There are a few critical things, that all parents should teach their kids early on. You probably can already name a few – Riding a bike. Swimming. Getting dressed. But two of the most critical skills (and most difficult to teach, might I add) are wiping after going to the bathroom, and blowing their nose.
We’ll start with the nose business and then move, well, south. Breathing is such an innate thing- not a skill that we need to teach, nor something that we have to coach our kids on how to do better. For some reason, however, blowing the nose when sick is a very hard task.
Right now my twins are four, and they still have not achieved mastery in this area. One of them just snorts it all away. THAT right there is the sound of my nightmares. The other one just calls out to me “boogies” every five minutes, waiting for me to come around with a Kleenex. When I do bring a tissue over to her, there is no blowing happening. At all. So we dab. We do a lot of dabbing. Not in that weird, pre-teen dance/celebration move that was all the rage the last few years, but more in the wipe the boogers that are literally coming out of the nose because there is no room in the nostrils for more type of move.
So when the nostrils are not busting at the seams, we try to practice blowing. But here is the thing- the two of them CAN blow air through their nostrils- just with not enough force. So we will keep trying. We have RESEARCHED this even- but have not found anything that works. Hopefully by the next cold season we will be nose-blowing ninjas.
The second critical life skill is wiping “down below”. I don’t want this to get too gross, but let’s just say- that area can get pretty gross. Who’s with me? Anyone start to help their toddler/preschooler get undressed and see colors in their underwear that definitely shouldn’t be there? Now, I only have girls, so I am absolutely not an expert in the other anatomy (maybe they shake it clean? drip dry? I’ll let someone else chime in for that area). The pee is not really the issue. It is more the number 2 business. You have to think of logistics- these kids are trying to balance themselves on the toilet (without the fear of falling in) grab the toilet paper, and then also clean themselves. It is a challenging task. Again I have had my children scream from the bathroom “poopies!” so that I will come help them wipe. Not my favorite part of the day. So we have practiced wiping and then checking- is it still dirty? If so, wipe again (sometimes with another round of toilet paper). This method seems to work pretty well- we have had cleaner underwear lately. Unfortunately we go through quite a bit of toilet paper- thank goodness for Costco.