Well, wow, thank you everyone for the advise! It seems others before me have had this same problem. My own mother confided that when I was very little and she was afraid of cutting my hands, she gave up on the clippers all together and bit my nails off. I could perhaps do this for the fingernail part of it, after a good washing, but I just don't think I could bring myself to gnaw another person's toenails off, even if that person did emerge from my own body. I can share my water glass, I can extract mucus from her nose, I can even allow her to pinch, pinch, pinch at my delicate chest skin (a sleepy habit she has clung to from her nursing days,) but I just think I draw the line at teeth to toenail action. There is only so much dignity I am ready to sacrifice.
In other news, I am excited today because, according to the baby's measurements at my last ultrasound, I am twelve weeks pregnant! (The due date says not until Sunday, but, I prefer today!) That means morning sickness will magically disappear, as will all possibility of miscarriage, right?! Yeah, I know... A girl can dream.
Also, 'nother question: Is sixteen months a little young to be throwing temper tantrums? Because even my mom, in whose eyes Adelay can do no wrong, has noticed her habit of hurling herself to the floor in a weeping puddle of rage and woundedness when you, say, remove a steak knife from her hands. It's a little frustrating, because there's no disciplinary action for this sort of thing. She's just a baby, unable to handle her own overwhelming emotions, and all you can do is a., ignore her completely, which seems cruel but is sometimes the only recourse, or, b., try to pick her flailing self up and walk her around, patting her back and saying comforting and validating things like, "Did it make you so sad when Mommy had to take away the choking hazard? You feel angry, don't you? It's okay to be mad, but it won't really help, so let's find something else to do!" Et cetera, ad nauseum. All while absorbing various kicks to the stomach and snot streaks on your shirt.
This child of mine sometimes seems foreign to me, confusing and unknown. She is very different from me, which should not really be a shock but sometimes is nonetheless. She is her own self, with a personality far more passionate and fitful and exuberant than my own, and sometimes it's a stretch for me to relate. I think she takes a lot more after Jim in both looks and personality, which means we will probably get along great in a few years, when she's learned to handle (to some extent, anyways) her sudden bursts of temper.
For now, though, the temper still takes me off guard a little- she was such a serene little baby, an old soul of a child who was happy just to stare into your face for hours and then go to bed and sleep all night. I was sure we had a meek and mild-mannered kid on our hands. I have learned an interesting lesson: children change, just like grown-ups!