Parenting Plight #4: Fingernails and Toenails

Are they cutting his finger off?! Photo cred:
Are they cutting his finger off?! Photo cred:

Now, this doesn’t seem all that bad, right? Just clipping a few fingernails and toenails every once in a while, right? No. Absolutely not. There is no way to describe the magnificent torture that is making sure your babies/kids’ fingernails and toenails are groomed appropriately. Not only do they have to be short, but they also have to be rounded, with no snagged edges or corners. Otherwise, it looks like your kid pissed off Edward Scissorhands.

The jury is still out on the best way to trim these flimsy but sharp daggers on the ends of our sweeties’ fingers and toes. I have friends who bite them off, but that still churns my stomach to think about. They tell me, “You can feel their skin better that way, and it’s easier not to cut them while you’re doing it.” What I hear is, “You put your kid’s fingers/toes in your mouth, bite down really hard, and hope you don’t taste blood.” It’s a bummer that however you do it. I just take a pair of those “Safety 1st” clippers and pray.

You know what else is a bummer? The fact that, like everything else on a baby, those nails grow with supernatural speed. If I want to “grow out my nails” – something I occasionally want to do to prove my femininity – it takes me weeks. EK and J both seem to need their nails cut every three days. (Note: It’s possible that part of the reason for the too-often need to cut their nails stems from the fact that I can never seem to cut all twenty in one sitting.) I should probably do EK’s about that often, because nowadays it seems there is always gunk underneath them: dirt, food, and ????

If I can manage it, I pass the job of nail cutting to someone else. Grandparents, Hubby, and probably strangers do a better job than I do at keeping those nails groomed. My mom can somehow get the job done if the kid is in a highchair. Why this makes a difference, I’m not sure. I have tried it, and I still have the same amount of success I would if they were on a roller coaster. Maybe they can tell how nervous I am?

Do you have tips on how to get my least favorite dirty job done? Powers of distraction or methods to calm, perhaps?

2 thoughts on “Parenting Plight #4: Fingernails and Toenails”

  1. I keep fingernail clippers in the car so I can get it done quickly when Maryanne falls asleep. Cartoons are a pretty good distraction for us as well 🙂


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