I probably (hopefully) do not need to write this next sentence — but I love my child more than I ever thought possible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Every cliche I’ve ever heard about having a child is totally and completely true. I feel like I love being Tom’s mom so much, I want 10,000 more babies. But Kevin says no. (Something about “not possible” and “super expensive” and blah, blah, party pooper.)
Because I love him so much, I work hard to make Thomas happy. I cuddle him and sing him songs and take him on walks and dance with him in the living room. I make sure his baby pool is warm and I let him pull my pigtails. I rock him until he falls asleep for naps, make silly noises to make him laugh and I put socks on him at night so his toes won’t get froze.
In short, his happiness means everything to me.
Which is why I was so completely destroyed when I clipped off a chunk of his thumb on Saturday.
I have gone from making my baby wear mitts for entirely too long because I was scared to clip his nails, to clipping a nail here or there when I felt like he was really relaxed. As with many of my mom duties, I have slowly become more confident in the nail clipping.
I shouldn’t have been.
Saturday, Thomas was nice and relaxed in my lap, settling down and getting ready to go to sleep for the night. In other words, it was the perfect time for me to begin clipping all of his nails.
I just moved right down the line. Clip, clip, clip.
Then on the last nail, his right thumb, the clipping noise didn’t sound right. It sounded oh-so-sickeningly wrong.
And it was followed by screaming.
I just completely missed his nail and clipped off a chunk of thumb! Horror.
And I’m telling you — his little thumb just gushed. I was so completely horrified. I held it and tried to calm Tom down and asked Kevin to please get me a wet washcloth.
To Kevin that meant finding the perfect washcloth and then slowly running it under water. So I added, “As fast as you can please!”
Because even though it was totally my fault, it was Kevin’s fault. That’s how I work. (Isn’t he so lucky?!)
So we held the wet washcloth to it and Tom calmed down. We put his hand in a bowl of water, we searched our house desperately for a band-aid (preferably a cute, happy one that said, “Your Mom is so sorry she cut you up.”) and then we cut the band-aid in half so we could make a little thumb-splint for Tom. I kept making Kevin look at it and tell me how bad it was. I kept asking why wouldn’t it stop bleeding. I asked if I needed to take Tom to the ER to get a stitch. (Kevin’s response: “Kate. Honey. It is a tiny cut. He will be fine, I promise.”)
I let Tom stay up a little later than usual to make up for it. Actually, I don’t think he wanted to stay up, but I wanted him to keep smiling at me to make me feel better. Awesome, eh?
I did eventually let him go to sleep and I watched a movie with Kevin. Halfway through it, I started crying about my huge cut mistake. (Kevin’s response: “Are you crying at this movie? It’s not sad! Wait. Are you crying about Tom?!” *laughter*)
Seriously, I just couldn’t let it go. I thought it looked awful. I felt terrible that I had been the one to cause him pain. What kind of mom can’t clip nails?! (me.) Just basically, beating myself up over it.
Until the next day when I saw it in the clean, blood-free light of day. Kevin was right — it was a tiny cut.
Still, I will be sticking to filing for a while. My heart can’t take this nail cutting business.