The other night Scott and I caught one of our children
trying to give himself a pedicure by biting his own toenails.
After a little gag, I reprimanded him,
"We don't bite our toenails. That is gross."
Maybe it is not kind to tell your own child that
they are gross but I want him to have friends
and if this behavior continues into high school
he will be hard pressed for close relationships.
Which brings me again to the question of hygiene and boys.
There is some kind of genetic disconnect between boys and cleanliness.
As if there is nothing in their chemical makeup that recoginizes the
need for soap.
They do, however, have a strong elemental bond with dirt.
I tell them, "Take a bath." And they say, "Why?"
And I say, "Because I can smell you when you walk by me."
And they say, "So?"
As if they are proud of their cloud of funk that surrounds them.
Maybe they view it as an invisible force field.
And to some degree it is working. It repels me.
So I told the 4 year old, "We are cutting your nails today."
And he wailed at me as if I had said, "I'm going to trim your earlobes."
He said, "No, Mom, I want to keep them."
I said, "You have claws on your hands...why do you want to keep them?"
He said, "I want to be like Wolverine."
As far as I can tell, he is more than half way there.
Apparently, I need to change my point of view.
My boys are not trying to be gross they are trying to protect me
from any outside foe with their unique array of weaponry.
They seem to have an unlimited supply of gas,
an impenetrable wall of body odor
and dangerously pointy nails to keep out any ne'er-do-wells.
How could I have been so blind trying to dis-arm them with
a bar of soap and a pair of nail clippers?
Clearly, I have a lot to learn.