Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tough As Nails

Here's a question I've never yet seen answered in any of my baby care books: How the heck do you get your squirmy, angry toddler to hold still in order that you may trim her toenails without in the process removing several of her actual toes? I'm not just venting here, I really, really want the answer to this. Please, if you have any ideas, let me know!
I tried laying her down on the changing table, giving her a toy to look out, and then sneakily trimming away. I didn't get even one little squeeze of the baby clippers in for all the thrashing that ensued the moment I grasped her fat little foot. Then I sat her on my lap and gave her usually forbidden Mommy items like eye cream and lip gloss to examine while I went about my clipping and trimming. Again, I nearly chopped her pinky toe off, but got nowhere with the actual nails, which have gotten so long they are beginning to curl down a little (and how disgusting is that? She looks like a raggedy little homeless baby!)
At last, I took her to the kitchen and strapped her in her high chair, put crackers and a sippy cup on the tray, and then oh-so-casually knelt down to trim the nails while she ate. I was figuring that she couldn't really squirm as much when she was belted into her chair. I was wrong. Kneeling at a person's feet when they're kicking wildly is not the smartest idea I've ever had, I must say. Nor was giving her the hard plastic sippy cup, which she promptly threw at my head.
In the half hour that was filled with all these humiliating antics, I managed to trim off a grand total of one toenail. Addy is now in bed, reading her book, cuddling her beloved "bwenkie," and reveling in the triumph of her still uncut toenails. And me? I am writing The World's Most Pathetic Blog Post To Date and reveling in marked-down Valentine's candy.

7 comments:

Kelli in the Mirror said...

I'd say that either it's going to be a two-man job where somebody's going to really have to HOLD her down so she can't kick...
or else maybe you might have some luck trying it while she's sleeping?

Swistle said...

I keep the baby nail clippers in my jeans pocket, and I seize my moments. Sometimes a child seems to be in the right mood, or in any case more easily dominated than usual. Sometimes I only get one nail clipped, but I keep working away at it. Toes are the hardest--man, I've sometimes wondered if removing the toes would in fact be better in the long run.

Mommy Daisy said...

Hmm, you're tried everything that I was thinking of. Sorry that I don't have any grand ideas. My child usually lets me trim his nails without fuss. Once in a while there's a little fuss, but I win and still get them cut. (Guess I've been lucky.) I can cut them on the changing table (while he's distracted) or in the high chair. Maybe Jim would have better luck? Or some other family member? She may be more interested in what they're doing then, instead of wanting to fight you. (Guess I did have a suggestion after all. I just had to work my way up to it.)

Erica said...

I was going to suggest trying it while she's sleeping, but you've probably tried that already.

I'll second Kelli's idea of making it a two person job.

Jess said...

I agree it's a 2 person job. Not to compare babies to dogs (although at that age children are really just pets without fur, right), but when I try to cut one of the dog's nails alone it usually ends up pretty badly. When Adam and I team-up and one of us holds the dog down and distracts it with a treat while the other one cuts the nails. Works like a charm :)

Lisa said...

Nail Scissors. Try those. My baby hates the SNAP of the clippers but didnt mind me trimming them with the scissors. Let me know if it works!

jen said...

1. tell her ahead of time what's going down
2. brute force and stern talking.
3. kiss each fingertip/toe after you've clipped the nail.

Now my kids look forward to it because the kiss amuses them for reasons I'll never know.