I was so close. Just that one last little tiny paper thin fingernail…
There are a few cardinal rules in life that you’re not supposed to break:
1. Never say that your child is ugly.
2. Never joke about bombs at the airport.
3. Never say out loud, “That woman has more than 10 items and this is the EXPRESS lane!”
4. Never make your baby bleed.
(Caution – my mother paid no heed to that last one when it came to loose teeth, so keep your children away from her if they have a wobbly one.)
Today I broke the last rule and made my three-month old bleed her own blood. One of the child-rearing tasks that I delegate to Ryan (along with teaching people to pee standing up) is the trimming of fingernails. However, I kept forgetting to ask him to do this for Emma Clare and I’d already been clawed by her about three times today. So, I took a stab at it (no pun intended, but there it is anyway.) I was humming along so well – one hand done, on to the next. It was just that very last thumb that got me, or got her, as it turns out. The look on her face was of one who had been utterly betrayed and her cry was other-worldly. I panicked. Then I stuck her thumb in my mouth (thinking, somehow, that this might help.) Tried to remember any first aid training that I might have had – elevate the head, or is it supposed to be the feet? Pressure? Tourniquet? I rubbed some organic diaper ointment on it – I don’t think it helped at all, but it smells heavenly – like oatmeal and vanilla. Finally, I managed to find the world’s largest band-aid in our closet and wrapped it around her microscopically small finger. Then, to prevent her from sucking on the band-aid, I put a striped mitten over that hand. One of my children had the good judgment to point out that this made her look like Baby Sandy. Baby Sandy is my childhood Cabbage Patch doll and about 16 years ago our yellow lab chewed off one hand. I put one of those little scratch mittens on that hand to cover up the damage. So, in essence, my child now looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid with a gnawed-off stump for a hand. A lady in line in back of me at Target said something to the effect of, “Oh, it looks like she lost one of her little mittens.” I didn’t dare explain.