Mummy Slave and the Snot Machine

These are the new names for me and the toddler.

You may be aware we’ve all been sick at Mixed Gems Central the past week. I thought babies were somewhat demanding in their needs but, boy, I’ve realised toddlers take the cake. I signed onto this gig to be a ‘mum’ not a ‘slave’ but maybe the two are synonymous?

The Snot Machine is currently oozing the stuff at a crazy rate. I can’t believe how many tissues we’ve had to use since she started catching bugs from childcare. In these days of environmental awareness I feel I should apologise to someone about the waste, but who?

She’s also extra fickle.

“Mummy, I want suck-suck**.”

Later, “Mummy, I want banana bread.”

Ten minutes later, banana bread untouched, “I want mennum**.”

Then there’s the extra whininess.

“Mummy, can you wipe my nose?”

“Mummy, wipe my nose, please!”

“Wipe my nose?”

“No Daddy! Mummy, wipe my nose!”


Given the snot tap’s on high that’s a LOT of whiny requests for nose wipes.

I have encouraged her to try to wipe it herself but that results in an explosion of whines; “I can’t”. I’ve also tried to get her to learn to blow her nose. More, “I can’t”s. No matter how many times I encourage her to try, she retorts with, “I can’t.” Even when I jokingly suggested if I didn’t have arms I’d have to use my toes, she laughed and then said, “Mummy use your toes.”

This morning serendipitously, or so I thought, they played a song on Yo Gabba Gabba called “Keep Trying”. What a great educational opportunity! So I piped up extra loud.

“Keep trying, keep trying, don’t give up, don’t give up.”

Said I to the Snot Machine, “See darling, keep trying, don’t give up. You can do it. You can do it!” I ended triumphantly.

All I got back was vigorous arm waving, and a few vehement retorts of, “No Mummy. NO MUMMY!”

Lesson abruptly ended. (till another day)

Then there’s the TV and iPad. I know there are varied schools of thought on the exposure of littlies to such things but if it helps entertain her when she’s not in the mood for independent play, what’s the short-term harm? Right?

Well the ‘harm’ is to me. I’ve become the remote control.

“Peppa Pig, mummy.”

Then, “Play School”.

Seven minutes later, “I want the new Play School”.

“No. Not that one. I want Yo Gabba Gabba.”

Thankfully that’s a long one and she can last the distance of 20 plus minutes before I get, “Mister Maker, mummy.”

One thing I decided a long time ago when Snot Machine was a baby was that I had to do what worked for us, regardless of the competing expert advice and opinions.

So that’s how I’m handling my week, hoping the whininess is just a phase and seeming worse because she’s sick.

The nice part of all, despite this, is that she’s wanting more cuddles, whiny ones though they are, and as long as I remember that all the other chores can wait, I’ve got all the time in the world to be the Mummy Slave.

Any tips to share on handling and entertaining sick toddlers? Any additional advice on getting them to try things and drop the “I can’t” stage?

* Here’s a pictorial for those wondering what ‘suck-suck’ and ‘mennum’ is:


4 thoughts on “Mummy Slave and the Snot Machine

  1. I am still trying to get my 3 year old to blow his nose. He sniffs instead of blows. it’s infuriating. so now that we are free of snot I am going to try this trick. (thanks for the reminder because I only seem to remember when he is snotty!)
    cotton ball races.
    get the cotton ball to move along the table using the air from your nose. You have to keep your mouth closed of course! no cheating. this should teach him to blow air out of his nose instead of sniff and next time he has a cold he will be able to blow his nose instead of me wiping every 5 seconds!
    Hope you are all feeling better this week.

    • Thanks, Toushka, that’s an excellent idea! I so want her to learn to be more resilient than just give up if she fails something (harks back to my own issues from youth – story for another post, maybe). But she is still young. I forget she’s only just 28 months sometimes. With her back-chatting and all, she seems older sometimes. Anyway, I will keep the Cotton Ball Race game up my sleeve. She might just be willing to try if it’s a game instead of just giving up so easily!

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