Monday, February 8

Cross your fingers!

When I was Mia's age I bit my nails compulsively. They were always little nubbins, and on occasion- little bleeding nubbins. Once I even started biting a nail from the nail bed up (don't ask me how- I didn't even know then.)

My grandma tried guilt trips. She ran a beauty salon in her basement, and would give Lara and I manicures. I still remember her "Tsk tsk!" and telling me that if I didn't bite my nails they wouldn't look so bad. Did that tactic ever work on anyone for anything? Maybe in her generation kids weren't as shameless as I was- but I didn't care one bite. I mean bit. My mom tried yicky tasting nail polish, rewards, and finally ignoring. Then when I was about 12 or so, she started learning how to do acrylic nails, and practiced on me. I didn't bite them, and it kicked my nail-biting habit for good. (I switched to cuticles.)

So now, my little four-year-old is entering her second year of nail biting. Luckily, she only bites them when they get too long, and hasn't started biting as a stress reliever. She leaves them alone once they get short enough, and hasn't bled yet. But I've been worried it would get worse.

About six months ago I painted my nails. She wanted so desperately to have her nails painted, too. I examined each finger carefully. "Hmm. Nope. Nope...nope," and told her there weren't any nails to paint. I said the second she had some white on top of her nails we could paint them. She didn't know when that would happen. I explained it would as soon as she stopped biting them off. She cheerily said "Oh! I'll just stop biting them then!" Every time I went to clip the twins nails, she would look at her own, mystified. "I bit my nails. Maybe next time I won't." I tried to sound as encouraging as possible, "Yeah! Maybe next week for church or something!"

I could tell she was getting more and more disappointed about never having nail polish, especially when she would wistfully compliment her little preschool friends' beautiful pink fingernails.

A few days ago, I noticed a teeeeeeeeny sliver of white on her ring finger. "Mia! Look! You didn't bite this nail! We can paint it!"
"Really?!! I get nail polish?!!!"
She was so pleased with her one painted nail that I felt awful and painted the one next to it.

Today, I noticed that she hadn't bit either one since!

So, during the twins' nap today (they get naps when they're sick- yaaaay!) we tried an experiment.

They're not acrylic, but I'm hoping the appearance will have the same affect. We'll know in a week or so!


Breezi said...

that's a good idea!
hope it works :)

Kelly D. said...

Wow, those are fantastic! I'm lucky to get one coat on around here before people start rubbing it on the upholstery (I use nail polish as an incentive to cooperate with nail clipping time). Mia must be a very patient little girl to get a French manicure :)

I was a compulsive nail biter, too. I quit, but I still get tempted from time to time!

Erika said...

So cute! What a great idea. My girl picks at the cuticle bed of her thumbs, which makes her thumbnails grow wavy. Painting doesn't help. But I bought some nail polishes with really thin brushes and painted some hearts and ladybugs on her nails. She loves those. I'm going to have to try this french manicure look now. :)

Marsie Pants said...

Good thing you did her toes too. No one wants to see her biting those nails off.

Rachelle said...

you are good at painting! I am totally impressed! Cant wait to hear if it works!

RhondaLue said...

Here's to hoping it works!

BTW, good job on the french manicure! steady hand, ya got there!

Amandean said...

You are a genius! Fortunately, I haven't had that problem with Luke. Which is good, because I'm unwilling to paint his fingernails. I'll occasionally do his toenails because he really wants me to (like for his birthday). But only in the wintertime, and definitely not pink.