Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cut Your Toenails, Grandma

The title of this blog entry is from a song my mother used to sing to me. The lyrics, in their entirety, are: “Cut your toenails, Grandma, you’re ripping up the sheets.” I have no idea if she made up the song herself, if she learned it from one of her parents who made it up, or if it’s an actual song that other people know. What I do know is that I found it absolutely hysterical as a child, and I find it absolutely hysterical now. And it’s time for my son to discover its hilarity.

Ryan has gross toenails. He has since he was a baby. They’re lumpy and striated and constantly ragged. But it’s getting easier to take care of them now that I don’t have to do stealth clipping while he’s asleep. Not only is he cooperative, at least once a day he climbs onto my lap when I’m at my desk where the nail clippers are, solemnly offers me his foot, and politely requests, “ Nip it pease, Mamma.” (Translation: “Snip it please, Mamma.” He has trouble with diphthongs.)

He’s reaching that age of independence (and boundless energy) when he rarely wants to sit still long enough to snuggle, so I love this daily pedicure moment. I’ll admit that I even milk it so he’ll sit on my lap for a few more precious moments. While I clip, I marvel at how much those feet have grown over the past two years. I wonder at how quickly this child transformed from an adorable but uncommunicative blob into an independent, free-thinking, verbally expressive human being. While he immerses himself in the fascination that is toenail clipping, I immerse myself in the fascination that is a child growing up.

I just hope he never grows up so much that he forgets the hilarity of Grandma’s toenails ripping up the sheets.

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