Tertia claims she's the world's worst mother. But the crown is not uncontested: I contend that I, too, am in the running. See, I'm so bad at keeping Charlie's nails from turning into razor-sharp talons that the poor kid looks like he was in a goddamn bar fight from scratching his own face. I am imagining a gang of pissed-off babies whacking their bottles against the edge of the bar to make a jagged edge for menacing their tiny enemies. I am fashioning a teeny bandana for him in his gang's colors, in fact.
I haven't the heart to tell him that tiny ducks scattered on a background of butter yellow won't exactly strike mortal terror into the hearts of his arch-rivals.
I clip his nails frequently, but always forget to use a junior-sized emery board to round off the sharp corners. Even so, at ten weeks old ten weeks old tomorrow! he has a nicer-looking manicure than I do. We will not talk about the haircut I was due to have two days after his birth and never rescheduled, or the lizardy dry patches of skin I can't be bothered to moisturize, or the appalling state of my toenails, pedicured five days postpartum and neglected ever since. (Talk about razor-sharp talons, to say nothing of the giant flakes of Essie's Scarlett O'Hara that trail behind me everytime I go barefoot.) I shower every day, but until I do, I shuffle around the house in a saggy plaid bathrobe and a lanolin-stained nursing bra pulled up over my breasts but not fastened, with my scaly, hairy legs as awkwardly naked as if I were poultry.
So not only does my infant son bear more picturesque facial scarring than a Barbary corsair, I have officially let myself go. Not only am I negligent, I'm ugly to boot. Top that, Tertia, you asshole.