Friday, May 16, 2014

Booger Bandit

Justin and Joshua - Spring 1999
 When Joshua was little, Justin did everything in his power to aggravate the little fellow, but he learned quickly that when Justin came near, it usually meant trouble. He kept a watchful eye on his tormentor and would toddle away as fast as he could at the first sign of trouble, but Justin was almost four years older and always caught him.  I was usually close enough to stop Justin before he could carry out his plan of action, but on this particular day I wasn’t quite close enough. 
There were no doctor or therapy appointments for Justin so the boys and I spent a lazy afternoon at home.  I sat on the couch and cross stitched while the boys played with their toys on the living room floor.  I glanced at the blue framed clock that hung on the wall behind me.  The old expression, “time flies when you’re having fun”, came to mind when I realized it was later than I expected.  It was time for supper and I had no idea what to cook, but I knew it would to be something quick and easy.  

I left the boys in front of the TV watching Barney as I made my way to the kitchen.  I fumbled around in the pantry and refrigerator for a few minutes, before deciding on fish sticks with mac and cheese.  “Hey boys” I said while going back into the living room.  “Do you want fish sticks with mac and cheese for supper?”  They were still sitting in front of the TV, but I could tell something was up, I just didn’t know what.  Justin grinned so big that it looked as if the rest of his face disappeared.  “Yeah! Yeah! Mac cheese!  Mac cheese!”  He said as he bounced up and down.

I then looked at Joshua who would not take his eyes off Justin.   “What’s wrong?” I asked as I knelt down beside him.  Joshua looked at me as if to say, “You poor, misled woman.  You know Justin can only be nice to me for short periods of time.  The time of peace is almost over.  He’s up to something.  I just know it.”  I shifted my focus back to Justin who gave Joshua an uncanny grin.    He didn’t give a clue as to the mischievous plan he had conceived to carry out against his brother, but I could see the wheels turning in that little head of his.

To be on the safe side, I decided to separate them.  I slipped a video in the VCR for Justin and took Joshua with me.  I sat him on the kitchen floor to play with his toys while I preheated the oven for fish sticks.  My mind wondered to the list of things I needed to do the next day as I put a pot of water on the stove for the mac and cheese.  I didn’t think much about it when I heard Justin laugh uncontrollably in the living room.  I just thought he was tickled with his Sesame Street video.

Just then Joshua yelled and started to cry.  I quickly turned around to see he was not playing in the kitchen anymore like I thought he was.  Panic set in and I snatched the pot of water off the stove and ran around the corner to see what was going on. When I got to the living room, I found Justin sitting on top of his little brother.

“Justin! Get off your brother right now!”  I sternly said with a hand on my hip.    Justin looked at me and grinned. He placed one hand on Joshua’s forehead to hold it in place and then quickly shoved a finger up the little fellow’s nose.  I quickly ran over and got Justin off his brother.  When I set him back down on the floor, I notice a stringy booger dangling from the end of his fingertip.  “Gross!”  I exclaimed as I ran to the kitchen to get a paper towel, but upon my return with napkin in hand, I noticed Justin “snacking” on the fine catch from his brother’s nose. 

I scolded him as we went to the bathroom and washed his hands. “It’s bad enough eating your own boogers Justin, but that’s just nasty to eat someone else’s.”  I cringed as I thought about what happened a few moments earlier and had him wash his hands again.  After his hands were dried, I made him sit at the kitchen table and put Joshua in his high chair.

At least I don’t have to fix appetizers I thought while finding a little humor in what happened.   As I put food on their plates, I saw Justin wiggle a finger in his brother’s direction.   Joshua covered his nose with both little hands and began to whine.  “It’s ok sweetie, mommy’s here.”  I said as I sat between them.  “Justin won’t bother your boogers any more.”  While I watched Justin inhale his mac and cheese, I imagined a black mask around his eyes as I playfully called him my “booger bandit.”


  1. Ewwww...... But what an appropriate nickname "Booger Bandit" is. Yuck.That's a story you can tell at his wedding!

  2. Ewe is right ,but I can so see "doodle" doing this at an early age. That booger bandit is a mess!

  3. right ,but I can so see Doodle doing something mischievous like this at an early age.

  4. I remember you telling me about that! So long ago, but I can still picture Justin doing it!