Photo is of Mason about a couple weeks ago after he got his new Blaze (from Blaze and the Monster Machines). He won't go anywhere without Blaze now!
It was the Thursday night the weekend before Valentine's Day. We had just eaten dinner and were watching Flip or Flop on TV before I gave Mason a bath. His toe grazed me and it felt sharp so I knew I needed to cut it... my LEAST favorite activity (for a reason), which also happens to be Mason's LEAST favorite activity (<-- reason).
Mason HATES getting his toe nails cut.
Like H A T E.
He cries, he screams, he kicks. You name it, he does it. So imagine my delight when I realized that this was probably going to happen again tonight. I keep hoping that it will get better, but it hasn't yet.
I know it's probably some sort of sensory thing like maybe he feels trapped when I'm holding his foot? I don't know. But I'm sure it has something to do with that. (Side note : He doesn't mind getting his finger nails cut. He doesn't mind me touching his feet in the bath when I clean them. He doesn't mind wearing socks or shoes or having them put on. None of those things are a struggle, which I think is why this is so confusing.)
It's SO frustrating to me. I tend to get overly frustrated and lose my patience. I know that it could be over in two minutes if he were to just sit still, but that never happens. So I struggle with him, I fight with him, I try to hold his leg down and hold his foot so he doesn't move, but it never works. I never try to be mean to him, but I just don't know how to cut his nails any other way, and sometimes? Sometimes you just need your nails cut so you won't cut yourself with their sharpness.
That Thursday night though... something seemed different. He immediately started kicking and screaming and nothing that Seth or I would do would calm him down. Seth tried to play with him. We gave him the iPad. Nothing.
I was still determined to cut his nails though so I tried as hard as I could to hold his leg and foot still and cut his toe nails. But he kept moving. And I couldn't cut because I was afraid of cutting him with how much he was moving.
I was able to get one foot done but by this time he was CRYING and SCREAMING. Like tears streaming down his face. I took off his shirt because he seemed to be getting really worked up. I thought I could continue on though, just one more foot, five more toes and we're free!
I got one toe done and then I couldn't do it anymore. I felt too bad. I felt like a horrible person and horrible mother for putting him through something that he had no control over.
I immediately picked him up and took him upstairs. He was still crying at this point, but he put his head on my shoulder. I knocked off all the stuffed animals and pillows on his rocking chair and sat down with him and just held him and rocked.
I told him over and over again how much I love him. I told him that I didn't mean to be mean or to hurt him. I told him I was sorry. So sorry. I told him again how much I love him.
He laid there, with his head on my shoulder, much, much more calm now, just hugging me. I don't know how I held it together, but I didn't cry.
I told him again "Mommy wasn't trying to hurt you. Mommy wasn't trying to be mean. Mommy was just trying to help you. You know that, right?" And all he said was "yeah" and I melted into a puddle.
He knew I wasn't trying to hurt him or be mean. He knew I was trying to help him. He wasn't trying to be frustrating to me. He wasn't trying to hurt me or prevent me from helping him. He just couldn't help it. That night he taught me patience. He taught me forgiveness. And most important, he taught me that a mother and son's love is unconditional.
After he fully calmed down and we had rocked for a few minutes, I asked him if he wanted to take a bath and he was back to his normal, happy self and yelled "YEAH!". So off we went. We had the best time, just the two of us, splashing away, getting clean, dumping water outside of the bath tub, and making sure that (Paw Patrol) Chase was clean too.
And that night, before he went to bed, I squeezed him a little tighter and gave him an extra kiss (or twenty). He looked at me with those eyes as Seth carried him up the stairs and I blew him one final kiss and he blew one right back and I knew in that very moment, that it all was going to be ok.