“Edward! Don’t bite your toenails! It’s disgusting” says I.
“But they’re clean. They’re mine” says he.
Whilst I can’t fault his logic, I can still fault the act itself. It’s disgusting. We don’t even own a pet he may have copied this from. We have a fish, Colin, with one fin (the other fell off sometime between 2009 and 2010. We didn’t notice when). Colin doesn’t have toenails. He barely has any extremities. This act of Ed gnawing at his feet is just something built in to his being. One child eats insects and pennies. The other eats bits of himself. Maybe I didn’t breastfeed long enough and this is their subsequent oral fixation? If Freud was reading this right now he would probably be fighting a smug stiffy.
Is it just boys who question “why” all the time? Especially over the gross stuff?
Before, away with the fairies because of sleep deprivation and a mild dose of prozac to coat the PND, questions starting with
tended to get an
“I don’t know” default answer from me, I was that exhausted emotionally, physically and spiritually. I lacked oomph.
“Why does that old lady have a beard?”
“I don’t know”
“Why is that old lady in a pushchair?”
“I don’t know”
Now, averaging 6 hours of (frequently disturbed and broken) sleep (result), and having managed to wean myself off the prozac, I find this “why” question almost to be a personal challenge. If I don’t know the actual answer to a question, I just make crap up. As is my right as a parent. I especially look forward to the challenge of the gross questions now.
“Why can’t I pick my nose? It tastes nice. Salty“.
“Because your head will cave in.”
“Why can’t Alex eat spiders?”
“Because it isn’t nice or kind”
“And because a spider will make a house in his tummy”
“And he will throw up baby spiders everywhere”
“Why can’t Alex eat that old chewing gum someone else left underneath that table?”
“Because it will make his tummy ache”
Ed shrugs both shoulders.
“Er. And he’ll sick up those baby spiders all over your toys”.
“Boys! Come on! Don’t sit in the sledge and scoop all the snow off the pavement up with your hands, guys! It’s dirty! You might scoop up some dog poo hidden by the snow”
“So?” says Ed “Does it matter if that happens? Why?”
“Because it’s dog poo. Dog. POO”
“It will make your go blind if you rub it in your eyes” (medical fact)
“I won’t rub it in my eyes then, will I?”
“Your head will cave in”
He doesn’t even know what “cave in” means. His 4 year old developing brain is associating it with a terrible creature with terrible jaws, some nobbly knee’s and turned out toes, and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose. With Robbie Coltranes voice. He sleeps with a stuffed with fluff incarnation of this creature, cuddling him at night. Not so scary. I need to up my game.
As the boys get older, I find sometimes the table has turned and it is me asking the “Why’s”…
“Why do you smell like popcorn, Ed?”
“My sticker fell off.”
“Eh? Erm, Ok? Did it?”
“Yeah, in the toilet, after I had had my wee”
I look up from unloading the dishwasher as Ed is patting away at his wet chest.
“I got it out again though, so that’s ok”
“Let’s get you another one, shall we?”
“NO! I LIKE THIS ONE!”
“But it has wee on it now, Ed. It’s gross.”
“I LIKE IT! It smells like Popcorn”
Where is the line? Between the gentle stretching of truth to the downright lies? Where will this Pinocchio (me) end up?…
“Mum, WHY can’t I go out with everyone else to that party tonight?” says Ed, 40 years old and still living at home.
“Because all girls are filthy harlots, that hate trains and cakes and farm vehicles, that kick animals (especially fluffy ones), that will take your pocket money of £1 each week, spend it on vegetables and clothes shopping, spend HOURS round Tesco’s looking at offers, watch the news, make you not pick your nose/ eat spiders/ scoop up snow, take your pride and take you away from mummy! And your head will cave in!”
Ohhhhh. Yeah. There. Yes it is will take me there.