard.

Or you could simply and with minimal effort, slightly extend your right hand about 45 degrees to the right and wipe your sticky snotsicle on the blank canvas of the white, cotton, waffle weave, Bed Bath & Beyond shower curtain just hanging there… practically begging for your artistic input.

Yes. That’s the answer, you think. Simple, yet satisfying.

A decision is made; a plan is formed; a task is completed.

Your work is done…

…at least until your mother discovers the desiccated evidence of your choice, and sits you and your siblings down for a long, boring, heated discussion about hygiene, gooey graffiti, the slippery slope of sloth, and (for-the-love-of-all-things-holy) showing the tiniest bit of frickin’ courtesy for others by not exposing them to the disgusting excretions of your various body cavities.

Yes dear, that includes flushing.

Meh. They’re kids. This is what they do.

I guess I should be glad he/she didn’t eat it. It could always be worse. 

Ahhhhh… parenting. It certainly keeps you on your toes. And knees. And in the laundry room.

Two roads diverged in an ocean-themed bathroom…

…and my child took the one less traveled by.

I'm not saying it was Bucket Head…but there is a strong possibility.


  1. Hollow Tree Ventures

    Ah, the things we get to lecture about. Parenting is neat!

    • The Bearded Iris

      The best! Pass the Clorox Wipes please.

  2. Kim at Let Me Start By Saying

    I think the road less traveled is might fun, indeed.
    (as long as it’s not my shower curtain)

    • The Bearded Iris

      Well, I’ve been in your house, and you’re a much better housekeeper than I am, so who knows how long my shower curtain boogie has been there. Also – your toilet is far enough away from the shower curtain that it would be much harder to do at your house. (Just guessing. Not that I tried. Probably.)

      • Kim at Let Me Start By Saying

        If I found your petrified pick puck on my shower curtain, I’d pluck it off and put it in my pocket.

  3. Bernie Bickers

    Sweet Iris, if only you knew how the real world worked…It’s not just kids doing this. Over the last 20 years I’ve been noticing with increasing frequency, that grown men do the same thing at urinals across the US (and to a lesser extent also seen in UK/Europe). When I step up to take care of #1 in a public restroom at an office, a restaurant, or anywhere else, there’s usually a 40-50% chance there will be a cluster of dried boogie on the tile wall. What blows my mind, is this is the one place where there’s an abundance of paper products available (TP, paper towels, even seat covers fer’ cryin’ out loud!) to discretely dispose of a pick. You could even flick it into the basin to be flushed away, but no, they stick it on the wall instead. Where does this kind of behavior come from? Do these guys learn it from dads, brothers, or friends and perpetuate the cycle of nasality? Puzzling and disgusting…

    • The Bearded Iris

      Good Lord.

      You know, on second thought, maybe it wasn’t my kids at all. Maybe it was my husband or brother or father-in-law, since there is a 40-50% chance that any given grown man using my bathroom is incapable of responsibly disposing of his boogers. WTF, men?

      • Bernie Bickers

        Can boogers be lifted for fingerprints? I recommend a full CSIris investigation…

        • The Bearded Iris

          “…a full CSIris investigation…” OMG. That is PRICELESS! I smell a new series…

        • r/b

          I actually HAVE a real, honest-to-goodness CSI hat……
          and it now stands for “Cynical Snot Investigator.”

  4. Michelle

    I don’t even want to think about all of the boogers I miss that just hang out in the couch cushions on which I’m sitting. I just tell myself they’re graham cracker crumbs.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Actually though, I remember like it was yesterday, helping my mother move the couch to a different wall and discovering a line of dried boogs all along the top of the back of the couch. I thought it was a row of dented upholstery tacks, but upon closer inspection, we discovered they were indeed old boogers, clearly the handiwork of my little brother who was a constant nose picker. Good times.

  5. L. Hewitt

    Best first sentence ever. AND – Damn.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks! And right?! Ew!

  6. FunMumX3

    Ditto on couch cushions here. And GROSS … the far side of the front passenger seat cushion, down the side. Came to a halt when I told him I would flick off crusty boogers with a knife and drop in to a random sandwich some time and not tell him until after sandwich was eaten. I WOULD SO. I have done just that with hubby’s toenails that he has left on the coffee table.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Holy shit, you are fierce! *taking notes*

      • FunMumX3

        Just say you did it, even if you didn’t. They will never fuck with you again.

  7. r/b

    I am profoundly shaken.

    Booger mining and wiping is certainly a childhood hobby, and certainly one looses the “gusto” for this disgusting activity as we age, right?

    According to Bernie Bickers adults still partake of this bio-mining, and share the nuggets of snot for others to gaze upon…and that this is commonplace and omnipresent. I was unaware.

    The world is not just; my previous strongly held concept that people are good at heart has been shattered. I need to be held. All is lost.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Leave it to my buddy Bernie to shake our faith in humanity. It’s a good thing he’s one of my best and oldest friends in the world, or I would have blocked his Debbie Downer Ass a long time ago.

  8. Menopausal Mother

    Will it make you feel any better if I tell you I have found dried snot on my bathroom wall…..and I don’t even HAVE young children in my house anymore??? Funny post as always, Leslie, an that picture is PRICELESS!

    • Brenda

      I was thinking the same thing!
      No kids – what’s the excuse now, MISTER.
      I just got done cleaning a bunch of dried ones off the driver’s seat in the car yesterday. Only 2 people ever sit in that seat and I know it’s not me!
      Funny thing is, I sat him down for a lecture too but gave up when he continued to deny it.
      I guess it could always be something worse…. and truth be told I’d much rather deal with dried ones then fresh gooey ones!

  9. Amy

    There is no room in the house that is more disturbing to clean than the kids’ bathroom. The worst.

  10. Kim- One Classy Motha

    Be thankful that’s the only place you’ve found it. Side of the chair, on the wall next to the couch, bed headboard…basically, measure the length of my child’s arm, multiply it by the amount of time spent sedentary, then divide by their total available units of common courtesy- there you have the numbers of boogers illegally deposited in my home each day.

  11. Kathy at kissing the frog

    In one short blog post, you just explained my four boys and how they think. Thank you Iris!!

  12. Julie Shaver

    I am SO glad to hear that others find these “gifts” around their houses as well! My son chose to deposit his along the wall beside the top bunk (where he sleeps). Again, the thought process: I could wipe them on the sheets somewhere away from me and they will never be detected but will be washed away on laundry day OR I can put them along the wall like artwork to later be painstakingly scraped off with some sort of metal implement…. Yes, that sounds like the better option!

  13. Kelly Fox

    These gifts our children give us–priceless. But whenever I find stuff like that, I think about how my mom must have felt with six of us in the house. There was a drawer to the right of the downstairs toilet, and all six of us went to town on it. Dried boogers, carvings on the sides and bottom of the drawer, pen markings, ripped drawer liner, etc. She must have just stopped going in the bathroom in order to maintain her sanity.

  14. Andrea

    “The slippery slope of sloth” – yes. I’ve spoke of this as well.

    And when I was finished giving the speech to my husband, I turned right around and gave it to my kids.

  15. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    Love the rhythm, the artistry, the mucosal dessication of this post. Ellen

  16. Arnebya

    Boogers, man. I don’t get it. I will readily admit to enjoying the removal of them from my own nose because the air in my house is dry and every morning I’m clogged up, so RELIEF. But. I get a fucking tissue. Almost every time. It’s hard to flick moist ones, though, and that’s infuriating, so tissue, yes. It takes years to learn that though.

    Really giggling at CSIris though. You need to use that.

  17. julie gardner

    I can’t believe I missed this post until now because OH MY GOD – when we were young, my sister and I used to pick our noses when we were in bed and then wipe whatever we got on the side of the mattress on the fitted sheet.

    We called it our Booger Graveyard.

    My poor mom.

  18. Annabelle

    Sunday, 9:00 a.m. Mass, incense irritated nostrils, no handy paper, the underside of the pew was a perfect depository…

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