Friday, July 29, 2011

Carrot Nose

I'm one of those people who loves to criticize what other parents do with their children. I was especially fond of this activity before I had a baby and I've only been humbled slightly. I'm still convinced my baby is perfect and much better than everyone else's.

(The whole paragraph above is JUST KIDDING.)

I'm the last of my friends to reproduce and before I had a child, I'd look a numerous pictures of my friends' and relatives' kids and wonder why so many of their babies had yellow noses.

"It's from feeding them orange foods," my mom told me.

My sister and I were particularly fond of looking at some of our white trash cousins' kids with their little orange beaks and talking about how our cousins were so stupid that they didn't even have the sense to quit feeding their babies orange foods even when their little noses took on the hue of a duck's bill.

I once almost lost a friend because I asked her why her son's nose was such a sunny shade of gold. She was deeply insulted that I noticed and said something.

"It's from carrots!" she snapped.

"So why don't you stop feeding him carrots?" I asked, meaning it innocently.

She rolled her eyes as if to say "You freaking idiot. Just wait until you have a baby and then ask me that dumb ass question again."

I spent so much time criticizing other parents for turning their kids' noses orangey-yellow that I am now convinced that the Universe is about to punish me by doing the same thing to my baby, who, of course, only wants to eat foods ridiculously high in beta-carotene. Of course she does.

The condition I fear is called carotenemia. It sounds like carrot-anemia, which sounds terminal, but from what I've read, babies generally don't die from orange noses. They just look like snowmen. The foods babies like the most contain a lot of beta-carotene and sometimes they eat a lot of it and sometimes their systems can't filter it all out like ours can and it colors their skin. It's most noticeable on the nose.

Every morning, I get up and we go through a routine of nursing, changing, dressing and nose-checking. Is it orange yet? Is that a hint of yellow? Maybe it's just the light. Then I look again. Then I get the flashlight (no, I'm joking). So far, we're good. No orange nose. For now.

Our children come to humble us. Their purpose is to prove to us that we, when we think we have all the answers, really don't know jack. They are here to make fools of us for every prideful, know-it-all thing we said before we had kids and they are here to continually kick the sandcastles of our expectations for them into the outgoing tide. But I'm prepared, because I know my karma's just waiting to kick my ass and that's why Baby Lawns is about to learn to love her some peas. And spinach, and broccoli, green beans and well, basically anything that isn't orange. But watch, she'll be the first baby to end up with a green nose.


Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

I hope her nose doesn't turn orange on you, but there's a reason so many babies have orangey/yellowy noses. many just don't like the green stuff. I TRIED SO HARD to feed our son peas and other green things, he just spit them out and REFUSED to eat them. would. not. eat. Just gagged and spit it out every time. and I kept trying and trying. I probably tortured the poor child.

I kept watching for the orange nose thing, but thankfully he never got it. although I don't know WHY, as for several months all he would eat were the yellow and orange type of foods.


Emily Vogel said...

I didn't even know this was a thing! Hahaha, I am going to be checking the noses of all the babies I know now. Also- love your blog. I am a total lurker, but thought it might be nice to speak up once in a while. Hi!

Emily Vogel said...

I didn't even know this was a thing! I am going to check the noses of all my friends' babies from now on, ha! Also-love your blog, read it all the time, but have "lurker" tendencies. I am trying to speak up more often these days. Hi!

Unknown said...

My first son always got comments on his beautiful tanned skin (we are super honkeys and live in Oregon where there is almost no sun to speak of). Yep, the carrots (you notice they put that stuff in *everything*!? like even the jarred chicken soup? one of the first ingredients. always). Dude #2 didn't eat much baby food so it didn't happen with him. It is funny to see!

Dawn said...

Wow, three kids, and I never heard of this affliction until today!

But you are SO RIGHT about kids humbling us. So, so, so right.

Anonymous said...

I had a very similar conversation with my childless cousin once. I finally just said, ya know, you don't know what you don't know. Years later,after she had a child, she finally told me I was right. She was so full of helpful information (so she thought), but she had not clue or basis of that which she was speaking!
I've also never heard of the orange nose thing. The condition yes, but not on kids just on women who where dieting and eating too many carrots. My kids (4) only turned colors when I didn't wipe their faces off quickly enough. Learn something new everyday!

Anonymous said...

Heh, I just had a "SO racking up my bad karma" moment today at the store! I was in WalMart (paragon of parental virtues that it is), and in spite of my preggo self, could not HELP but judge some other people in line whose kids were COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL, screaming and throwing things and they just weren't even TRYING to discipline them. Kept reminding myself it'd be me in a few months, but in spite of myself, I couldn't help talking crap about them to the cashier. "My mom would have left the cart and dragged my butt out of the store by now."

Yep... I'm earning myself a hellion...

Miss Kitty said...

My mom says that my hands, feets, and nose turned orange, I ate so many carrots. And that was even after I'd progressed to solid food; I wanted raw carrots to snack on, steamed carrots with supper, and so on.

I agree with the first poster that kids just hate the green stuff. I like lettuce and spinach and asparagus now, but hated them until I was well into adulthood. (However, I liked green peas and green beans the whole time I was a kid, and still do.) Perhaps they're an acquired taste? Don't know many children who like green vegetables, although a friend's two sons (12 and 6) like squash and jalapenos and hummus and salsa, stuff I would have gagged at when I was their ages.

P.S. I still hate squash, especially in casserole. BLEH.

craftevangelist said...

So, I'm one of the 816, lost during the feed challenge.

When we had our daughter (first child), our family doctor "warned" my husband and I (that's back when the whole family went to a doctor's appointment for the baby... hahaha, and we thought we were so relaxed). He was the kind of doctor who had a sense of humor and I'm sure he thought my husband would take it as a challenge, which he did. Every time he fed her, he was feeding her carrots. "Are you trying to turn her orange?" I asked him. "... no..." with a smile.

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