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Grooming = attachment

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In social animals, including humans, social grooming is an activity in which individuals in a group maintain each other’s appearance. It is a major social activity, and a means by which animals who live in proximity can bond and reinforce social structures, family links, and build relationships. Social grooming is also used as a form of reconciliation and a means of conflict resolution.

-A special thank you to Wikipedia for ever useful, though tenuously reliable information-

I’m a social groomer. That sounds nicer. My family would call me a picker. I pick.

I pick lint off of Leo’s shirts, I pick fuzz out of Simeon’s hair, I pick dry skin, boogers, ear crusties, scabs, zits, etc.

I think I compulsively pick the ick off my family because I love them. I clean Cordelia’s ears several times a day. Poor Simeon better not walk by with a crusty on his face or I’m sure to pull out the spit and wipe. It’s the maternal in me.

I’ve not been conscious of it until recently. Most recently I deep cleaned Cordelia’s belly button while she napped. I found myself inches from her walnut belly digging my pinky into the deep crevices of her non-committal innie/outie. And while I worked scraping loose all of the gunk her belly has already collected, I felt an inordinate amount of warm affection for my little girl.

So what if I’m a picker. So what if it really is a gross habit. So what if it drives my family batty. It’s me and I do it out of love.

Now, come here. You’ve got a little something right there…


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About Monica

Christ following, husband loving, children hugging foster and adoptive mama.

6 responses »

  1. Welcome to Pickers Anonymous. My name is GroovyGirl…and I’m a picker.

    Reply
  2. I read you every day! You’re in my reader! I forget how I got here.. somebody linked something that you wrote, and it was good, and I plunked you right in there! I had starred that one post because I meant to comment on it the day you wrote it an was just now catching up.

    (BTW, I am only a fuzz picker.. I pull carpet fuzz out of people’s hair. Boogers, I send them for a tissue.) 😉

    Reply
  3. You have given me the courage. I can come out of the closet.

    I am a picker as well.
    And I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

    Actually, right before I read this post I was trying to get to the cradle cap on my daughter’s head. Ha!

    Reply
  4. My mother used to BEG to pop our whiteheads. So gross. But yet, as I was cleaning the gunk out of my sons’ folds of skin, I knew we were the same person.

    Reply
  5. Yay for pickers!! I’m a nose picker too, wait, was that TMI?

    Reply
  6. Where's the Party?

    I’m a little behind, but I have to share this just-slightly-related story:
    When I was an infant, my mother used to dig out my belly button too. Apparently, I hated it and cried and cried as she tried to scrape out that last little bit of dirt.

    It turned out, I have a mole in the middle of my belly button. That she was trying to remove.

    Anyway, this was a great post – I can relate completely.

    Reply

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