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VARYING YOUR SKILL SET AND FARMER BLOWS: LIFE LESSONS FROM A TEN-YEAR-OLD


While walking the woods and fields with my ten-year-old daughter, she caught me off guard and completely grossed me out by doing a farmer blow. For those of you who are civilized and uneducated in practices of mucus control without the necessary tools such as tissues, handkerchiefs, or the trusty sleeve in a pinch, a farmer blow is when you close one nostril with your finger and commence blowing mucus with much force and projection from your unclosed nostril.

After a loud and exasperated, “WHAT THE HELL!” from me, she laughed hysterically and said, “Daddy said you would yell about that!” I proclaimed her behavior disgusting and offered the many other options she could have chosen other than the farmer blow. Still tittering away like a crazed chipmunk, she explains to me how its important to have “variousness” in your skill set. She informed me it wasn’t being gross, (although that is a definite perk for her) she was merely problem solving.

We are always discussing problem solving with Jordan and trying to make her understand there are always options. In my opinion, you are never stuck, the options might not always be the easiest or most pleasant but there are always options. Step back and look at the options before you, decide your desired outcome, and choose your option. It can be difficult but you aren’t stuck until you decide you are stuck.

We also frequently discuss skill sets and the importance of having a varied skill set. I feel that a varied skill set makes for a strong, confident, problem solving individual. For example, Jordan can sort her laundry, run the washer and dryer, load and unload the dishwasher, follow a recipe, milk a goat, help a pig deliver piglets, butcher a chicken, safely handle a butchered chicken, read Edgar Allen Poe, write a thank you note, complete her homework without being told, make change, do math in her head, safely handle a firearm, clean and maintain a firearm, discuss politics in a non-offensive manner, form an opinion, share that opinion in a respectful manner, place her napkin on her lap during a meal, and use the correct flatware. A varied skill set for a ten-year-old in my opinion. (Truth be told, the kid is a rock star! However, I understand I am completely biased)

She got me, what can I say.

By my definition, she viewed her options, decided her desired outcome, chose her option and acted upon that. By her definition, it was a success. Her nose stopped running, she could breathe, and bonus point, she cleared her boots! Not necessarily an option I would choose or have her choose. However, that is really what life is all about isn’t it? That’s the glory of it all. Learning to sit back, watch them make their choices and celebrating their wins. As well as being thereto hand them a paper towel when they don’t clear their boots.

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