Toenail Magic


Ax does not like getting his toenails trimmed.  Or rather, he thinks he doesn’t like it, resists it, postpones it, and then, when he finally submits, complains that it is too hurty.  The alleged hurtiness I believe is a) fictitious since exclamations of “oww” have been forthcoming before any actual physical contact is made, and b) is perhaps exacerbated by delayed nail maintenance as the longer nails begin to harden and curve down and therefore, occasionally, require, just a tad, of, well, gentle digging out.  I try my best.

Plus, dirt removal becomes more arduous and aggressive due to the (enabled) bathing aversion, which is another topic for another time.  In my defense, there is a drought.  Just sayin.

Back to toenails:  the last few times we’ve gone through the waiting-too-long-therefore-hurty and/or melodramatic toenail trim cycle, we’ve discussed and agreed that a more regular routine maintenance might be better than crisis management, where we wait until basically I put my pedicured foot down and say, “It’s time” in that firm, deadpan, no-fooling-around voice that seems to come from a place inside I’ve only tapped in the context of dog training lessons, financial negotiations, and now, well, my son’s personal hygiene.

So what do toenails have to do with living a meaningful life, a good life, one day at a time?  So much.  Because today, after we did the same thing we’ve done for months, maybe years, observing the same way we have for months, maybe years, that perhaps we should find a better way, and not finding a better way, today, today, we decided to give a whirl to a new way.  Yes.

The old way has not been working optimally, for him, for me, for the nails.  We’ve been okayyyyy, but what the eff is that? I’ll tell ya: not a-friggin-nough.  Why should I let something that I know is happening regularly be such a regularly sub-optimal experience?  I shouldn’t.  I’m the adult so I gotta step up and suggest the change.  And he’s the child I’m honored to care for, so it’s gotta be something that works for him too.

So we went to his weekly schedule, and he identified a day for a weekly toenail (and nail!) check.  He agreed to try trimming at an earlier stage of growth to be mutually determined and mutually agreed upon at a later and mutually agreeable time. 

The kid drives a tough, but fair bargain.  I am so very proud of him, and of us.  We can change!  We can make our lives better!  Together.  It just doesn’t have to be so hard, any of it.  I’m gonna keep going.

Thank you.

Sascha LiebowitzComment