"Ladies and gentlemen, if you look to your left you'll see the Statue of Liberty. And if you look to the right you'll see the sinewy expanse of inflamed flesh that once held Cheeky's toenail."
Nothing skeeves me out more than medical shit. Those hospital shows, where they show people organs up close and they're tying things together with calipers and piano wire make me want to spew. I'd rather eat a moldy smegma sandwich than watch a plastic surgery show on Discovery Health. And when the doctor positioned a mirror so I could watch Cheeky's birth? Guess.
When Cheeky opened a door into her big toe the other day I didn't think much. I just held her, comforted her, and empathized. God knows I know the pain of a stubbed toe. Shoot me in the arm and I'll wince and curse, but when that little toe hits the bed leg I carry on like I'd been dismembered. The poor kid was a mess, and I wanted so bad to make the pain go away.
Then I looked down at her toenail. Or rather the corpse of her toenail.
It was jaggedly sticking up at a 45 degree angle from her toe, exposing the tender skin beneath and poised to snag on the nearest available object.
She didn't want to look at it. She didn't want US to look at it. And you'd better believe she wanted us nowhere near it.
So I'm faced with a sobering reality. To spare my daughter unending anguish, I'd need to face my one of my primal fears and get close to that gross, nasty remnant of a toe to remove the nail.
It was staring at me, mocking my pain, beckoning me to step forward and rip it free.
So I did what any man of my courage and confidence would do when called upon:
I covered it with a Sesame Street band-aid.
I mean, it's gonna grow back, right? And if it's under there it can't snag on anything, right? I'll check it again in a couple days and I'll bet it will all be fine! You'd do the same in my shoes!
I'm such a freakin' coward.