I’m gazing at the Womb Raider’s™ tiny little fingers and I think, “Those little fingernails are getting a bit long.”
So I ask The Husband™ to get a baby nail clipping kit. Diligently, he comes home with a cute little set including clippers, scissors and a file.
I’ve got her laying in her cot and looking like she’s having a good time and I start to clip her nails. It’s going pretty well until I hit a hard one and I press down firmly to make sure I cut it straight, then I realise that babies have the softest fingernails in the world. Oops… oh SHIT. I’ve cut off the top of her finger next to the pinky and it’s bleeding badly. The 3-week-old-at-the-time Womb Raider™ is screaming blue murder and I burst into tears. This is bad!
I yell for The Husband™ to come and help and he ends up calmly putting a cartoon Band-Aid on her tiny finger. She’s fine. Phew! Crisis averted.
A few nights later I am dressing her after a bath and she starts screaming when I put her arm through her singlet. Not just a little yell either, but a full-blown screech which turns silent from the effort. Her face is red and the tears are flying out in a steady stream. I look down at her and one of her shoulders doesn’t look right. In fact, it’s on a funny angle and looks, frankly, weird. I’m pretty sure I’ve dislocated her shoulder and I’m struck numb with fear.
The first injury could be passed off as an accident but surely, after this, DOCS will arrive any minute and take her off me. I’ll be on the news as some kind of hideous abuser.
I run out to The Husband™ and demand that he check her out. Secretly, I’m hoping he’s not going to be mad at my second attempt at maiming our precious baby. After a good check over he declares nothing is wrong and she’s perfectly fine. I choose not to tell him that I almost hit her head against the fridge when I was carrying her and my lunch clumsily out of the kitchen earlier in the day.
The thought occurs to me that I have damaged this child quite frequently in her short life and if I keep this up, it’s going to be a real problem! I mean, do the math: if I’ve inflicted three maimings in three weeks (ok, so the fridge was a near miss but let’s count it anyway) then that’s one a week, 52 in a year and 260 by the time she is five. That’s criminal whichever way you slice it. Or put a different way: say I cut the top of her finger off at least once every three weeks, then multiply that by how many millimeters I cut off each time and divide that by ten fingers and by the time she is five she actually won’t have any fingers left at all. She will just have stumps. I’ll be in jail long before then. And that’s before you even start counting head bumps and dislocations.
Of course, The Husband™ assures me that I’m being a tad dramatic and that the only permanent scarring happening here is to my poor psyche.
I’m not convinced. So, dear reader, before I hand myself over to the authorities, please tell me that you’ve done worse or at least as bad to your own child…