Things That Are Neither Napkins Nor Kleenexes

It’s that time of year again.

The intersection of cold and flu season with the beginning of allergy season.

It’s snot fun.

And so it’s time for our annual rendition of a little dramatic production I like to call:  Things That Are Neither Napkins Nor Kleenexes.

Things That Are Neither Napkins Nor Kleenexes

Dear Children o’ Mine,

There are things in this world that are not napkins.

They are not napkins, and they are not kleenexes.

They are neither napkins nor kleenexes.


When we’re driving in my car and you pick your nose,

please don’t wipe the results on my car seats.

My car seats are not kleenexes.

When you’re looking out the window and watching the world flash by,

you may not decorate the glass with slimy, snail trails of nose mucus.

Because my windows are not kleenexes.

When you discover, because your sister screamed “Ew! Your face is gross!,”

that you have booger-laced ketchup from your eyelids to your chin,

please don’t use the back of your sleeve to clean up the mess.

Because your shirt is not a napkin.

When you’re in the tub with your runny nose,

and getting out of the water to find a tissue seems cold and unfriendly,

please remember that

the shower curtain is not a kleenex.

When I pick you up at your friend’s house and you don’t want to leave

because your friend’s house is fantastic

and our house is boring and stupid,

and so you cry, cry, cry,

and your nose runs, runs, runs,

and I pick you up to carry you away

and you finally snuggle up to me for comfort

even though I’m the cause of your epic emotional breakdown,


pretty please,

give me time to tenderly wipe your tears and goo away.

Because my breasts are not a kleenex.

And when your dad comes home from work,

his pants are not a kleenex.

And when you finish dipping your processed, filler-laden hot dog

in ranch dressing,

and I’m not looking because I’m giving someone a timeout

or helping someone else with homework

or staring at my laptop when I should be paying attention to you,

please keep in mind

that the dog is not a napkin.

And even though you seem to think, on the mornings I go to work,

that I have a big, huge sign on my work clothes that reads,

“Napkin and/or Kleenex,”

I don’t.

I really don’t.

My work clothes are not a kleenex.

Since we’re on the subject, I should take the time to note

that no matter how angry you are,

your brother’s face is never, ever a napkin.

And, finally,

you know what else,

you little boogers?

I love you.


P.S.  Sometimes, I receive special little signs from Heaven that a blog post is particularly timely, or, dare I say, divinely inspired.

I was in the middle of drafting this post when my dear friend Leanne, the one who watches my kiddos when I’m at my easier, out-of-the-house job where no one wipes anything on me ever, wrote to say this:

Cael is sporting lovely iridescent sleeves.  I think you can guess why, and, no, he was not attacked by a swarm of angry slugs, although I’m sure there’s a Sci-Fi movie about that.

The snot really glistens on a backdrop of midnight blue cotton.

They should make kleenex sleeves.

Now, if that isn’t divine approval of this post, I don’t know what is.

And they say it’s hard to hear when God’s talking.  Ha.  Hardly.

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6 responses to “Things That Are Neither Napkins Nor Kleenexes”

  1. Oh I feel the same way. The thing I hate the most is that it isn’t my almost 2yr old that is the worst it is my older kids. Thanks for the laugh I needed it.

    • SO funny re: your older kids! I’ve finally trained one of mine that the underside of the car seat is not a booger-wiping zone. But my 4-year-olds are the biggest offenders in the snot arena. 🙂

      Don’t laugh too hard, Julieann, or that baby’s gonna make an early appearance. Or maybe that makes you want to laugh more?? 😉

  2. I’m gonna print this one out, translate it into Dutch (my kids aren’t fluent yet, still working on it…) and add a part about bloody noses, if that’s okay with you! If you insist on copy rights and all that (I mean, 5 mouths to feed, I’d understand, I really would!), we’ll work something out, like getting that whole teenage exchange program started, I’ll be first, okay? 😉

    • Ha! We should start the Dutch-translation site. Then I can say that I’m published in two languages. Of course, I have to use “publish” very loosely, but it’s still fun. Your portion of my $0 proceeds would still be $0, though… so you can see I’m not a bit worried about copyright… although I may still send you a teenager or 3.

      And bloody noses would make an excellent addition. I have my nose-bleeders (my girls) trained not to bleed on my carpet… how great is THAT?? And it only took me 4 years to train them. Which is why I’m never, ever allowing black-light in my house.

  3. My favorite line has to be “Because my breasts are not a kleenex.” I about fell off my chair laughing so hard! Thanks! I needed that after attempting to wipe my boys’ noses all day before the iridescent goo ends up all over my house, my car, me (and of course my breasts!).

    • Oh, thank you, thank you, Krista. I just knew *someone* would understand that line.

      Wishing you all the best with iridescence elimination… it’s a never-ending battle, but we push on!

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