Friday, March 07, 2008

Gag Me

Most, if not all, of us have those gross little habits that we'd rather keep to nose pickers, zit poppers, booger eaters, belly button diggers, and toe-jam harvesters know who you are. There's some twisted sense of gratification that comes from the engagement of these habits. And some some of us don't care at all. My sixth grade math teacher used to sit at his desk and dig earwax out of his ear with his car keys, oblivious to the twenty horror-stricken, open-mouthed eleven year-olds staring at him. I can't tell you how many times I've passed someone in the car mining for nose-gold, as though their cars were an impenetrable refuge, impervious to the eyes of casual passers-by. Some people are blessed with an amazing lack of self-consciousness. Their blessing is our curse.

Kailey is bordering on developing a nasty habit that we need to nip in the bud, pronto. Her habit? Tonsil digging. No, I've never heard of it either until I witnessed it with my own eyes. Kailey's tonsils look healthy. They're not swollen or infected, but they are filled with this white, cakey, chunky, disgusting crap. And I don't know if it's just food that gets trapped there or whether her tonsils are secreting the junk, but regardless of the source, it's gross. Kailey's favorite pastime has become grabbing a handful of Q-tips and digging that crap out of her tonsils. I can't watch her do it. It activates my gag reflex and makes me want to puke. And I can't understand how she doesn't make herself hurl.

Now don't be mistaken. Kailey isn't merely scraping the stuff off the surface of her tonsils...SHE IS DIGGING IT OUT FROM UNDER AND BEHIND THEIR VARIOUS FOLDS. And when she digs out a particularly large chunk of crap, she brandishes it like an Olympic medal. "Look what I got, Daddy!" she gushes as she waves a Q-tip with a dime-sized chunk of tonsil-jam in my face. Then I run for the john.

We've got to put a stop to this. Healthy or not, those tonsils have to go. We need to get her into the doctor to see if there isn't something she can do about it. In the meantime, I would be perfectly happy, even proud, if Kailey moved on to a more normal disgusting habit, like nose-picking.


Greg said...

*ahem* I .. uh... used to do that too. Probably around her age up until grade 11 or so. Then the guck seemed to stop accumulating. I sympathize with both of you. It's gross to watch, but it's also a nasty feeling having it built up in there like a zit (and it STINKS, maybe contributes to bad breath?)

Perhaps just discourage the happy dance after a successful mining expedition :) I kept it to myself and only engaged behind a locked bathroom door, partially because it made me wretch occasionally :-D

As I recall it got worse before it got better, especially with strep throat or some of the other nasties that kids get.

*sigh* I'd forgotten about that... thanks for the reminder of another potential horror that's coming in a few years!

the battered ham said...

Oh man...sorry to dredge up those memories, but your commentary is actually helpful. You're right, the gunk stinks, and her breath has been much fresher since she's started clearing it out. At least I now know that my child isn't a freak...or any freakier than she already is (she gets that from me, of course). I just can't imagine going through this for the next ten years! HELP!