I don’t buy straws.
Yeah, I’m cheap, but I prefer to believe I’m making an ethical stand.
Straws have one purpose: to spare us the workout of lifting a drink to our lips while tilting the glass slightly.
Each of these miniature plastic pipes are used for a few minutes, then discarded to burden the environment for decades. I think they should only be sold as medical supplies for people who physically cannot perform the lifting/tilting maneuver.
Naturally, straws fascinate my children. Their grandmother, who thinks I’m an extremist for picking up crying babies and limiting screen time, keeps several jumbo packages of straws in a low cupboard where my children can get them any time they choose. Because she lives with us, that’s all the time.
This afternoon two-year-old Sam ran full speed from grandma’s cupboard with not one, but two straws. I might have paused to wonder what lesson on physics my darling could learn while trying to get a drinkable airlock around both straws, but my attention was diverted because this precious child was wearing the straws shoved mightily up his nostrils.
Such behavior might be funny among a certain type in college. Not so much by a running toddler. I picture a fall drastic enough to force the straws up into his frontal lobes. Doctors would shrug sadly and comment on how the child would now be among those who cannot physically perform the lifting/tilting maneuver.
I believe parents can make stuff up if it’s for a good cause. So I grab the straws and say in a melodramatic you-scared-Mama voice, “Oh no! If you fell, these straws could get stuck in your nose!”
Unconcerned, he countered, “I like to put things up my nose.”
“You do? What things do you put in your nose?”
“I put food in my nose all the time.”
Now I’m thinking major medical. Is he the child I hear snoring at night? Is there a lima bean acting like a flapping valve cover in some inner chamber of his respiratory system? What kind of traumatic scope-down-the-nose emergency room procedure might have to be imposed to discover this?
I ask sweetly, “Why would you put food in your nose?”
He says, “Horses live in my nose. They get hungry.”
Clearly there is a kid rule; they can make stuff up if it’s for a good cause. Anything to avoid hearing mom’s philosophy about straws.
I’ll raise a glass to his nose horses as I practice some lifting/tilting maneuvers of my own this evening.