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Tuesday, April 10, 2007  

Bam-Bam and Band-Anns

You think you know M. Small from reading this blog. You see a tall, beautiful, blue-eyed tyke who always talks in complete sentences and never drops a single R down the front of his adorable little outfits, let alone the occasional stray pea. But I'm afraid he isn't quite perfect.

There are days he gets into what I call "Bam-Bam mode," where he's basically grabbing and throwing and breaking and disassembling and scattering everything he can get his hands on, and then spitting grape juice on it. There have been evenings where we've been doing nothing but constantly following him from one mess to another, and while we're cleaning up one, he's already made the next. Just prevent the first mess, you say? Well, fine, in theory, but that first mess is a little something I like to call "breakfast." And then, during one of his several "time-outs" of the day in the back bedroom, he makes use of the time not to reflect on what he's done and why it was wrong, but to strip the bed and put his muddy shoes on the fitted sheet. "Sorryyy!" he sings gleefully as he upends a box of crayons. Bam-Bam mode takes away a tiny part of the guilt over how lucky we got to get such a great kid overall.

So does this: M. Small has a bad toe shape. That probably sounds like something that would be noticed by dog show judges and nobody else, but it has practical implications. Because of the shape of his big toes, M. Small is growing up with a tendency to get ingrown toenails. We've already had each foot get infected once, and combined with his plaintive reports of "my toe hurts" during this period, it's not something we want to put him through again. So each evening and each night, we apply little bandages with a drop of antibiotic ointment to each toe. His "Band-anns," as he calls them, have become as familiar to him as his socks and shirt. He needs to soak in a warm bath almost every night, as opposed to who-knows-how-many kids his age who just get hosed down in the backyard twice a month whether they need it or not. And then after his bath I do his Band-anns (just as Trash did them at breakfast that morning), and we have a little bit of fun looking at who's on them tonight. The past few months it's mostly been Cars characters (Lightning the Queen, Blue Car, and Tow Truck the Mater), but today we switched to Winnie the Pooh. I had to think fast to come up with an explanation as to why Eeyore looked sad. You can't exactly tell a two-and-a-half year old what clinical depression is (especially after a full day spent in Bam-Bam mode).

Last week, at our doctor's recommendation, Trash took M. Small to a pediatric surgeon to see what could be done. The good news is that he doesn't have to have surgery to correct it, at least not for a while. I admit I don't relish the thought of changing his Band-anns every day for the next three-quarters of a decade. I hold out a faint hope that he'll be able to manage that last year mostly by himself, albeit with some prompting from us. It's a pain, but we're still incredibly lucky with what we got. Toe bandages certainly aren't something to go all Eeyore over.

posted by M. Giant 4:44 PM 2 comments


Ahhh poor M. Small! I've had two or three supposedly one-shot deal toe surgeries (same thing...) - I've got abnormally large toenail beds, as opposed to weird shaped toes. Keep the Epsom salts on hand - and don't trim his nails too short!

By Blogger Maya, at April 10, 2007 at 6:17 PM  

I love the picture of M. Small, and I don't believe he is ever anything but an angel.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 12, 2007 at 9:22 AM  

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