It's the little things that frustrate me the most about this stupid mystery illness.
My 3.5-year-old daughter, Ellie, has been in a bit of a Mommy phase these days. And since she's been a Daddy's Girl since birth, I live for these brief periods when it seems like I'm the highlight of her world.
For some odd reason, bedtime tooth brushing has been a traumatic thing lately, a major battle to get a tooth brush into her mouth and swipe as many of her teeth as we can before we give up in fear that we might injure her as she thrashes to get away from the toothbrush.
Tonight, she just wanted to cuddle against me, but when Scott went to brush her teeth, she tried squirming away and hit her head against the wall in the process. (I cringe to admit it, but it's actually easier to do a good job brushing her teeth when she's squalling with her mouth wide open.)
So afterwards, she didn't want to let me go. Usually, I help with getting ready for bed, disappear for story time and then she "finds" me in the master bedroom when she comes in to use the potty one last time before sleep. This time, she begged me to stay while Scott read Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks, a current favorite.
She likes to lie on his stomach as she looks at the book he holds in the air above them. Tonight, she wanted me to lie down next to them. "I want to hold your hand, Mommy!"
Leaving out the fact that lying flat without extra pillow support is painful to me, what shocked me was how excruciating it was to hold her hand through the long (for a preschooler!) storybook. I kept trying to wiggle my fingers so she wasn't holding the entire hand but two or three fingers. But Ellie wasn't having any of that and would immediately correct her hold on my hand so she was firmly holding from my index finger to my pinky.
It reminded me of my older brother who, in his youth, liked to exert his superiority by shaking hands with me (and others whom he deemed inferior) so hard that he would press the recipient's hand bones together painfully, and rub the bones against each other. Mind you, I found it very handy when he did it to kids who harassed me, making it clear to them that the only one who got to bully his baby sister was him.
Of course, when Scott finished Fox In Socks and started to pick up Wacky Wednesday, another Dr. Seuss book, I apologized to Ellie and said Mommy had to go because Mommy didn't feel well.
It's not that she was devastated or anything. She gave me a hug and a few kisses and then settled back in for the next story.
But what kind of mom can't even hold hands with her kid for the time it takes to read a Dr. Seuss book? Somehow, in my mind, that erased the 20 minutes I'd spent earlier with her sitting on my lap as we read several books.
The score: Mystery Illness 5,392, Mommy 0.
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