Mama’s Boy and the Neti Pot

I am about to drive to Target to buy a couple of Lego mini figures.
Why? you ask.
Well, I will tell you.
I am buying them because I bribed two of the children tonight: the boys. And while the experiment itself appeared to be a failure, I believe we covered enough ground to have earned the mini figures.

Now, before you judge me, I’ll tell you I don’t believe in bribery. I also don’t believe in sin. But I manage to mess that up on occasion. So, you know, I am known to strike a bribe with a short person if the situation calls for it.

It’s bad parenting that got me here. You don’t have to tell me that. If I had gotten a few things solidly in place when they were babies, we wouldn’t be making a Lego mini figs run tonight.

We’ve all been sick in one way or another this week. We camped last weekend, which is a separate blog, if I ever get around to it. I sat around just enough campfire smoke to come home stopped up. I was stubborn for 2 full days. Finally, on Day 3, I got out the Neti Pot, dusted it off, and grimaced as I thought forward in time about 30 seconds.

Have you ever flushed out your sinuses with a neti pot? It isn’t a glamorous process. In fact, it’s horrible. If you are married to the wrong person and that wrong person happens to come around the corner while you are flushing with a neti pot, it might cause a 48 hour Bermuda divorce. It’s really that awful. Many marriages have ended over lesser matters. My husband, instead of filing, jumped on board. We share a respect for The Pot. We also have very clean sinuses.

But there’s one person in this family who needs the neti pot more than any human ever. That’s Mama’s Boy. He was born allergic to everything. We have jokingly mentioned getting him a plastic, hypo-allergenic bubble for him to tool around in. It’s really what he needs.

Today, quite suddenly, his sinuses flared. I guess it’s a cold. I guess I gave it to him. Either way, he was stuffed so full of his own fluids that his request to play me in Kadima came out clearly as “Kadiba.” I’m not good at Kadiba and I promptly told him so. I realized then that he was headed for the doctor if we don’t intervene somehow. He has never done the neti pot. And unfortunately, I’ve said a bit too much about the process for him to just agree peaceably to try it. Truthfully, Mama’s Boy isn’t going to agree to try anything without some type of a very serious discussion. It may end in threats. It may end in bribery. But you aren’t going to get an easy ‘yes.’ And if you do, I will pay you in mini figures. I’ll buy you 100 of those puppies if you fix this problem.

Clearly I’m not learning any lessons here.

“Listen, boy,” I said, very earnestly. “I really, really want to help you. I’m telling you the neti pot is a near miracle cure.”

“No, thanks,” he said, without even letting my words fall softly to the carpet.

I went on with more persuasion, more earnestness, more pleading.

“No, I don’t want to. You said it was terrible. You said you hate it.”

Hmm. Did I say that? Actually, I kinda love it. I just hate getting the whole thing started. OK, I kinda do hate it. But I LOVE how I feel immediately following.

“Boy, you remember how you looked at me with horror when I opted to have the doctor give you a strep antibiotic shot instead of 10 days of antibiotics, 3 times a day?”


“Remember how you thought I betrayed you to the doctor? But then the next morning you felt like a million bucks and you thanked me for the shot?”

“Yes,” he replied, skeptically.

“Well,” I continued. “This is just like that, minus the painful shot part.” Why did I compare this to a shot? That was a totally counterproductive move on my part.

“No, thanks,” he said again.

“OK, OK,” I said. “Listen up, boy. If you will just try it…and let me help you…I will pay you a dollar.”

“No!” he said, emphatically. We must be spoiling him. He didn’t even bat an eye at the $1 mark.

“Two dollars…” I said. Are we at an auction?

“No!” he said, but he laughed. I think he at least considered it then.

“I’ll pay you in a mini fig!” I shouted. YES! THAT will do it!

This almost destroyed him. I had held up the golden ticket. Oh, he wanted that mini figure so badly. For those without Lego knowledge. This is the equivalent of $2.99 on the bribery scale. Now he had a real choice to make. He so totally did not want to do that neti pot flush, but he wanted the Lego guy bigger than life.

That’s when AG stepped in.

“B,” he said. “What if I try it first? To show you it’s ok?”  I yanked my head around in a “What you talkin’ about, Willis” kind of way. Did he just say that for real? This was an uncharacteristic move. The doting mother in me wanted, with all my heart, to believe that AG was throwing himself under the bus to help his brother.  But I think he was secretly hoping there’d be a mini figure in it for him, too.

“Wow, AG,” I said. “Thanks! But hold up…is this about you getting a mini fig, too?”

“No!” he said. “Not at all.”

After much hoopla, Mama’s Boy agreed to watch AG try it first and we began the grand experiment.

To be continued…(later, because I have to go to Target right now).

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