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Building moral character is nothing to sniff at

Well, it finally happened. One of my kids has outsmarted me when it comes to eating vegetables. The two-year old, demonstrating sheer brilliance on his part, now surpasses his older siblings in weaseling out of eating healthy foods. To be blunt, he shoves veggies up his nose and there is no way I'm paying the bucks to take him to the emergency room to have kernels of corn extracted from his wee brain. Even though that would make a GREAT column.

So, now he doesn't have to eat his veggies if he doesn't want to because I might have to leave the table to get the ketchup and come back and find that he's snorted all the side dishes.

Seriously. I knew he was up to something. Veggies just don't disappear that fast on HIS plate. Sure enough, I discovered his secret stash.

Now, in my day, we'd hide veggies under the table in the little crevices. Or we'd smoothly wipe our mouths and make a secret deposit into a napkin. Oh, sure, my mom was always wise to this, but it never crossed my mind to hide the offending veggies up my nose.

What next? Peas in his ears? Mashed potatoes in his belly button?

I have to put a stop to this before he's old enough for elementary school. There's no telling how many crayons, pencils and homework assignments he'll file away.

And if he keeps that up, who knows where it will end? Maybe one day he'll walk into a department store and slip out with an iPod shoved up his nose.

"Hello, Mom? I've been arrested. I, uh, accidentally inhaled an iPod."

"What!? I told you to keep your nose clean! If you don't stay out of trouble you're really going to blow it."

Oh, I definitely have to curb this interest of his. No child of mine is going to live a life of crime! Why, once he sniffs up his first iPod it can only lead to even bigger things, like televisions and cars.

"Son, is that a Volkswagen Beetle sticking out of your nose?"

"What nose?"

"The one with the license plate number 'IDIGIT2.'"

I know. I'm probably making a big fuss about nothing. People tell me that it's just a phase he's going through. One kernel of corn doesn't constitute grand theft auto nor does it reflect poorly on my son's character.

Then again, no self-respecting mom will leave these things to chance. You'll never see my boy on Jerry Springer crying about how I SHOULD HAVE made him blow his nose at the dinner table. No, sir. When it comes to instilling morals and character in children it's definitely nothing to sniff at.

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