I started out this journey of motherhood with certain ideas and standards of how things should go. These standards would certainly still be enforced today if I hadn't at some point come to an earth shaking conclusion. I love my child. Because I love my child, I want her to be happy. I care about her opinions. Her needs are important to me.
I used to think that it was ridiculous to wait until a child was asleep to cut their nails. I thought I would NEVER do that. I thought if you just always did it while they were awake, the child would just be used to it and wouldn't mind.
Fast forward, and I was now wrestling a two year old, holding her down to clip her little razor blades... I mean fingernails. Not the kind of gentle parenting that I had imagined. I began to rethink my method. There are too many things that Bunny HAS to do. Things to keep her safe. Things like wearing car seat straps and holding hands in the mall. There is nothing unsafe about choosing to clip her nails while she sleeps. Just like there is nothing unsafe about her choosing her own (weather appropriate) clothing, or flipping a light switch on and off a couple of times. This is just how she expresses her opinion and explores her world. So I made the choice to wait until she was sleeping to clip her nails.
"But what if she becomes bratty (gosh, I really don't like that word), and thinks she should always get everything she wants?" You may ask.
The answer is simple and I have heard my mama say it many times. Say "Yes" whenever possible, but when you say "No", mean it. I am still learning this... I probably always will be.
So one night, After nursing Bunny to sleep, as she was still slightly conscious, I took out the clippers and began some fairy work. I clipped all finger and toe nails to perfection. Then I got out our Piggy Paint and applied two coats of pink polish. I laid her last hand down softly on the bed to dry as she slept, and kissed her cheek. Finally, peace.
We awoke the next morning and Bunny nursed as she always does. As she reached her hand up to touch my face, she caught a glimpse of her pink nails. She unlatched and stared at her hands. Then she kicked off her blankets to check her toes. She squealed as she ask me how it happened. I told her that maybe it was the fingernail fairy. She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, "Mama, you a fairy!" She is too smart for me to fool.