Hold on…Just a Second

My daughter may have nothing genetically in common with me (although she could pass), but she certainly aquired several traits that support the nurture part of raising a child. Given that I’m Just That Sort Of Person, I’m probably missing the adorable bits of me that she reflects (you could argue that there aren’t any). Two things:

Getting up to pee isn’t something she is willing to do. In fact, I suspect she doesn’t even get that her bladder is paging her repeatedly. As we’ve discussed my peeing habits in depth before, I won’t exhaust you with more detail however it’s fair to say that I will avoid going as long as possible so that I can keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t even know it’s happening until my internal organs are all “GET UP TO PEE DAMMIT WE’RE CROWDED IN HERE.” I once read something, somewhere, about this being a typical kid thing. Just interrupt them, it said, remind your child that it’s time to use the bathroom. You know what? If you came into my office and suggested I take a break, I would look at you as if you were crazy with my dagger eyes of sharp pointiness before I realized you were absolutely right and shouldn’t I be gracious after all? Right. My kid has nailed the first part. Not so much the second.

Also, she torments her poor little fingers. Never a thumb or finger sucker, I can’t figure out why and when she started biting at her cuticles and ending up with red, raggedy fingertips. They look painful and she complains of bits of skin she’s nagged at. Who does this? Me. And I really, really wish I didn’t. I’m so much better than I was when I was a child. In fact, sometimes weeks go by before I’m worrying away at some piece of rough skin or nail. It’s stress, it’s boredom, it’s a relentless wish to have perfectly smooth fingers which is rendered impossible by the very habit. Yes, I know it’s disgusting, bad for us, and related to all sorts of disordered thinking. It’s come up in therapy. Don’t forget I’m six shades of crazy. Debra and I remind her not to pick at her fingers, well, chew really, and she’ll stop for a moment. We moisturize, we trim hangnails before she can get to them, we try to make her fingers lovely. We have yet to break her habit (or mine).

I hope she is picking up something else of mine, though I’m hard-pressed to tell you what that might be. She loves flowers. Does that count? Poor thing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think my body is going to go on strike if I don’t just go already.

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3 Responses

  1. Interesting because I was just talking to a friend at work about nature/nurture this morning and we were discussing nail biting! Her husband and her daughter are both nail biters. My dad bites his nails, I bite my nails and my little brother bites his as well. It’s almost like it’s contagious! When I was a little girl, my Nana sold one of those Avon-like lines of beauty products and she was always giving me manicures hoping that if my nails were beautiful, I’d leave them alone. Notsomuch.

  2. Yeah, similar issues here. I know my daughter is watching, but she can’t repeat the same fine motor skills yet. I have tools to address this in general, but it’s deeper than just that I think. hmmm

  3. I chew my nails too. Smearing Burt’s Bee’s Lemon Cuticle Butter has done wonders for them though though. (and helping to curb my habit.)

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