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Declawing the baby.

2006-04-06 - 9:17 p.m.

So far Iíve gotten away with filing Grommetís little fingernails with emery boards. Iíd read too many accounts of new parents who were traumatized by clipping a little to closely and ending up with blood on their babiesí hands to want to attempt it. Since Iím up close constantly while feeding, I use the time to my advantage; when she objects and jerks her wee paws away, I can just give it a minute or two then lightly take hold and begin madly filing again. Eventually I get all ten digits done within the day. I repeat this process every couple of days or when her nails start clawing into me when she grabs for me. I hop to it right quick when what she grabs is my poor sensitive boob.

I have not yet, however, tackled her toenails, and Iím afraid that the time is nigh. While 8 of her toenails seem to mysteriously self-trim (okay, they probably never grow Ė all I know is that they never seem to get longer), the talons adorning her big toes are starting to dig into me when she bicycles her feet against me. Itís reminiscent of how some predators hang onto their prey with their front paws and jaws, and use their back paws to shred the crap out of their victims. She could probably climb frozen waterfalls with those things.

Grommet, you see, shares one of my traits that I was hoping I wouldnít pass on. My toenails on my big toes point, not straight out, but slightly upwards. While this gives them the whimsical look of having been encased in curly-toed elf boots in my formative years, it means that buying fancy shoes isnít easy, and that I wore holes right through the tops of my sneakers growing up. Even worse, they easily, and painfully, snag on things: Iíve torn my poor toenails kicking a soccer ball barefoot, and Iíve caught them on too-low toekick edges on kitchen cabinetry.

So, perhaps itís time to break out the clippers. Grommet wonít be kicking a soccerball any time soon, but I need to save my belly from being raked on a regular basis.

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