How to cut a baby’s nails in 17 easy steps

1. Receive scratch inside your nostril from your tiny tot’s titanium talons. Cry and eat chocolate.

2. Realise it’s been more than a week since you last cut said talons. Brace yourself for the task ahead.

3. Peruse your cutting options. Shudder at the thought of using baby nail clippers again after the Great Finger Cutting Incident with your first child (the trauma is fading though). Feel torn between nail scissors with rounded ends or sharp nail scissors.

4. Elect to use sharp nail scissors for the precision they afford (the fact that they’d quite probably pierce armor doesn’t hurt). Place remaining weapons back in hiding place.

5. Realise with trepidation that your six month old is not where you left him – he is now on the opposite side of the room. Wonder how much longer you have before he starts crawling.

6. Retrieve baby and sit on your knee. Wrap left arm around baby to pin his arm to his side and take hold of the other hand.

7. Take a deep breath and prepare to make the first cut.

8. Retrieve scissors from the floor where they landed after your toddler has entered the room imitating a T-Rex. Calm baby.

9. Successfully cut first claw. Realise you’ve been holding your breath – exhale slowly. Begin to cut second claw.

10. Narrowly avoid cuts to both yourself and the baby when the toddler demands asks to help. Inform toddler this is a job for mummies and daddies to do.

11. Turn educational children’s tv show on to distract toddler. Return to task of cutting Baby Wolverine’s nails.

12. Succeed in cutting all nails on one hand.

13. Swap child to opposite knee. Wrap right arm around body. Hold hand in left hand and prepare to cut remaining talons.

14. Realise it’s substantially harder to perform the task with your non-dominant (right) hand while trying to pin the baby’s arm down. Seeing as the scissors won’t work in your left hand, you have no choice but to free the trapped limb.

15. Slowly and methodically cut the first nail, keeping the baby’s other hand well clear of the scissors.

16. Continue in this manner until all nails are cut. Realise this simple task has taken close to 45 minutes.

17. Return scissors to their hiding place. Decide it’s too early for alcohol. Drink very strong coffee instead and hope desperately that the next round of nail cutting isn’t too soon.

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