The next subject in my series of posts about things that no one really talks about when raising kids is fingernails. Also, how insanely quickly babies heal. Infant fingernails grow at a ridiculous rate. I have a feeling that if left untended, they would grow to be like one of those guys from the Guinness Book of World Records in a matter of days, all curly and stuff. Gross.

Anyway, their fingernails require constant attention because if they’re even a little bit over the finger, they’ll cut their faces open. I’m not saying that infants are like emo cutters looking for attention. It’s just that they rub their faces when tired and they have a tendency to do it in such a way as to scrape a stray thumbnail across their face. This happens ALL THE TIME. It’s insane. There was one week where I picked up Oliver from daycare and every other day I had to sign an incident report because he had a new gash on his face. I tried to explain to him that he doesn’t have to prove anything to the other kids. They already think he’s tough. It didn’t matter.

Behind those eyes lurks a savage animal.

Behind those eyes lurks a savage animal.

It’s not just himself that he cuts up either. I fell asleep holding him once and he got me right below the eye. It looked like I was in a knife fight but the real reason was far less cool. He also does this thing when I feed him too where he plays a thumb war with my fingers, but mine don’t fight back. Instead it’s like a carpet bomb against my cuticles as he gouges at them over and over again.

To combat these self-inflicted facial lacerations and parental abuse, you have to constantly check out the kid’s fingernails. There are these flimsy nail scissors you can use to cut them but there are also these sturdy tiny nail clippers that work a lot better. The trick to trimming the nails is to do it when the child is sleeping. Trying to do it when they’re awake or even pre-occupied with a bottle or a toy is nearly impossible. You have to forcibly hold the kid’s finger with one hand and try to get a line with the nail clipper with the other all while he’s flailing about, trying to get free.

Fortunately for babies, they have a crazy fast recovery time. Oliver would scratch his face and the next day you couldn’t even tell it was there. This seems to be the case with other bumps and bruises. He had his first real tumble a few weeks ago and ended up with this big bump on his forehead. This was completely gone the next morning. It’s for this reason that I think my kid is a baby version of Wolverine from the X-Men. He’s got sharp claws and a fast healing factor. Plus, I think I saw him with a cigar the other day, but I could have been imagining it.

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