By heather | July 11, 2008
Last night, I noticed that Alex’s fingernails were longer than mine. With OCD style laser focus, I decided that they needed to be cut. RIGHTNOWNOWNOW.
It’s not that I was noticing for the first time or that I’m too lazy to keep up good grooming. It’s become a ritual dreaded by all because Alex has taken against having his fingernails cut.
(Apparently only by me, because a few months ago I was reduced to tears of parental failure when I picked him up from daycare and Miss S told me that he sat there with fingers extended while she did it. Bugger.)
For months now, nail clipping has been a power struggle that I’ve always lost.
(Except when Alex’s finger got accidentally nicked by the clippers – pretty sure he lost that round.)
So they grow…longer and sharper and raggedy until his pinky could pass for a coke nail and the rest could get a french manicure.
Last night I bribed him. With potato chips no less. After a less than stellar dinner performance, where he consumed…blueberries. And blueberries.
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME?
You’ve been holding out on me, other mothers. Bribery – the secret of calm and successful parenting!
(Maybe I didn’t get it because everyone else tries to be all parentally correct about it and call it a “reward system”…it’s a bribe and I’m not ashamed to say so.)
This was a turning point in our relationship, and not just in clipping nails - until now reasoning, cajoling, and distracting was pretty much all that existed in my bag of tricks for everything from bathtime to strapping into the shopping cart.
Except for a little nagging guilt about over-processed empty calories and fat kids, we both came away happy and well groomed. I’m already imagining the possibilities…