weirdnessA word to the wise: if your baby or toddler starts doing something bizarrely amusing, do NOT laugh.

A few months ago, I turned around to check on my son in his car seat and found him sitting there with his index finger casually shoved up his nose. Naturally, I busted up and had everyone in the car turn to look. Laughing and pointing ensued, with my husband joking about the kid learning to pick his nose at a shockingly young age. The little guy grinned happily, pleased that he was able to entertain us. And then he started sticking his finger up his nose over and over and over again. He still does it to this day, particularly when I’m upset with him. It’s impossible to keep a straight face when my bright-eyed little man innocently blinks up at me with a finger in his nose. He never attempts to pull anything out (thank goodness), but it’s not exactly a habit I want to encourage.

Shortly after the first nose-picking incident, my son got a sinus infection. Poor guy inherited my family’s sinus troubles. Attempting to clear his nasal cavity one day, he started snorting and sniffing enthusiastically. Knowing that a little sinus irritation wasn’t cause for alarm, it was pretty funny to watch him scrunch up his nose and go slightly cross-eyed with determination. He blew with the vigor of a bull, nostrils flaring, eyebrow furrowed. We joined in and imitated him, leaning against his forehead and going head-to-head with our own bull impressions. The sinus infection went away, but the bull impression remained. Several times a day. He snorts for attention, he snorts when he’s bored, he snorts at strangers in the grocery store.

As any parent knows, misguided chuckles are like rewards to kids, re-enforcing their behavior. That’s why my kid picks his nose, snorts with a vengeance, and probably why he keeps throwing his alphabet blocks into the sink disposal.

Have your kids picked up any strange habits along the way?

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2 Responses to Don’t encourage the weirdness

  1. Haha! Oh man I bet the snorting at random strangers is priceless. My MIL did teach my son that ging up stairs was effort and began grunting with each step. Of course he picked up on this so everytime he went up stairs it sounded like he was taking a gigantic terd. Not exactly something I was thrilled about.

  2. I bet the bull imitation id cute! My daughter started putting her hair in her mouth lately. It drives me batty.

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