Friday, December 10, 2004

The Unseen World

On Wednesday Brian, at work, gave me a little, lighted magnifier. I brought it home to show Allie the wonders of the unseen world.

We've been looking at everything from cat hair to the backs of our hands. We've been having fun comparing the craggy landscape of my 38-year-old hand to the smooth, unblemished blanket of skin that covers Allie's relatively new paw. I never noticed I've got age spots. Five years ago I would have called them freckles. Now they're age spots. I don't plan any intensive Porcelana intervention. I've earned the spots. I'm keeping them.

While we were looking for stuff to put under the magnifier I noticed Allie had a big booger in her nose. Like most parents, I have no problem reaching into my kid's nostrils so I grabbed the booger. I put it under the magnifier and invited Allie to look at it.

She refused.

It was only when I told her one of her nose hairs was embedded in the booger that she decided to take a look. She bent over the magnifier and as soon as she caught a glimpse of her booger she started to retch. As melodramatic as Allie can be I still could tell she was genuinely ready to relinquish her dinner. She looked at me as if I'd tricked her into doing something awful.

She took another look.

The gagging and coughing started again. Allie held her hand over her mouth and said, "Daddy, I'm gonna puke if I look at that again."

We stared at each other for about five seconds and then she plunged for the magnifier again. I just shook my head.

I'm pretty sure she would have gone for a fourth glimpse but I decided that was enough and got rid of the booger.

Later, as I was tucking her into bed she went on-and-on about how disgusting her booger was. She asked if she could take the magnifier with her to daycare. I'm pretty sure the other parents wouldn't appreciate it if my daughter took their kids on a booger safari. I told Allie she couldn't take the magnifier. She didn't protest. I'm pretty sure she realized revealing she has spent time looking at her own boogers might stigmatize her socially.

Too bad her father doesn't have the same filter.

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