Have you noticed that children’s fingernails and toenails grow faster than anything else? Like faster than ivy, bamboo, and kudzu? Combined? I just don’t know how it’s possible – my kids don’t even eat that healthy, but no matter what, I look down at one of my kid’s fingernails and notice they need to be cut. Again. How does a diet of PopTarts, Lucky Charms, peanut butter sandwiches, tacos, and spaghetti make finger nails grow SO fast? I’m baffled.
Is it the four-kid thing? Forty toes and forty fingers that need attention? No, it can’t be. I hear my friends with less kids complain and my friends with more kids not mention a word. I can’t use the four-kids excuse this time.
Maybe it’s the finagling and negotiating that goes along with these manis and pedis? According to my kids, I inflict serious torture when performing this most basic grooming task. They say I cut “too deep” (must be heredity – I remember screaming the same thing to my mom when I was little – I am sure this will be used as a metaphor in their future therapy sessions), and they coil at the sight of nail clippers. I can guarantee you my boys will NOT be metro-sexuals with regular manicure appointments – mention the word “nails” and they start arguing better than the best Charlotte attorneys (which is shocking considering they come from a long line of salesmen). It makes the process snarly and dirty – kinda like their big toenails.
Is it because it’s MY job? My husband and I are surprisingly good at being a team. We divvy up most tasks with the kids and the house. Except nails. And air filters. (My job. His job.) He has never touched one fingernail or toenail that needs attention. I’m OK with that – except for the fact that I am clipping nails ALL THE TIME, which is way more than the number of times an air filter needs to be changed. Oh, and I’m the bad guy. Again.
Perhaps it’s because it’s getting worse, not better. Baby toes are amazing. You can kiss them – with your lips – and love every single second. I think God gives moms that gift until age six. Then, it’s starts to get a little precarious. Take, for example, a nine-year-old boy’s toes. Waaaaay different story than baby brother’s. It’s really not that cute. When do boys start to clip their own toenails? (Please say nine!). He’s wearing a cup to baseball for goodness sake; shouldn’t he be able to clip his own toenails??! Oh, and I’m calling Nike’s bluff – those Elite socks allow NO air circulation, and I am slightly disturbed by the amount of dirt and sweat that accumulates on one child. Every five minutes. Which is about how often I am clipping nails around here.
Is it because I judged? I remember when I just had one sweet baby girl, and I noticed a kid’s nails were shockingly long. I wondered how a mother would let her child out of the HOUSE with those claws. Ummmmm, fast forward ten years, and take a look at my boys. Don’t look too close because they might scratch your eyes out, but seriously, I SWEAR I just did a family clipping last week! I bet that poor mother I judged said the same thing, and I bet some young mother out there is shaking her head right now and judging me. It’s OK. I can take it. Judge all you want. I’m actually not even paying attention to it because I am too busy clipping nails over here.
It must be all of the above – together, combined, times ten. Clipping nails is my Achilles heel. My kryptonite. My least favorite activity that keeps growing, and growing, and growing.
What’s yours, Smarties?