It was an average evening. Dinner preparations were spread out on every last open square inch of kitchen counter, homework was happening, and because I am one of those moms with extrasensory perception, I knew, without even looking, that my daughter’s fingernails were too long to be acceptable for her piano lesson.
“Cut your nails,” I demanded.
Per usual, she couldn’t find the clippers, so I had to stop cooking/homework help/etc. and find them, right in the top of the drawer where they were sneakily hiding in plain sight. I think there must be some sort of internal comfort reaction when a child scream, “MOM! I can’t find it!”
Thankfully, moms are able to find anything, at any time, in any given place. It is one of the perks that comes this job we call motherhood.
So after finding the clippers, she proceeded to begin clipping her tiny nails in the trash can in our kitchen, which is directly attached to the counter where I was preparing dinner. Every good human knows that there is no controlling the direction of those things when you start clipping. I once had a child’s toenail land in my eye. I thought I would be blind or have to wear a patch and kids would call me a pirate and I would spend my days explaining that it was just a stray toenail.
But still, being 8 years old, she didn’t think that a flying shred of keratin would be a big deal landing in our baked pasta as much as I did. I sent her to the bathroom to finish the job.
She was there 20 seconds before I saw her sulking towards me with that look in her eye. Something was wrong. As moms, we can diagnose immediately by even a quick glance into the eyes of our children.
This time, the issue was the pair of fingernail clippers. The same ones I have managed to not lose for almost 15 years. The same ones that have made it through three kids and two moves. The same ones that are freakishly perfect at clipping tiny nails.
“Ummm. I dropped the nail clippers in the toilet.”
Without skipping a beat, because I could have guessed this would happen anyway (mental telepathy is another perk of being a mom), I rolled up my sleeves and said to my son who was stewing over his math, “well, here goes another perk of motherhood. Toilet fishing.”
Once retrieved, I scrubbed my arms, made myself a note to sterilize the bathrooms of the house – just in case, finished clipping her nails, and went back to making a dinner for my family.
Motherhood isn’t always glamorous, we all know that. There are times when you find yourself elbow deep in your own toilet. But knowing that it was going to happen, exactly where they were, help with math and still make a hot meal for your family? That’s more than your average perk.
Originally written 12.27.15