August 30, 2010


i hate dirty, long fingernails.
like messy hair and mismatched clothes, long fingernails shout to the world that i am an incompetent mother.
a mother that is too busy for the details and grooming of her young.
even mother gorillas spend the day picking gnats off their young.
mothers showing the world, we care.  we clean.  we notice.  we take the time.

like messy hair, and mismatched clothes... i restrain the bestial mother inside to teach
independence, self care, life skills.
it is difficult.
but grooming (for the most part) is a responsibility i allow my young children to learn.

when i see dirty fingernails i take a breath.
i gasp a little and look right into the eyes of my growing child
and remark with surprise... "your nails!"
their eyes go down and they laugh a little nervous laugh.
i ask with concern, "what are you going to do about that?"
they stammer their explanation... they were already on the way to the bathroom to find a clipper, or they were just about to borrow mine from my purse.
"oh, great thinking."  i assure them.
and it is finished.
and i smile.
(sometimes i snip right hands... but only after intense effort on their part.)

because my monkeys crack eggs.
they can do ponytails and cook and play the piano way better than i can.
they are not afraid of new things or people or learning life skills
and so, sometimes i sacrifice my reputation for theirs.
and, i'm ok with that.
just sayin.


Tiffany said...

LOVE THIS!!!! Dirty fingernails drive me about to a frenzy, too, though super-messy hair is right up there with it. I made peace with mismatched clothes a couple of years ago... but not clothes that are the wrong size:-)

Miss you!!!

brown paper packages said...

Just wanted to let you know that I featured your chore chart on my blog today! Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

Teachinfourth said...

It just shows that one is a man or woman of the Earth…

Or that they have no sense of hand washing.

Take your pick.

Letti said...

I am not a fan of fingernails either but they sure do grow fast. It seems like I am cutting Paisley's every other day :)

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