Markus woke up today with puffy, reddish eyes that made his face look swollen. He had a cold, but to make sure it wasn't something else, I drove him to the clinic. On the way, he asked me, “Mom, can you make yourself sneeze at any time?”
“No,” I replied.
“Well, I can,” he said. “I just roll up paper and stick it up my nose,” which was what he was doing with a piece of Kleenex that I gave him.
“Oh, yeah. Didn’t I teach you that?” I remembered.
“No. I’ve been doing that.”
“I taught you that,” I insisted.
“No. What time did you teach me that?” Markus was very sure he learned it all by himself. And to prove his point, he was even going to establish a timeline.
“So what time did you teach me, Mom?” he asked again. “I learned it at 7.”
Who remembers the time she teaches someone how to trigger a sneeze with rolled up paper? But I had no doubt I taught him that a few months ago when his nose was all stuffy. (Ok, I didn't learn this from Dr. Spock.)
“I think it was 3 months ago,” I said, certain it was much earlier than 7 a.m.
“Mom, I learned it at 7. That was more than 2 years ago!!”
Oh, he beat me to it. I conceded.
To sort of redeem myself, I added, “Just don’t stick anything else in your nose.”
“So I can’t stick lead?”
“No, just paper.”
“And my finger.”
“Eww, that’s gross, Markus. Don’t do that in front of other people. It's dirty.”
After a short silence, Markus continued, “Why do people say Hachoo or Hatsing? You can just say Hackkhh…”
"Well, people like to do it differently." I know someone who says Whiiissskey.
Then he genuinely sneezed and spewed fluids on the dashboard.
“Yikes, Markus!!!” I need to teach him to cover his mouth while sneezing. Looks like he didn't learn this at 7.