Babies have these ridiculously sharp, papery little fingernails that you (I) as the parent have to cut short to keep your (my) sweet babe from shredding up his cherub face.
But babies also flail about with no concern for your agenda; synapses are firing in the brain, mom, this world is bright and noisy and supercool, and baby boy ain’t got no time for tiny nail clippers. Not to mention playing airplane is way more fun for mama than tending to baby nails that, let’s face it, when left to grow, will peel off in their own. So, naturally, nail clipping goes on the back burner.
Whatever, my boy has not scratched his beautiful face once since birth.
But Grandma recently came to town and remarked upon those long ass, dirty nails. (Sidebar: how do baby nails get grimey??? Unaccountable.) I made some excuse about how I can’t keep up with his nail growth, but ultimately I was shamed into grabbing the clippers and settling in for a trim sesh. That’s when I noticed my own nails and it became a game of who wore it better, aka who’s nails are worse.
The answer is mine. My nails are worse. They are long, they are chipped, they are dirty, and yet they are the nails of an adult woman who has no excuse. Is anyone with me on this? I want to be hot! I want to project a she-has-it-together image, but it’s like I blink and I’m messy again. One time I got a set of acrylic French manicured pretties, and I walked around gesticulating like the sexy beast I was, until I realized it had been 4 weeks and I was missing the pointer finger nail on my right hand. When I was pregnant I kept my nails painted a powdery periwinkle blue, with toenails to match, and I felt beautiful and elegant and maternal; an ethereal boy mom.
I still have some of that polish on my toes, because I’m not ethereal, I’m a really good boy mom.
So, pregnancy is over and now I have postpartum nail growth and no time for polish (clearly), plus there are twenty new baby nails to manage and Grandmas to throw shade. I am still beautiful and maternal, but also haggard. Everyone keeps telling me it will all get easier, but I don’t think I believe that’s true.
I use the baby clippers to snip my nails to the nub and I move on to tending to bubba’s nails, and I drink coffee and vow to do better, and perhaps to find a nail salon that offers childcare and lattes. (And if that sort of thing doesn’t exist, someone should invent it so I can give them my money.)