By Diane Ako
I was painting Olivia's (and my) nails. "Remind me not to paint this thumb," I asked her, wiggling her left thumb. It's the sucking thumb. Only the left. The right just will not do.
"Because I might suck the paint off?" she asked.
"Because you have sucked the paint off in the past. You don't need to eat nail polish. I've fed you enough," I confirmed.
"This is the thumb I suck when I'm tired, and this is the thumb nail I bite when I miss you," she declared.
I stopped. I've never heard that before."Do you bite it a lot?" I questioned.
"I bite it just like this," she demonstrated.
"But do you bite it a lot?" I repeated. It doesn't look all haggard so I think it's under control.
"Yes, always, and only sometimes," she replied, in the logic of a preschooler. "When I'm in school, and then I bite it like this."
"Aww, Hon," I said. "I miss you too, every day when I'm at work." I gave her a hug and a kiss.
Except I don't bite my nail, I just breathe air. Always, and only sometimes.
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