How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

My Wife Just Said… #150

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“You know your life has changed when the most stressful thing of your day is clipping your baby’s fingernails. #idratherdefuseabomb” –Avara


It’s so surreal. The changes that happen when you become responsible for a child are many and massive. Every day there’s a new obstacle, a new crisis, a new learning curve for dealing with life plus one as a family. For us, we try to do no harm, like some sort of Hippocratic Parent oath. But it’s nearly impossible to prevent any suffering, for one or all.

The dreaded fingernails of a newborn. You don’t want your bouncing baby bundle to look like Edward Scissorhands, but the thought of clipping or shaving those talons is no easy feat. Maybe we should’ve gone to dog grooming school first. They seem to know their business. At any rate, the basic upkeep of kids can expose you and yours to moments of pain. It’s inevitable.

My wife’s Instagram post has about 80 bajillion comments because this is one of the feats of strength and fortitude that not even Hercules could muster the will to complete. Because, God help you, if you cut too close. Gah.

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9 Responses to “My Wife Just Said… #150”

  1. Aaron says:

    If you’re interested, here’s what happened when I tried to cut my infant son’s fingernails (fair warning: it wasn’t pretty):

  2. CapitalBabs says:

    I have repeatedly told my husband that this will be his most challenging new experience as a new dad… I don’t really think he believes me yet because baby has a couple weeks until arrival.

  3. Sarah says:

    I’d wait until my son was sleeping to cut his; it would take me at least 10 minutes because I’d have to pause between each one, whether it be from him fidgeting or my nerves. My daugther was always, eh whatever, when I cut hers.
    I mean, I know what it feels like to cut my own nails too close…some kind of torture, I swear. I can’t even imagine what it’d be like for the littles. And the bleeding! I don’t think I ever fully forgave myself for that one…and all it takes is that one time. I’d say my son doesn’t even remember it, but he does have some serious aversion to me cutting them still (he’s 4); unless that’s just boys in general…he tells me he needs them so he can be Wolverine…but I can’t help but wonder.

  4. Seth says:

    Just bite them, that’s what my wife does. Toes do require the clippers though.

  5. Beverley M says:

    Here’s my trick. Make a tiny snip with your clippers in one side of the baby’s nail, leaving a bit of a white-nail buffer (don’t get too close to the pink). Then grab it with your fingernails and just peel off the nail. For my kids, anyway, the nails always tore perfectly straight.

    I figured this out after clipping too close and ending up with a bleeder on my first. Never had any issues with this technique after that on her or my second.

  6. Christine Taylor says:

    If U Catch Them Right After A Bath U Can Literally Scratch/Pull Them Off. But, Biting Works!

  7. My wife is still somewhat traumatized after drawing blood on my son when trying to clip his nails as a baby. And that was three years ago.

  8. Chris says:

    For the longest time we had to wait for my youngest daughter to fall asleep to cut her nails. She even asked us to wait until she was asleep. Then when I got the nerve to do it we felt like I was trying to diffuse a bomb, blindfolded, in a room of filled with sleeping rabid pit bulls, while wearing a meat suit.

  9. Ross says:

    I have managed, for two and a half years, to avoid cutting my daughter’s nails. Right when my wife thinks she had me cornered and stuck doing it, I trick her into doing it herself! I really hope she doesn’t read this.

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