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The Politics of Boogies

Boogies are a big thing around these parts. Everybody’s got 'em, and for most of the winter, there’s some crazy drama that goes on in the parenting community over which type and amount of boogies are acceptable in social situations, and which should resign a child to quarantine-leper status.

Sometimes it’s obvious. You look at a kid and you know they’re just not fit to be in public, that anyone within a 10 foot radius of them will burst into a plague. Those children should be locked up if at all possible – with tenderness and gentle nursing back to health – but far away from other people.

Other times it’s not so cut and dry. Some kids’ noses just run all winter long. Should they and their mothers be locked in a rubber room for four months on the off-chance that today’s boogies could contain something contagious? I don’t think so.

Last year Magoo had a cough for about 3 months. It was dry and sounded horrible. I took him to the pediatrician a few times, and he said nothing was wrong. I ran the humidifier, gave him vitamins, and had him drink fluids but the cough remained. I would take him out, he’d let out a monstrous hack, and people would gasp or cringe or give me that “what kind of a mother...?” look. And I’d smile and continue on with my shopping.

I feel like I usually know when my kid is a menace to the health of all mankind. The problem is, I don’t always give other moms the same benefit of the doubt. When I see a kid with green boogies or a hacking cough, I run away like he has the plague because you never know, he might. I only wish there was a way to detect whether the kid who slurped all over the shopping cart right before Magoo sucked on it had any perilous biohazards in his saliva specimen. I guess I’ll find out in 2-4 days.

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