Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The Mother's Kiss

1. This is a thing? People do this?
2. Gender normativity at work in our daily lives.
3. Mentally add to list of "scary names for short stories."

82 Comments / Post A Comment


When I saw the link and headline, I assumed it'd be talking about how your mom says "let me kiss it better" and then you actually do feel better.

Nope, grosser.


@SarahP Me too. Very disappointing. Also gender normativity: 'The Father's Kiss' sounds like a book by a Freudian and that makes me sad.

oh! valencia

@SarahP My daughter only recently realized that my "kissing it better" actually does nothing. Our newest placebo is Vaseline.


@SarahP Me too! Yeah I don't think i'll be doing this thing.


@iceberg Some thinks are worth just sucking it up and paying for someone else to do it.


@oh! valencia
My Nanna had "Nanna's Magic Cream" (oil of Olay). It made lots of owies better when I was little.


What oh man every time I hear about kids they just seem grosser and grosser. I hope my sister has kids and I'm the cool uncle so I can just live with them when I'm old.

fondue with cheddar

@leon s Agreed. My brother has kids and I get to be the cool aunt. Best of both worlds.

Also, my sister-in-law's brother doesn't have kids (and I don't think he plans to), so we will both be living with them when we get old.


@leon s
Agreed! Though parenthood has always had its gross side. I'd much rather do this "mother's kiss" than potty-train anyone.
(The potty-training stories are always the worst! I started telling one about a young family that I know and immediately redacted it -- I will spare you all!)


@harebell - It's just so confusing, I would always forget if kids are like cats, where you just set the toilet out and they'll use it on their own, or if they're like dogs, where you're supposed to gently smack them on the nose with a newspaper when they 'go' in the living room.


@leon s

sadly, they are not at all like cats. (I guess it's a reasonable confusion -- their parents kept them in diapers for the first couple years of their life, after all).
But I have known families who kept the potty in the living room, and the kids without underpants, as part of the Training Process, so it does all start to blur...


I've never done this but I would have totally tried it.

It is a bizarre fact of parenting small kids that other kids' gross bodily stuff continues to be gross, but one's own kid's just sort of becomes an extension of one's own repulsive bodily nature, and therefore wiping your kid's nose is only a degree grosser than wiping your own.

I wonder how old they get before this stuff ceases to be true? Mine are already old enough to be grossed out when I spit on a kleenex to clean dirt off their faces so maybe it is imminent.


@Maryaed For some reason, baby snot generally doesn't strike me as all that gross. (I have no babies of my own, so we are talking entirely about stranger babies.) There is definitely an age threshold, though; self-mobile snot is roughly seventeen times grosser than baby snot.


@Maryaed It never stops being true. I don't wipe my 23 year old's nose, but only because that would embarrass him, not because it would bother me. And I find noses in general to be the grossest.


@Maryaed Depends on the "stuff". I'm totally grossed out by their poop still, even hough I have been wrist-deep in it countless times.


I also thought it was going to be a kiss-it-better type thing. Then I started reading that it was to remove foreign objects from the nose, and I thought, "Oh, no, they suck it out, don't they?" So, it turned out to be grosser and then not as gross as expected.

Anna Jayne@twitter

@NeenerNeener I also went down the path of "snot siphon" at first, but yes, totally grosser/not as gross.


@NeenerNeener The visualization inspired by this comment made me feel actually sick to my stomach.



@NeenerNeener Oh! I also thought it would involve sucking, so I skimmed the details 'cause I was feeling grossed out. If I hadn't read your comment I would never have known it was less gross.


@redheaded&crazie Midwives once cleared the respiratory tracts of newborns by applying suction orally, then spitting out the mucus and amniotic fluid.
You're welcome.


@MoonBat My Guyanese father recently told me to do that to my three month old with a cold. He said his aunt used to do it to her sons...who are in their 40's now...grody.


@MoonBat Afternoon = ruined.


@MoonBat Really? They didn't have those nasal bulb thingies? Cause those look like they've been around for centuries.


@Bittersweet They've been around for at least 23 years, which is how long I've been calling them a "Mr. Booger", but Teddy Roosevelt's mom probably didn't use one.


From the points above, I expected it to be something men asked their female coworkers to do for them.

I still wouldn't be surprised.

fondue with cheddar

Who else is thinking of the Bill Cosby bit with the Cocoa Puffs?


@fondue with cheddar I'm thinking of the Pete & Pete episode with the presidential marshmallow cereal.

fondue with cheddar

@Amphora I didn't watch Pete & Pete! I'm sure I would have loved it if I'd been born later.


All I can think of is dementors.


My mom definitely used to do this, but as a last resort if I couldn't expel the object (usually an M&M that was purposely lodged there) on my own.

And when I had something stuck in my eye, she'd pry my eyelid open and blow quickly/sharply onto the eyeball once or twice.


I wonder what "The Mother's Punch" or "The Father's Groan" accomplish.


@JessicaLovejoy the latter gets you a new brother or sister, when performed on mom

I'm here all night folks


Reminds me of my days as a swim instructor. Good ol' water loosening up kids' boogers so you're trying to help them with a starfish float but you can't take your eyes off the long string of snot hanging across their lip and down their chin. Must. Remain. Professional.


God, if they didn't call it that it wouldn't seem so awful. Like if they called it "removal breathing" or "expulsion puffs" or something. Those names are weird but pretty accurate. A kiss this is not. Nor is it a mother-exclusive thing, duh.

Am I the only one who is inexplicably thinking of Lucille Bluth?


@whateverlolawants I wasn't until this comment. Now I am laughing while thinking about it.


@ThatWench @whateverlolawants ha! that's awesome.


@ThatWench I am laughing also and now I know I don't have to go to the gym today, at least according to the previous post.

Vera Knoop

@whateverlolawants "What's happening? Why are you squeezing me with your body?"


"Claiming she could take it no more, the young mother released the emergency brake, allowing her car to roll backwards into the nearby lake."

"Good for her!"


I mean, if I'm REALLY congested I will sometimes "block the unaffected nostril" and blow... but with my own breath... out of my own lungs...

So it's weird, but makes sense. I guess?


@Alli525 Isn't that just... blowing your nose?

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@whateverlolawants Not so much when you can't get any air out. And they say your head is basically going to explode if you stifle a sneeze, ever. Which is kind of what you're doing, sort of.

I used to get one nostril completely congested even without a cold, and sometimes I'd get paranoid because I had to work twice as hard to get the same amount of oxygen and maybe I wasn't living up to my Optimum Potential. But it doesn't happen that much anymore and I'm still a disappointment. So.


@Bus Driver Stu Benedict
Optimum Potential™ lol lol
I do know that feeling, and I don't like it.


I've done this. My two year old daughter had previously stuck a piece of chalk up her nose and the ER doctor at the Children's Hospital told me to try this if it happens again. Three weeks later, she shoved some blue play dough waaaay up there. So, I did it. The play dough came flying out like a bullet. The whole process was gross, but strangely satisfying. The things you do for love.....

oh! valencia

@Chickylou When my kid had something stuck up her nose, I immediately called my mom... and waited... and she eventually sneezed it out.


@Chickylou Wait...so when it came out, didn't it fly into your face?


@Pyxis Yes indeed, stuck right to my cheek. But in the scope of gross things mothers deal with, it is pretty far down on the list. I have stories. Unspeakably gross stories....


Yes, this was very gross. But, maybe makes sense. Ew. I also thought it might have made reference to the fact that the best way to get something out of someone's eye is supposedly with your tongue. This takes place in Lolita (and is a deleted scene from the 1997 film, really great).


Yeah... I'm still going to go with a $75 ER copay and a bored tech with a QTip, versus tongue-in-eye...


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Really? I would infinitely rather have a friendly tongue in my eye than have a medical professional poke around with some instrument.

I had a friend who once, doing that thing where you rub chopsticks together to get the splinters out, somehow managed to send a chopstick splinter careening into his eyeball. He had to go to the hospital to get it taken out. They said he was unusually good at keeping his eyelids open (I'm unusually bad at it).


@Ellie Oh GROSS. *shudder*


but...the germs...

Quick Brown Fox

The eye in the tongue thing reminds me of an erotic massage book I read that claimed sticking your tongue in the other person's nose is really pleasurable. I'll take their word for it.


But they sell those little dropper things you can use to suck out whatever is stuck up there. Why do you have to taste it?


@muffalutta The little dropper bulb things are just for sucking out boogers and such. It will not work for solid stuff. And with the "mothers kiss" you aren't tasting anything. You just blow into their mouth.


@Chickylou yeah, but in the comments somebody said she used it when her kid inhaled a tic tac.

this post should be titled "ways to steal your child's candy."


Last month my health communication class was having a discussion about diverse cultural understandings of health and medical knowledge. One of the women in my class explained how in her culture, a small child with a sinus infection does not have their sinuses drained using a little eyedropper/sucky thing like we tend to use in the States. Instead, it's considered more effective for a mother to put her mouth over her child's nose and just suck the congestion out. Apparently it's not just a mother-child thing; she and her sister will do it for each other's kids, too. It's just more effective and probably not too unsanitary, since they probably have a more robust immune system than the kid.


It's probably a lot less scary for the kids than sticking weird tools in their nose.
Plus, the warm breath of the mom probably loosens things up.
I don't know. You love somebody who's kind of helpless. They're sick. So you help them. As long as they are little kids, it doesn't seem that gross to me. Little kids are so close to still being physically a part of their moms and dads anyway.


@unicornfighter Reading your comment made me throw up in my mouth a little bit*. Dear god that is disgusting.

*I'm not exaggerating


@unicornfighter I commented above on this very subject, my Guyanese relatives have done this.
And as a mom whose little stinkbutt is going through some lovely nasal issues right now, I find the NoseFrida to be a nice middle ground. The blubs don't do anything but piss both of us off, and the mouth sucking thing is not going to happen.

I'll set myself on fire for that child, but I'm not sucking his snot out.

Better to Eat You With

@jule_b_sorry Yeah, me too.


I'm really glad my mother was not familiar with this technique when I got a googley craft eyeball stuck up my nose. We left it there overnight as we were leaving for family vacation the next morning, and then once we got to Grandma's house, we went to a walk-in clinic to get it "extracted." Granted, I was in high school.


@Stevie I know, right? I stuck a cooked baby carrot up my nose (& then declared proudly at the dinner table that I had done so) when I was 2 or so, & while the resultant late-night trip to the doctor was somewhat traumatic, I'm now overwhelmed with gratitude that my mother did not attempt to remove it via this method.



Yes, I'm very pleased the crayon nub I put in my nose when I was four (and I distinctly remember the thought process behind doing this) was removed by my pediatrician with a tiny pair of tweezers.


@Stevie In second grade, I got bored during math time and put a dry pinto bean in my nose, just to see if it would go in. It did.
I had to forcefully blow my nose and out came the bean, some snot, and some blood.


Also I don't think I ever got anything stuck up my nose as a kid, my siblings either. Maybe my brother did, he's a few years older than me.

oh! valencia

@Megano! I'm one of six, and I'm pretty sure out of all of us, my mom only had to do this once for my brother. It's not a super common occurence.


@oh! valencia Yeah, I'll check with my mom, but I don't think this was a big problem with my sister or me.


@Megano! I'm one of 4 and I don't remember any of us sticking things up our noses. I do remember when my brother told my mom he put a bean in his ear. Two hours at the ER later, it turned out he was joking, there was no bean.


@Megano! My friend's 3-year-old just recently stuck a bead up his nose, and had to get it extracted at the pediatrician's. When asked why he'd stuck it there, he replied that the pants we was wearing that day had no pockets. (Makes sense.)


Huh. I am glad that I read this. Other than the sexist name, I think this technique is actually pretty great. Like other 'Pinners, at first I thought it would involve sucking on the kid's nose, which sounds gross, but just blowing a breath of air in their mouth? Not gross at all, and very practical.

oh! valencia

@wee_ramekin Not that different from CPR, in fact.

the roughest toughest frail

Blowing in a kid's mouth is not that gross, really. This, however, is disgusting.


I dated a guy who thought this was a HILARIOUS thing to do to someone you were making out with. We didn't last long.


@ifwecantaloupe Oh my GOD. I hate guys (or girls, I guess) like that. I have dated guys who dug under my nails with their own, picked my nose (whether it needed it or not), blew in my mouth, etc. And don't get me started on tickling. And if they did it after I asked them to stop... oh man. Did not last.


@whateverlolawants I basically threw someone out of my house for tickling me when I said not to, and then play kicked me, also when I said not to. And then I broke up with them. Tickling in torture. I hate it, so so much.


@PistolPackinMama So do I. I don't understand why people think it's okay, especially after they've been asked to stop.


I distinctly remember stuffing a rock from our driveway in my nose when I was a kid because I thought it was pretty. It seemed like a bood place to store things, like a built in pocket! Thank god it didn't occur to me to treat any other orifices like handy pockets, bleah.


@christonacracker hahahahahahahaha! that's adorable.

I haven't had to do this technique even once, with my triplets, but it's probably just a matter of time, they're not even 2 yet.

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