With fangs and claws bared

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An open letter

My sweet baby girl.

You won’t remember this, but at 10 months old, you’ve adopted the habit of biting and pinching, for whatever reason. With only four small teeth, your bites are similar to those of a horsefly and leave us wondering how can something so small bite so hard? And the pinching isn’t too bad so long as we keep your claws trimmed, but sometimes I swear I can actually see them growing.

Are you a dinosaur? The teeth and claws on their own may not be enough to make me think so, but the sometimes cringe-worthy scream you unleash before sinking those fangs in makes me question your DNA. Are you a beaver, confused as to just what wood is? Are you, in fact, a human horsefly?

We’ve found that pinching your nose unlocks your jaw faster than your father trying to unlock the door after curry dinner at the Indian restaurant, but with one hand holding you up and the other between your teeth, it can be a two-person job. Then there’s the fact that you’ve had a cold for what seems like the last two months, making a pinch of the nose a rather wet and slimy business.

Yes, we know you’re only 10 months old and don’t know any better.

Yes, we know that your next two teeth are slicing their way free of your gums, and the resulting frustration overcomes you. It’s tough being a baby.

Yes, we appreciate that, like a cat making muffins on a favorite blanket, legs underneath subject to the kneading claws, your pinches are a sign of comfort and trust in our grasp.

Still, we hope this habit gets outgrown quickly. We appreciate that the bruises are a symbol of your love for us, for no other family members can brag of being so marked, but we would much rather you learn how to give kisses instead. Even kisses wet and slimy with the remnants of a cold left on our cheeks.

With love,
Mom and dad,
the salty pink things that feed, bathe, and clothe you.

(dtn)

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2 Comments

Filed under Words

2 responses to “With fangs and claws bared

  1. weasa54

    oh so cute and well written!

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