My children have always hated getting their fingernails and toenails cut. I on the other hand, love it, to me there's not much that feels better than having fresh cut, well manicured nails, the problem is that I never have enough time to do my own and I can't paint my nails because the second I get them painted, the boys wake up and my nails get ruined.
It had been weeks since their last cutting and it was absolutely time to get a trim since Theo gave me a pretty good scratch that morning. I sat down on the chair, turned on a show and grabbed Theodor. He's usually pretty good about getting his nails cut, I started with him today because Henrik throws a pretty good fit and I thought I could use Theo against Hank this time around. Boy did that backfire. As soon as I grabbed Theo's hand he started yelling, "OW, Owwwwyyy" and "Nooooooo, No Mommy!" like I was torturing him. I swear I was not. I hadn't even placed the clippers on his nails yet. I kept going and took extra care to dodge the swinging arms and flailing legs.
Henrik looked up from his show, "Mom, don't cut his fin-gers" he warned. That just pissed me off. Right Hank, like I'd do that on purpose. I started to get hot from wrestling Theo, I was starting to get annoyed and sweaty with anger, the three year old was giving me advice on something I do on a regular basis and giving me the stink eye while I held his brother down clasping his legs in mine. Even while contained, the baby was doing half somersaults in my lap. I sternly scolded Theo and snapped at Hank. Henrik went back to the show, but I had given fuel to Theo. I started yelling at him to stop screaming (really effective, I know). Theo got louder and whipped his body around faster.
*In case you think I'm exaggerating the tantrum levels of this child click here (This is a 13 second clip of a fit he threw before my phone died. The child then lifts the bucket and throws it over his head and then runs into the kitchen and bangs his head on the floor. It went on for 26 minutes)*
Before I knew it, I had turned into a monster, I was huffing and puffing trying to keep hold of him, while not cutting too deep or missing the nail on accident. My blood was boiling, I was furious, but I could. Not. Let. Go. If I did, he'd win. When I finally finished the last toe I let go of Theo. He dropped himself on the floor and laid his head, face down, on the carpet and continued to cry. He called for me but wouldn't come to me, when I reached out for him he screamed more and started to kick. I ignored him and decided to continue the job I had set out to do.
I turned to Henrik and looked at him dead in the eye, pointed my finger at him and said, "If you even make a peep while I'm cutting your nails, I'll loose it". I'm not sure what that meant, I wasn't ever going to hit them or even swat at them. I probably would just yell, maybe stomp around a bit, and look a little more like a crazy person until I could find a place for a Mommy Time-Out, but whatever I inferred got the point across. Henrik quickly came into my lap and sat still and quiet. For the first time EVER this kid let me cut his nails. By the time I was done with Henrik, Theo was still rolling around on the ground yelling and kicking so I picked him up and carried him to my bed.
It was close enough to nap time and I was starting to cool down from the intense activity and anger. I was sticky, so when I held his hot little, tear soaked body next to mine we stuck together. I tried calming him down using softer much more soothing words. I told him it was okay and I was sorry for getting upset. I hushed him and stroked his head, I started to say, "it's OK" as if I was also telling myself that whatever that was, was okay and it was over. I'm not really sure how much time had passed before he finally calmed down enough to let out whimpers and soft squeaks. He slowly started to sniff and take deeper breaths. I was still saying, "it's ok...shhh. It's ok, shhhh... it's, okay".
Finally he fell asleep. I let out a deep sigh, I was tired too. I wanted to hold on to him to make sure he knew that I still loved him. To let him know that even when he doesn't want to do something or if something is scary that I'll be there to make it be alright. To let him know that I didn't mean to yell or get so intensely angry at him I just was in such disbelief at his reaction I didn't know how to react. I kind of chuckled at myself, and him for what just happened, I still can't believe it. I laid him down in his bed, still shhhing him as I walked away. I came down stairs, picked up Henrik who wasn't sure what had happened and he just looked at me and said, "I don't fink Fee-o likes to get his finger nails cut".
I just laughed.