Carter and I were leaving the bus stop the other day after getting Cody safely on the school bus when we startled a chipmunk. It leapt into the air, grabbed the nearest tree and scampered part way up. It clung to the trunk with its’ tiny sharp claws, looked at us, and then proceeded to both circle the tree trunk and climb higher.
Carter was enthralled by the chipmunk’s climbing abilities and that dominated most of our conversation as we walked slowly back home. It was when we were almost home that he had his great idea.
carter: Momma, you know what?
me: No Carter, what?
carter: I am going to grow my fingernails reeeeeally long so I can climb a tree just like that chipmunk!
me: Hum. You do know that means no more biting your nails, right? (Carter is a nail biter – both of the finger and toe variety. It drives me crazy and I have not been able to find anything that will make him stop.)
carter: Right! And then I can climb trees chipmunk style!
I decided not to tell him that that even if he grew his fingernails out, the odds of him being able to climb a tree like that chipmunk were pretty low. I was hoping this would be the thing that would break him of his nasty nail biting habit.
A short while later I walk into the living room to find Carter sitting on the couch looking at a book and absentmindedly chewing on a fingernail.
me: Oh-oh. Remember that you want to grow those nails out so you can climb trees like that chipmunk at the bus stop.
carter: After a long pause, I wasn’t chewing my nails, momma, I was sharpening them.