For about six months, I was on the Kaiser’s ass all the time about picking his nose. See, I really don’t much care… I mean, everyone picks their nose every once in a while, right? But this fear pervaded – the fear that my kid would be, “that kid.” The booger picker. The booger kid. Every class has one, a grungy little grossie whose finger is perpetually up his nose. And God — even worse? The booger eater and the booger horder. There was a child, Darius, in my kindergarten class that perfectly fit the bill. He will always be, to me, the quintessential booger man. He had a tiny piece of yellow construction paper, about 3×3 inches, torn on the sides. Darius kept his paper in his desk, lovingly placed on the left-hand side. He picked boogers throughout the day, sometimes overtly, sometimes with a semblance of shame. I’d watch in 5-year-old horror as Darius carefully wiped each boog on the paper. Day by day this continued, until he’d replace it with a new sheet of paper and begin the process again. Buddha only knows where the booger papers ended up. I’m fairly certain that, given his careful attention to the sheets, they never saw a trash can.
I’m pleased to report that the Kaiser is not the booger kid. He is, however, the disruptive ass. It’s simple: He does not ever shut up. Not ever. Trust me, until you’ve taken any sort of roadtrip with this child, you think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. I’ve yet to determine whether it’s a matter of compulsion or a matter of desire. Because honestly, I don’t think he has the capacity to close his cake hole.
The Kaiser’s classroom has a section of wall dedicated to ice cream cones. On each cone is a single scoop of ice cream, and on each scoop is the name of a child. When a kid has been in time out several times during the day, they eventually, “lose their scoop.” So I pick the Kaiser up before most of the other parents have arrived. Three or more times a week, his little ice cream scoop is separate from the pack, sitting lonely on the stark white wall.
The first time I asked him about this, the Kaiser shrugged. I’m pretty certain, if he’s anything like his mommy, I know what he’s thinking. It’s not real ice cream, time out is inconsequential, and I’m gonna do whatever the hell I want to do.