Confession: If, prior to two months ago, you let me hold your baby, I was probably judging you pretty hard for the state of your baby’s fingernails. They’re so long & dirty! Why don’t you bathe your children! Have you been making your 10-month-old plant potatoes? Is this indicative of a larger problem? Should I call Child Protective Services?
Anyway, sorry about that. Charlie, in his short life, has sustained one injury at my hand: It was from trying to trim that last thumbnail with the baby-sized safety clippers after quasi-successfully trimming the other nine fingernails. He was sleeping, & I was feeling so preemptively victorious. Then he got squirmy, but my hubris led me to go for that thumb anyway. First he was shocked, then betrayed. Then he cried. It was terrible.
The fingernails have been the ongoing struggle since the day he was born. The emery board doesn’t take; you can file for hours & you’ll only succeed in making him mad. I don’t know how it’s possible that his nails can be so sharp & so flimsy simultaneously. It’s harder to maintain my infant’s nails than it is to trim the claws of Buster the Cat, BY FAR. And this is even taking into consideration the two 6-inch scratches Andy currently has down his torso from Buster’s last manicure. How do Charlie’s nails get so dirty? He doesn’t even really know he has hands yet– where are they finding dirt?
I keep trying to make his nails trimmed and clean, so that he stops scratching his face and depositing potato-dirt in his wounds, but it’s a losing battle. I can trim as many as three fingernails in a sitting, once every five days or so. So if you happen to be holding Charlie and you notice his ill-groomed nails, please don’t call Child Protective Services. I promise he’s a clean baby who’s not being neglected.
Which reminds me, I haven’t bathed him in a week. Shit. Okay, Imma go do that right now, while you continue not to call Child Protective Services. I had really good intentions, and we did a lot of spot-cleaning with the Burt’s Bees wipes that are made especially for cleaning baby hands and faces. And I used regular baby wipes on him for spot-cleaning everywhere else. And his diapers are always clean.
Stop judging me.