I have discovered what the worst thing in the world is. No, it's not the fact that many species of animals may become extinct due to the impact of global warming. No, it's not the crisis in Darfur. It's cutting a baby's fingernails.
If you are thinking, "How dare she compare the turmoil in Darfur to something as innocuous as cutting nails?" then you've obviously never done it before.
We all know babies are small, right? Well, these small babies have even smaller fingers. And these small fingers sport tiiiiiny fingernails. I mean tiiiiny!
I learned quickly that one cannot cut the fingernails of a baby while said baby is awake. Babies NEVER keep their hands still! So, you have to wait until s/he falls asleep, usually not a problem since babies sleep A LOT (more on this in a subsequent post). Hopefully the baby has fallen asleep on your lap, making it easier to maneuver his/her fingers to an angle where you can actually cut the nail without contorting your own body into some uncomfortable position. Now that you're all set, you will realize that you've forgotten all about the nail clippers and they're in a completely different room. If no one else is home, you'll need to get up and get them, but this will probably wake the sleeping baby, thus postponing your nailcutting endeavor. Whenever you do manage to have the clippers by you AND have your baby sleeping on your lap, you will notice that you are not the only person who thinks that baby nails are so incredibly tiny because the makers of your nailclippers have ATTACHED A MAGNIFYING LENS TO THE CLIPPERS!
When you examine the nails, you will see what feels like little sharp razor blades are truly only these soft little things that, I swear to god, are only 2 mm long. How the f*** are you supposed to cut something off that's only 2 mm long??? Answer: You just go for it.
So I went for it on my precious 2-month old daughter's little nails. It took forever because I wanted to be so careful to not catch her skin that most of the time I caught nothing. Then I got to her thumb. And I did catch her skin. From her peaceful slumber, Samantha let out a howl followed by some infant sobbing. I MADE MY CHILD BLEED! I felt so bad that I vowed to never cut her nails again. That is, until, she scratched my neck so hard that I thought I was bleeding.
So really, the only thing worse than cutting a baby's fingernails is NOT cutting a baby's fingernails.
A quick update: I actually wrote this post several days ago. Now Samantha's nails have become a little bit stronger and I've discovered that I can bite them off! Yes, gross or not, I bite my baby's nails off. My life is SO much better, as I'm sure is hers. Global warming and Darfur can go back to being the worst things in the world now.