Our oldest daughter (age 7) is a nail biter. No not the kind of kid that does wacky stunts therefore producing nail biting induced fear from her parents. Quite the opposite in fact…she’s a cautious one. She, instead, is the type of nail biter that bites her nails down to little stumps. Every time I went to cut her nails I noticed that they were already shorn to alarming lengths (or length lack thereof). At first I suspected she was ripping them so I regaled her with, “Stop ripping your nails. They are going to start bleeding and they’ll hurt!” It didn’t work. Apparently she is at home with the sight of her own blood. Then I realized she was biting them. I pulled on my Parenting 101 hat to get to the root of the problem.
“Honey…are you biting your nails because you are scared of something?” Nope!
“Honey…are you biting your nails because you are nervous at school?” Nope!
“Honey…are you biting your nails just to bite your nails?” Ding ding ding…winner winner chicken dinner!
“Why? Why would you do that?” was my ever so patient inquiry.
“I just can’t seem to resist!” was her ever so patient response.
I tried another tactic. You know the one. The one where you instill the fear in your child. The fear of germs. Little gross disgusting germs that reside on your hands and fingers and each and every time you put your fingers in your mouth you are putting those germs into your body…dadadadum.
“But I just can’t seem to resist!” was her ever so patient response.
So off to Wal Mart we go (us and about 8,000 other people on a Saturday). After much searching I finally found what I was looking for. A little bottle of clear fingernail polish that tastes like bleck and that will cure my daughter of this nasty habit. And the upside…she couldn’t wait to have it! Oh little does she know what it was going to taste like. I remember the bitter sour concoction my mom used to paint it on my nails (wait…maybe it runs in the family?).
When we got home she ever so eagerly offered up her fingers and as they dried she was almost giddy. At first taste she said, “It’s spicy!”, stuck out her tongue, and proceeded to stick out her finger for her younger sister to try. She then continued to lick them periodically throughout the night and couldn’t wait for Daddy to get home so he could taste them too. Not really the point there sister. You are supposed to keep your fingers OUT of your mouth…not continue to belly up to the proverbial bar for more!
The next morning she also informed me that another good thing about the fingernail polish was that she won’t want to eat a booger when she is wearing it. I guess we will be killing two nasty habits with one $3.87 bottle of bleck! Score one for Team Mommy…whoot whoot!
-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.