Holy Fingernails, Batman!

I am constantly comparing Baby Girl’s infancy to Little Man’s. That’s easier said than done sometimes since there is a solid 6+ years between them, but I’m still back and forth on their eating habits, sleep habits, etc. While BG has been the easier baby by far at this point, there is one thing that isn’t so easy: trimming those damn fingernails.

I’m pretty sure that one of the most difficult tasks for a parent to an infant to perform is trimming fingernails. No joke, I have to wipe the sweat from my brow by the time I’m finished with Baby Girl. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but it is, and it’s that tough regardless of whether she is asleep or awake. She loves to ball up her fists and she has the strongest baby grip in the world. It’s like she’s on steroids (complete with the ‘roid rage when that bottle doesn’t get there fast enough).

As any parent knows, if you don’t keep those suckers trimmed, those precious little hands turn the baby into Edward Scissorhands, Jr. and not only will that perfect little face get scratched up, you will suffer as well.

Here’s the painstaking process I undergo when trying to trim Baby Girl’s nails:

  1. Try to unclench BG’s fist. When that fails, settle for a finger.
  2. Realize that the light isn’t in the right position. Let go, adjust the light, and repeat step 1.
  3. Keep the clippers steady next to her nail as she tries to flail about and trim exactly 1/3 of the nail.
  4. The finger slips out of reach, so back to step 1.
  5. After getting the finger free and getting step 3 out of the way again, realize that this is a different finger. Crap.
  6. Steps 1, 3-5 continue for a solid 15 minutes. I think I’m finally done with one hand and manage to pry her fingers loose for a minute to feel for any snags. I feel at least three because of step 4, so back to work.
  7. Ask the husband why the hell he hasn’t managed to trim a single nail in the seven years the two of you have been parents.
  8. After I finally get everything smoothed out, call it a day because every muscle in my neck and arms are tensed up from the awkward position I’ve been in. Grab a single mitten to put on the other hand if it’s really bad.
  9. Reward myself with a mixed drink. Think “better not, I’m breastfeeding,” then decide I’ll pump and dump. Drink on.

On a sidenote, I remember the first time I trimmed LM’s fingernails. He was just a few days old and I slightly nicked the skin. He had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon, and I was terrified that I would be reported to DSS.