Kicking and Screaming

It happens every week. You’d think by now they’d be used to it. Nope. As soon as they see the nail clippers, irrational fear takes over and they all start running like bats out of hell.

Clipping toddler nails ranks pretty high on the list of thankless jobs mothers. For me, it’s right under blow out diapers, snotty noses, and late night pukes. Partly because I have four toddlers and it turns into hog wrestling. But mostly because I know I’ll have to do it again next week, and the next 416 weeks (yes, I did the math).

Four kids equals 40 nails. Add in their little piggies, now the total is 80 nails accompanied by dramatic cries and whimpers. Every.Stinking.Week. I’m in deep folks.

When they were babies, it was cake. They weren’t mobile and I could easily hold their tiny hands. I sat them in my lap and we were done before they even knew I had maybe, accidentally clipped their skin and made them bleed.

They don’t understand germs and the necessity of clipping nails, they just see mommy with small scissors coming at their hands. There is lots of kicking and screaming. Sometimes mommy loses her cool and shouts, “Fine! I hope you scratch each other to pieces with your nasty jagged claws!”

This morning I had to physically overpower one on the couch. I won’t mention any names, but he’s two and screams like a girl. Big sis tried to hold his hand and offer comfort. He wasn’t having it. More kicking. More screaming and wailing, “Mommy, I done.”

I was starting to sweat and could feel my frustration rising. Then I heard the whisper. You know the one. The small, gentle voice telling you there’s a lesson coming.

How many times have I needed God to trim the dirt and germs off of my heart? How many people have I scratched with my jagged attitude or sharp words? And just like my son, when God starts clipping, I start kicking and screaming. I’m afraid of what’s about to happen, afraid it’s going to hurt. So I cry and start a wrestling match I know I can’t win.

I need to do what I tell my kids. Stop fighting and accept the pruning. It will be over a lot sooner if I learn to be still.

Even though they don’t understand why, I will continue to clip my kiddos’ nails. One day, they’ll stop squirming and let me do my job.

One day I’ll stop fighting the pruning process and let God do His job. Hopefully, it won’t take 416 weeks.

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