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Friday, January 18, 2008

Kids are so weird. They get it from their mothers.

The other day, I was driving along and I involuntarily thought of an infected toe I had a while ago. I shuddered. The X-Man asked me why.

"I just thought of something gross and it made me shiver. Does that ever happen to you?"

"Yeah. Like every time I think about O's toenail on his bedside table. And I think about it a lot, because I SEE IT EVERY DAY!"

Which prompted me, good mother that I am, to ask O why he had a toenail on his bedside table and how long it had been there. The toenail, he explained, had fallen off of his toe, but he couldn't remember when or how, so I guess it had been there a while. And the X-Man felt like throwing up every time he saw it. No wonder he had seemed kind of pale for a few months. O also informed me that he now had (and had had for some time) an empty space on his toe where the toenail had been. Frankly, I was too disgusted to continue the conversation, so I changed the subject. I'm interested in my kids, but only to a point.

That was maybe a month or two ago. Today, I was thinking of the toenail. Those things have a way of sticking with you. I remembered that I hadn't actually asked O to get rid of it and, knowing him as I do, thought a reminder might be in order. I asked if he still had it, which of course he did. And it was still on the bedside table, horrifying his poor little brother and probably our housekeeper, too*.

I didn't really need more information, but I'm a curious sort of person, so I asked why he was saving it.

"I'm saving it to scare people."

Like your brother?

"I'm going to put it on my other toenail so it looks like I have a really long toenail."

He plans to accomplish this with tape. And he believes it will scare people, which he wants to do. I don't understand any of it: the saving, the belief that a taped on toenail would be scary, the desire to scare people, none of it. A lot of things scare me. A really long toenail attached with tape does not, although it might make me shudder if I thought about it too long. I forgot to ask him when he plans to do this, but I'm thinking it'll have to wait until the weather is warmer. I just hope the toenail doesn't disintegrate by then, because he'll have to start all over.

Speaking of saving things that fall off of our bodies, it was pointed out to me recently that there is absolutely no reason to save my children's lost teeth. I have no idea why I save them, they gross me out and I constantly worry that the children will find them and the Tooth Fairy myth will be ruined. And I have no central place to keep them, so they're all over: in my jewelry box, in one of my evening bags, in coat pockets. Yuck! My sister-in-law said that she and her brothers found a jumbled bag of their baby teeth that their mom had saved. It was of no use whatsoever and it was gross. I guess we mothers just have trouble letting go.

When I was still a newlywed, we were visiting my mother-in-law and she pulled out a plastic gallon bag of orange-ish hair clippings. She wanted to show it to me. She had been saving it to give to A's wife; it was all the hair he had from every haircut he got until he was about eleven years old. I guess that was when he got totally embarrassed by the fact that his mother swept up his hair and started riding his bike to the barber. Why she thought his future wife would want such a thing is unclear. It wasn't enough for an afghan or anything. I suppose I might have stuffed a small throw pillow with it, but that's gross. I offered to dispose of it for her, but she declined and promised to save it for me for when I wanted it. That will never happen. It looks like a dead cat, shoved in a bag.

I'm not one for making big resolutions, but I do have one. Over the course of the next year, every time I come across a tooth or other piece of human waste, I will throw it out. Join me?

Namasté, y'all!

* Speaking of our housekeeper, I don't want to complain, I really don't, but why hasn't she thrown it out? I know it might be a bit much to ask, that she dispose of things that came off of our bodies, but wouldn't it get swept away while she was dusting? The table isn't dirty, so I can only assume she dusts around it or...shudder...has a stronger stomach than I do and picks it up to dust and replaces it when she's finished.

4 comments:

Don Mills Diva said...

I LOVE that he's going to use it to make an extra-long toe nail to scare people with! Brilliant!

jo said...

I won't tell you what my ex-MIL kept from my x-husband's baby days, but here's a hint: he was circumcised.

Annie said...

Jo, you are too funny. I had to read your comment to my husband, who is also circumcised...I really hope that my MIL didn't save that. That might be the only thing worse than the hair!

Tracee said...

I do wonder why the housekeeper hasn't thrown it away! ewww!