Howler the Toe Nail Muncher

You know that feeling you get when things start to go right after a couple of bad days? Like, after a Saturday night filled with cleaning up Mac's vomit (thanks, Harry) and the four million subsequent loads of puke laundry, and then a Sunday and Monday night being kept awake because Isaac is teething and Mac is having nightmares that a bear is eating him (Thanks, Brave) which means Harry and I are running on a pretty spectacular level of sleep deprivation. Add in the lovely fact that my hormones apparently hate me for having been pregnant for 9 months, nursing for 18 months and then deciding to stop (cue anemia and nausea) I have not been in peek form. The cherry on top? Mac is suffering from post stomach bug whininess that is so intense it has prompted me to re-name him Howler, and Isaac has discovered that he can scream at a decibel level that would make deaf people hear him, which has made me decide to re-name him Screech. All in all, it's been a patience trying, put-your-head-in-the-oven, sit in the corner rocking in a fetal position kind of a few days.

But tonight I decided that I would try to read Mac his bedtime story. Anyone who knew me as a kid won't be surprised to learn that although Mac loves story time, he can. not. sit. still. At least, not for more than 30 seconds *cue my mom snickering in a corner somewhere about "what goes around comes around"* and usually stops paying attention and starts goofing off after about 3 minutes. So tonight, I gathered the few shreds of patience that I could scrounge and started reading to him.

At first, as I was trying to read, he complained that his big toenail was sore. I checked it and it seemed fine. I told him that I would cut his toenails the following day. I had to remind him to settle down and listen but after a few minutes, he got really quiet. I started to really get into storytelling mode and was feeling really proud of myself for capturing Mac's attention. Halfway through a sentence, I glanced up at Mac out of the corner of my eye, mentally patting myself on the back for being so interesting that he was paying such rapt attention to me and managed to get a wonderful view of him sitting beside me… chewing on his toenail.

You know that feeling you get when things start to go right after a couple of bad days? Me neither. The moral of this story? Anytime you think you're finally getting the hang of this parenting thing and you're doing pretty good, be very, very afraid.


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