Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sonny's deadly nails

It's just a few weeks before Sonny is packed off to daytime infant care and Mum returns to work. Concerns assail us, from the uncertain quality of the staff to the opening hours, but here's the most recent worry: The other babies don't seem to wear mittens.

Sonny wears them, pretty much all the time. The reason is simple: His nails. They are ridiculously sharp and he has just enough strength now to inflict a painful scratch. Not that he knows what he's doing; he's just swinging his arms merrily about, fingers randomly grasping at whatever they come into contact with. Woe betide if that whatever is unprotected human flesh.

His toenails are nasty weapons too, but Sonny always has his booties on. It's just that, more than once, Mum has tried removing his mittens - in the hope of starting him on clutching objects. She has always shoved them back on, almost immediately, to remove the threat Sonny's nails posed - as much to himself as to anyone. We figured at first that his nails must be too long, so Mum trimmed them carefully. No dice: even when pared way down, they were still painfully scratch-capable.

It was with some horror, then, that Mum discovered - when scoping out the infant care centre - that the children there went mitten-free. And they must all wear the same uniform too! The thought of a mitten-less Sonny wreaking havoc on his own face, and perhaps on his centre-mates and care-givers, gives us the shivers.

Still, we're guessing that the abnormal sharpness of his nails is a passing phenomenon. Even if it proves otherwise, he'll surely learn not to scratch himself eventually, just as we learn that there are certain ways of behaving that rebound negatively upon ourselves - and so learn self-control. But then again, there are some people - adults, these - who stubbornly refuse to take to heart the most obvious of lessons, and insist on damaging their own reputations or even health (cigarette, anyone?).

If Sonny turns out to be one of these self-scratchers, he'll always need someone to guide him. Someone to keep slipping on his mittens for him, if you like - and trimming away at his nails. In politics, that someone is called a 'handler', 'spin-meister' or 'public relations man'.

Unfortunately, as far as Sonny goes, we're the folks on point.


Anonymous said...

Sonny is normal. All the babies in this world does that. My husband's face, mine and my mum's face if full of scratches. They are learning to touch, grasp, hold, feel and play. Let them do what they suppose to do at their age. Don't worry about it. We just need to be extra-careful and spend more time with them. The easiest time that we can take care our child is while in our womb. Luckily, my husband and I don't smoke and we do home based business, also my mum stays with me to help me take care of my 8 months old baby.

Cloudsters said...

Cheers, Atniz! We'll try to take your advice. An update, by the way: Sonny has just managed to scratch himself under his left eye, drawing blood. Sigh...