stealth mission

I have a confession to make: I've never once trimmed Olivia's nails. It's not because my wife won't let me, that I can't do it or that I'm using her to try and beat a Guinness World Record. It's just that I'm worried I would cut too far and hurt her. Jodi did just that when Olivia was fairly young, and it rattled her a bit. But she got over it and became the best baby/toddler nail clipper in this damn household. And who am I to try and take away her crown? Not cool, man, not cool.

For a while now, Olivia has been vehemently against Jodi trimming her nails. She fidgets, struggles, sticks and moves more than a fly-weight boxer in a prize fight. Since she's still young and doesn't fully understand what's going on, bribery just isn't an option. Jodi has tried sitting her down in front of the T.V. to provide a distraction, but Olivia won't sit still and does her best to avoid the trimming while keeping her eyes on Elmo and the gang at Sesame Street.  She scratches her face and arms up, nicks us from time to time and we're worried she's going to hurt another child at daycare. On the plus side, with a little adamantium reinforcement to her skeleton and a name change to Lady Deathstrike, our daughter could be quite a badass. (For those keeping score at home, that was an X-Men comic book reference. You're welcome).

Last week Jodi decided we needed to take a different approach to getting the nail trimming done. Her plan? We'd wait until the enemy was asleep for a few hours, sneak in under cover of darkness, trim the nails, grab the stolen treasure and rendezvous by an abandoned warehouse where our driver 'Jacques' would smuggle us safely over the border. Or maybe it was that we'd rendezvous on the couch afterwards and watch some T.V. together (I can't remember). I figured it would be an easy enough mission, especially since I've watched enough heist movies and played plenty of stealth/action video games in my time. Before accepting the task, I put through a request for a pair of night vision goggles, a cardboard box big enough for me to fit into but not be too conspicuous (for being sneaky), caltrops (in case anyone tried following us) and to change my name to something cool like Agent 47, Corvo, Altair or Solid Snake. After being dragged back into reality by Jodi, I grabbed my cellphone (to use as a light source) and followed her into the belly of the beast...I mean, our daughter's room.


Jodi proceeded to the changing table, secured a position and provided cover fire while I engaged the target. Upon confirming she was asleep, I picked Olivia up, made sure she was not alerted to my presence (no signs of an exclamation point over her head) and transferred her to the aforementioned changing table. We waited for her to re-position, get comfortable and resume sleeping. Once this happened Jodi grabbed the nearest hand, I turned my phone on to provide light for her to work with, and she began. Clip! One fingernail down. We both looked at each other and simultaneously thought, "This just might work." Clip! Another fingernail down, but suddenly Olivia recoiled her hand and began to stir. We maintained radio and light silence, waited for Olivia to settle back down, and tried again. Jodi managed another *clip* before Olivia turned over to her turtle position (face down, butt in the air) and placed both hands directly under her chin. It appeared that tonight's mission wouldn’t be so successful after all.

We decided to cut our losses, placed Olivia back in her crib and re-grouped to figure out our next course of action. After careful deliberation, we decided that the best thing would be to put her back on the changing table while I held her down so Jodi could finish the job. The next day we picked a time when Olivia seemed the calmest, pretended we were about to change her diaper and sprung our trap. I pinned her down, held one arm out for Jodi to grab and proceeded with the interrogation. I exclaimed: "Where is the treasure??? We know you have it, and we're not leaving her until you tell us where it is!!!" I looked at Jodi for approval and she just shook her head at me in a 'I cannot believe I married this guy and am still with him' kind of way.  I dialed it down a few (ok, 10) notches, began talking calmly to Olivia and tried to assure her that she was ok and this would be over soon. Jodi does the clip clip, we flip her around to do the other side and it's over before we know it.

Olivia was slightly upset for being held hostage and interrogated, but she was easily distracted and calmed in a few minutes. Jodi and I congratulated ourselves for another successful exercise in parenting teamwork. The world remained a safer place, and many people were none the wiser to the events that transpired (until now I suppose). We never did find the treasure, however I suspect it's either in the lining of her crib mattress or hidden inside her stuffed animals.