I don't know who used to trim my nails when i was a baby;all through my school life it was always my father who religiously took out time every Sunday to ensure my nails were trimmed neatly with a blade.Yes, a blade. He hated the nailcutter because he could not see the inside of it and feared it might slice the skin here and there. A blade, in his opinion gave him more control and hold. Not to worry, i began to wield the blade soon enough effortlessly.And guess what, on my first job away from home, my father tucked a nailcutter in my bag asking me to upgrade in life. Poignant enough,i find it so strange my father pushed all of us to adapt to the changing times but refuses to change himself. I am informed he still does not use a nailcutter and old as he may be, his nails are still neat as ever, perfectly trimmed.
My husband picked up a real cute nailcutter, a penguin-shaped one for sonny boy when he was 3 days old. Yes,sonny boy made his entry to this world with already grown nails and baby nails are ouch,sharp!It hurts when he scratches. Little does he know who/what/where he is scratching. Half the time, he is hurting himself. And how often will one put him on mittens.It's a sweaty humid country. I have a pet peeve towards long nails. No,i don't chew them. I just like and have always maintained short, prim and propah nails. Yes, i also paint them and buffer them time to time. I wanted to trim them asap but how and when.
Then, in jumped the elders saying the baby has to complete 40 days before i trim his nails.And, Dadi told me to kiss his nails and blow them away like wishes every Monday and every Wednesday. The nails shed, apparently. Baby nails are soft,so they scale and shed, to tell you the truth irrespective of the day. Meanwhile, his paediatrician chided me for growing his nails. I looked at him helplessly and told him this is India and every newborn has so and so rituals and traditions to follow. He said, that's the point - this is India. Everyone comes with ample free advice. Just nod and move on but never offend anyone.
When the day came to trim his nails i thought i should wait for him to go to sleep then i remembered my mother's myth/belief to never ever cut nails while asleep. Apparently, one's life gets shortened.You get the drift. So i was stuck. It seemed daunting but i must thank the little man for being patient with me. I made him lie on my lap facing me and told him stories as i went snipping the extras. I almost felt as if i was holding my breath underwater. It's not easy. And now it's a weekly exercise.
The father refuses to come anywhere near when i ask him to trim his son's nails. You know why. He is so terrified he might hurt him. Yes, Mother Courage - we have to prepare for,god forbid, any unintentional hurt too.Phew!