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 Post subject: nails
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Wrote Dissertation on Vegans, Meat, and the Deserted Island Question
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sweet christ, I hope someone here can give me some advice:
for the last year or so D has been really really freaked out about anyone touching her nails (finger and toes.) This came out of nowhere, because until she was about 2 we trimmed her nails with the baby thing and there was never a problem. Then one day she freaked about it, wouldn't let us touch her fingers even. We tried coaxing, forcing, bribing, punishing, everything. I went in her room one day during naptime and managed to clip one or 2 before she awoke FREAKING. So we decided it just wasn't worth all the tears because she'll grow out of it and it isn't right to traumatize her, right?

She went through a phase of biting/picking at her nails and while that made us very unhappy at least they were kept somewhat short from that. She's now stopped doing that and guys, there are like talons on her thumbs and some fingers! (Toenails are pretty bad too but they seem to grow slower?) I've gently explained everything about it, how it's yucky, someone could get hurt etc etc, all to no avail. She's expressed some interest in having prettily painted nails like some of her aunties and we've thought of having a friend do that, but when it comes down to it she won't even extend her hand to let them look. Last night I attempted to bite one of her thumbnails, just went for it, and she damn near ripped my face off with the other hand.

I just don't know...it's her body and it doesn't feel right to hold her down etc, ya know? And yes, part of our issue with it is we don't want to be judged as parents by her appearance, but she also could seriously hurt herself or her baby sister with those claws. Help!


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:38 pm 
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Could you go for a mama/daughter manicure so she can see you having your nails done first or at the same time?

Beyond that - only let her touch the baby wearing gloves?


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
Beyond that - only let her touch the baby wearing gloves?

i was thinking about this- she may find it to be such a PITA that she might just change her mind.

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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:22 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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You mentioned that she admires painted nails of her aunties...she won't let the aunties look at hers? I wasn't sure that was what you meant from your post. I'm wondering if she will let someone besides you or Howard touch her nails or if she refuses everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:56 pm 
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My daughter has a much less extreme version of this. Most of the time I can get away with trimming them if she is watching a show on tv. The other thing that has helped more is letting her do the squeezing motion of the clippers on her own nails (and mine too actually). So I line it up and she squeezes the clippers so that she is in some control. I also let her trim my nails which terrifies me a bit but I think it has helped her.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:10 pm 
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what about filing her nails with one of those sandpaper emery boards?


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:26 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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my niece whom I have been babysitting a lot when she was younger was like this with toothbrushing and sometimes with getting her hair washed. after a lot of tears and frustration on her mothers part, she decided to just hold her down on the floor and brush her teeth because after all, not taking care of her teeth is way worse than her disliking it. so finally we just started holding her down on the floor while brushing her teeth, in a way which let out legs hold her down (pretty gently, you don't have to be very rough with a 20 lbs person but tightly enough for her to not be able to move) so we could brush her teeth with our free hands. she cried a lot at first, but it was nothing compared to how bad it was when spending 20 mins trying to convince her/bribe her/etc. and she always stopped crying right after we were done. finally she seemed to get that tooth brushing is just something that needs to happen, and then she even started wanting to do it herself. it hasn't really traumatized her, and she is totally into tooth brushing now, and has been ever since.
so i definitely wouldn't feel bad forcing her or holding her down, as long as you can do it without hurting her. some things you just have to do, like tooth brushing, blood work/vaccines, getting your hair washed and getting your nails cut.

whatever you decide, good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:47 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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My kids hate getting their hair washed, they panic and cry and try to escape from the tub and act like I am water-boarding them, so I hardly ever wash their hair (it doesn't get dirty or greasy anyway). But nails aren't something you can skip as easily as that.

I used to hate cutting Beetroot's nails because he wouldn't hold still (he likes it now), but I also got cranky when my aunt came to visit and she and my uncle were all, "you *need* to cut his nails!" like I had no idea.* I did have to kind of hold his hands/feet between my legs or have my husband hold them back in the early days. My kids' nails grow like mine -- really fast. I could cut them every 1-2 weeks, but I try to wait until their nails are starting to look gnarly.

* Totally OT, but I hate when people I don't know give me advice and have that "you don't know what you're doing"-tone. Every time my husband picks up/carries the kids, their shirts get pulled up and if I don't pull them down immediately, someone (usually an old lady) will come over and be all, "your child's stomach is showing!" or "your child's shirt is pulled up!" like it is the forking end of the world and I am the worst parent ever for not noticing.

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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:25 am 
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Pretty sure no one has severe emotional damage from forced fingernail clipping. :)

I really hate having to force my lil guy into the carseat, which he has recently decided is The Worst, but he needs to be safe. And a broken, bleeding fingernail is going to be much more painful for her.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:52 am 
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
* Totally OT, but I hate when people I don't know give me advice and have that "you don't know what you're doing"-tone. Every time my husband picks up/carries the kids, their shirts get pulled up and if I don't pull them down immediately, someone (usually an old lady) will come over and be all, "your child's stomach is showing!" or "your child's shirt is pulled up!" like it is the forking end of the world and I am the worst parent ever for not noticing.


Yeah, I hate that tone, too. Like its the first time you are noticing some problem that you never would have noticed without annoying person's helpful comment.

And I got the the same thing from a flight attendant while I was carrying a 14 month old, a suitcase, a small cooler, and a backpack down the aisle of the plane, "ohhhh! Mommy is showing everyone one your belly!" Thanks. I think the world will keep on turning.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:15 pm 
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thanks for the commiseration/advice everyone!
The going out for a manicure thing has been suggested, but since she won't even let someone she really likes (one of our female friends) check out her nails under the guise of painting them, I doubt a stranger at a nail salon is going to have much luck.
And I'm kinda relieved that some of you think we should just hold her down and do it. That was a much easier option a few years ago because now at almost 4, she's so strong and so loud and also she accuses us of hurting her because we have to hold her wrists pretty tight. But I will probably continue doing a nail here and there as a sneak attack.
We had a much milder but similar issue with hair-washing. For us it just turned out that Papa wasn't being gentle enough when he poured water over the hair and it was getting all in her ears etc. because he was just using a bucket-type thing. Nowadays I use a pitcher which helps with the flow, and I'm very quiet and slow about it. But she never had the kind of fear like I'm seeing with this nail thing.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Butternut wrote:
TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
* Totally OT, but I hate when people I don't know give me advice and have that "you don't know what you're doing"-tone. Every time my husband picks up/carries the kids, their shirts get pulled up and if I don't pull them down immediately, someone (usually an old lady) will come over and be all, "your child's stomach is showing!" or "your child's shirt is pulled up!" like it is the forking end of the world and I am the worst parent ever for not noticing.


Yeah, I hate that tone, too. Like its the first time you are noticing some problem that you never would have noticed without annoying person's helpful comment.

And I got the the same thing from a flight attendant while I was carrying a 14 month old, a suitcase, a small cooler, and a backpack down the aisle of the plane, "ohhhh! Mommy is showing everyone one your belly!" Thanks. I think the world will keep on turning.

Oh, I hope you gave them the iciest bitchface you could muster!
I had a guy at a stoplight say "Hey, HEY! The sun is in your baby's face!". Thanks, cause I'm driving and can do what about it?

On topic, when my son hated getting his toenails cut, it help a little to put on babylegs so that only his toes were sticking out, so I wasn't tickling him when I grabbed his foot. But that might not be the issue here!

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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:00 pm 
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does she respond to bribes? tzipi loves to have her nails painted, so i will paint them if she lets me cut them first.

otherwise, i'd just hold her down and do it. outline exactly what you're going to do first (mommy is going to hold your hand, you are going to have to hold very still and not scream, then i'm going to clip all your nails. 10 fingers, so I have to cut 10 times. i know it feels yucky, but if you hold still it will be over fast), and then just do it. we've used the hold that someone else described... kid lying on the ground, me sitting with my legs pinning down her arms and her head between my thighs.

i understand how she feels. i hated having my nails cut. the skin underneath is really sensitive and it felt so gross to have it exposed.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:49 pm 
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Kiddo wrote:
Butternut wrote:
TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
* Totally OT, but I hate when people I don't know give me advice and have that "you don't know what you're doing"-tone. Every time my husband picks up/carries the kids, their shirts get pulled up and if I don't pull them down immediately, someone (usually an old lady) will come over and be all, "your child's stomach is showing!" or "your child's shirt is pulled up!" like it is the forking end of the world and I am the worst parent ever for not noticing.


Yeah, I hate that tone, too. Like its the first time you are noticing some problem that you never would have noticed without annoying person's helpful comment.

And I got the the same thing from a flight attendant while I was carrying a 14 month old, a suitcase, a small cooler, and a backpack down the aisle of the plane, "ohhhh! Mommy is showing everyone one your belly!" Thanks. I think the world will keep on turning.

Oh, I hope you gave them the iciest bitchface you could muster!
I had a guy at a stoplight say "Hey, HEY! The sun is in your baby's face!". Thanks, cause I'm driving and can do what about it?

On topic, when my son hated getting his toenails cut, it help a little to put on babylegs so that only his toes were sticking out, so I wasn't tickling him when I grabbed his foot. But that might not be the issue here!



If you even say the word "belly" around Violet she will lift up her shirt proudly and display the li'l tummy-globe for all to see, so it wouldn't even occur to me to be self conscious about it happening accidentally!


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:17 am 
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Have you asked her what the deal is?

You know my son is just about four too and I think this age has been the gnarliest of them all. He's got the vocabulary of an adult and he can basically do anything he's tall enough to accomplish. I kind of can't imagine holding him down, he's so strong and determined. The thing I would worry about is the next time - you might get her once but she might be even wilier when they grow out again! Anyway - it might be worth trying to find out what her reason is. I just know that my kid is at a similar place and he gets some really fixed ideas about what he wants, then goes straight to freakout if he thinks he won't get it. The other day he LOST HIS MIND because his dad wanted to take him somewhere for lunch other than where he wanted to go. First I told him a joke to break the tension ("But I heard that instead of french fries they're serving lizard legs!") and then once I had his attention I asked what was up. It turned out he likes the tiny ketchup cups at the other place.

I like the idea of the gloves, like torque said, they may be such a hassle that she'll get past it. It might act as a distraction to get her thinking about her hands in a different way. Maybe she'll respond to humor - like you could read a book about pirates and point out their gnarly nails? This worked for us with teeth. Is this a boy thing? Farts and other gross body stuff is always a hit, and the humor makes a way in. I also can blessedly rely on his teachers at nursery school - sometimes they'll have a talk with him about some difficult subject and plant the seed for me. My kid will do pretty much anything if he feels like it's his idea, I hope that might help you and Dahlia too.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:10 am 
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my sister was just like that - she would scream and cry and my parents had to team up to hold her and cut her nails. I remember them dreading it every time. It got better eventually as she got older.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:28 pm 
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I'm unfortunately going to revive this thread because:

I tried to talking about it with D again this morning. I asked her if she would help me and Papa cut Sierra's nails. She immediately got fearful and I kinda blundered by pushing it further and talking about how HER nails need to be trimmed too. Lots of talk about taking care of our bodies, nails are just like hair, teeth etc and need to be taken care of. She won't talk about her reasons but she cried hysterically for like 10 minutes for just talking about it. I think we are going to attempt to hold her down and do it in the next couple days but there's obviously just so much emotion involved! Not to mention how strong and flail-y she can be.

I do appreciate many of you validating the idea that it has to be done! I often think about nails so much as like a vanity thing but it isn't. And hi Axel Foley, I love when you do some driveby posts with advice! Hope you guys are doing very well.


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 Post subject: Re: nails
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:33 pm 
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Hi Audrey! Dude, we're 2009 super-overdue-baby sistahs, I have to drop my two cents! You guys are so thoughtful and such kind parents. Four year olds, and maybe especially just-about-to-be-four year olds are super freaky little creatures. Busy and incredibly imaginative minds, and lots going on in there that they probably never tell us. I hope everything goes well and is as peaceful as possible, and I hope her nails grow really, really slowly after this!


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