Every time I go to the dentist, he tells me to stop eating so much candy, then either informs me that A) I need another gold crown, or, B) I have a few spots he's going to, "keep an eye on." Dylan, too, seems to have inherited my knack for collecting cavities and she's becoming well accustomed to hearing the same thing from him. Aside from poor dental hygiene, our kids have a couple of bad habits that, for now, are borderline, but, in the immortal words of Dr. Willis, we'll definitely be keeping an eye on them so they don't blow up into full fledged vices.
Grady's habit is seemingly innocent. He still sucks his left pointer finger. It's not too big of a deal, but as a four-year old, he should be outgrowing it. It's a habit that he clings to, and whenever he's bored (in the car), or tired, he immediately sticks his finger in his mouth. Apparently, he gnaws on his finger because he's developed a callous that looks like it came off a Pacific Crest Trail hiker's foot. We'd be okay with his habit if he didn't double it up with a hand-down-the-pants combo. The degree of difficulty is high to manage both things at once, but he's become a master. If it were merely the Al Bundy-style, or "The Judd," as Regina calls it, and he stuck his right hand down the front of his pants, we'd chalk it up to weird genetics and let it go. Instead, his free hand shoots down the back of his pants and we're constantly worried he's going to get some crazy butt-sweat rash on his little hand. Ok, maybe "we're" not worried, that one may just be on me.
If A&E decides to spin off from their unsettling show Hoarders with a dark side of children-hoarders series, their first stop will be in Dylan's room. The girl collects everything. On last count, she had five jewelry boxes, none contained jewelry, and all were overflowing with ... I'd say junk, but she gets mad when I call it that. Ditto for beneath her bed, and behind her bed, and her backpack, and her pockets. If it's a vessel, or just an area that will store stuff, she'll fill it.
Last week, Regina was washing one of Dylan's jackets. It felt unnaturally heavy and so she checked the pockets. This is certain to be on Episode I, because this is what we found: a paper clip, 3 pieces of scrap paper, 3 rocks, a small stuffed animal, a stick, one used fake fingernail, a water bottle cap, a marble, an "I Love You," note from her friend, Hello Kitty hair tie, hair clips, a dime, a piece of a sugar pine cone, stickers, a pack of glitter, plastic jewels, a ring, and a bolt. Yes. All of that in two child-sized pockets. She's going to need a full TSA pat-down before school each morning.
As far as bad habits go, we're pretty lucky. They aren't arsonists, or feces flingers, or booger eaters, or plagiarists. We, of course, are keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't turn into full-blown vices. And now, if you'll excuse me, I think there's some leftover Halloween candy with my name on it.