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The Baby Manicure Tragedy

Candy's Column

The Baby Manicure Tragedy

Re-posted from October 16, 2009. The family is en route to Los Angeles after Skye’s successful 2010 East Coast Birthday Tour.

The manicure victim blows bubbles to cope with her trauma

With motherhood comes many new and important responsibilities, such as picking baby boogers, wincing when your husband picks out the wrong pair of baby socks and Tweeting about the State of Your Breast Milk.  Another such responsibility is giving your baby regular manicures so that she doesn’t wake up looking like she’d spent the night wrestling a raccoon, as my child did this morning.  Feeling horribly guilty about the tiny scratches near Miss Skye’s right eye, I did what any concerned mother would — and put out several raccoon traps around the house.

Once I owned up to the situation and maturely admitted that she had scratches because MR. CANDY had failed to trim her nails (men, I tell ya), I decided to clip them myself before she, you know, lost an eye or something.  Have you ever given a baby a manicure?  The thing about babies is — and you non-parents out there may not know this — is that they’re small!  As are their nails!  And their nail CLIPPERS!  Cutting their tiny little nails with their tiny little nail clippers feels as natural as putting fake eyelashes on the cats.  Which they are not happy about, by the way.

Another thing about babies?  Is that, at eleven weeks old, they like to move around.  A LOT.  Fascinated by these things called arms and legs attached to her body, Skylar is constantly testing them and flailing about as though she’s auditioning for Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.  Given this, any mother with common sense would, of course, try to cut her nails while she was asleep and immobile.

So I, naturally, cut them while she was awake and flailing on my lap.

You know what’s coming, don’t you?  Oh yes.  SNIP goes the skin, making her tiny little finger bleed.  Baby Girl looked at me like, “Why would you DO that to me?!”, pouted, then cried for a solid ten seconds.  Yes, only ten seconds.  I, on the other hand, cried about it all afternoon.  Omigod, people — inflicting pain on your child, however unintentional…?  THE.  WORST.  FEELING.  IN.  THE.  WORLD.  I honestly felt faint, like I could pass out from the horrible, overwhelming guilt.  Is this what Catholics often feel like?  If so, I’m glad my dad stopped practicing Catholicism before I was born.  ‘Cause that depth of guilt is practically paralyzing, I tell ya.

Needless to say, I did not cut the remainder of Miss Skye’s nails today.  Instead I held her closely and offered my boobs as a peace offering.   Now I’m faced with the age-old parental dilemma:  Let my daughter scratch her eyes out or sever her hand with the clippers?  Ugh.  It’s SO much more fun picking baby boogers.

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Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

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