At the age of fifteen I broke the big toe on my left foot. It’s not the only bone I’ve broke but it’s the only one that’s relevant to this story. I was sitting around in my Tommy Hilfiger overalls, eating a bag of Chex Mix, watching Dawson’s Creek and waiting for my idiot boyfriend to come over so we could make out. Don’t fret or shield your eyes, it doesn’t go any farther than that. Actually he would dump me less than a month later because “[I] never touched [his] penis.” Touché’, I would dump me too.
When he arrived I put the Chex Mix on the coffee table to go answer the door, forgetting that our asshole dog thought people-food within reach was fair game. This is the same mutt that once snatched a whole box of chocolates off the counter, was subsequently force-fed hydrogen peroxide and then proceeded to vomit black sludge all over the carpeted stairs. He also humped everything incessantly. Why he was still around I have no idea.
When I returned, that mongrel’s snout was all up in the Chex Mix bag. He must have startled because he would then seize the whole bag in his teeth and lead me on a chase around the living room, leaving behind a trail of Chex Mix and my dignity. It only came to an end when I made a misstep and stubbed my toe on the coffee table. Correction, slammed; slammed my toe into the coffee table. Thirteen years later and my toe still clicks. All the time. Literally every step I take. Click. Pause. Click. Pause. Click. Pause. Click. It’s like I’m permanently wearing one flip-flop. Dashed are any dreams I had of being a cat burglar.
I also have allergies.
The combination of these two ailments has thwarted every attempt I’ve ever made to check on Rinn while he is sleeping without waking him. This is the same kid who put himself to bed during karaoke in a beer tent at a local festival, yet I have to half-hobble like the hunchback into his room each night or my cursed clicking toe will alert him to my presence. And then like clockwork, as I’m peering into his crib to ensure he’s still breathing and all that good-mommy stuff, I have to sneeze. I’m screwed. They come on quickly and I am completely and utterly incapable of keeping them quiet. My sneezes are so loud they often startle even me, so here I am half-hobble running for the door so I don’t commit the cardinal sin of parenting, “never wake a sleeping baby.” I never make it and my lame attempt at muffling the inevitable sneeze makes it worse and what escapes is almost a roar, maybe a grunt, that causes my sinuses to explode. Somewhere in there I’ve also abandoned the hobble so now my toe is clicking on top of my grunting roar. And as quickly as this whole ridiculous circus started, it’s over. I turn around to face Rinn’s crib knowing all to well the visual I’ll be greeted with. Rinn rolled over on his side, smiling, his eyes saying “hey mom, when did you get here, wanna play?”
Fuck, I need some Zyrtec.
Please note that the blanket pictured here is my baby blanket. Yes, I'm a 28-year-old married woman with a child of my own and I still sleep with my baby blanket. A recent episode of Dr. Oz said it's a completely normal comforting mechanism so I'm going with it. What might not be so normal is that my infant son and I are currently warring over said blankie. He won't sleep without it and neither will I so we've found ourselves in a stalemate were we both lay in bed, crying, unable to sleep. He really should find his own, this is getting ridiculous.