the chicken, or the egg, or the mucus

My son picks his nose. Almost constantly. It's sort of a problem. His picture from his first day of school? Finger up his nose. His video from his spring concert? Digging for gold, he was.

My other son bites his nails. CRAZY bites his nails. I have no idea where he gets it from.


B has beautiful hands, his father's hands. And he gnaws at them all day long. I almost never see him doing it, though, unlike T, who couldn't care less if you catch him digging around in his nose. Today we had a little talk about it.

I asked B if he even thought about quitting nail-biting. He gave me that look. I explained that he has gorgeous hands and that as he gets older, people will take him more seriously in life if he has well-manicured nails. (It's true, people notice that stuff.) T was steadily picking away in the back seat the whole time.

We struck a deal. Each hand is worth 25 cents a day. If he goes one day without biting, he gets 50 cents. One week gets him $3.50, one month, $14. $14 is almost a Gameboy game. He shook on it and then said, "What about you, mom?"

Shit. I have now gone 5 1/2 hours without biting my nails. $14 is almost a pedicure.

T and I struck the same deal today. He actually made it all night without one single pick. I bet he caves first. That boy loves him some boogies.

As we were driving home, we wondered which would grow faster, B's nails or T's boogies. Which do you think?