Sometimes, my hypersenses make me feel as if I am dancing along a tightrope. Mind, I am risk averse, so it isn’t a fun undertaking at all. Today, after a rather refreshing brisk afternoon walk with my baby girl, I decided to trim her nails. I had a terrible nightmare last night about one of her nails being badly deformed, and I tried to clip it but did a bad job and it was bleeding all over the floor. Well, she does not have a deformed nail, but that is exactly what I did when I clipped her nail today. She flinched at the moment that I pressed on the clipper, and my hand slipped further into the quick than I intended. There was a sharp yelp, and then blood all over the rug. I am not one to panic in an emergency, so I kept talking to her cheerfully and reached for the styptic pencil. Useless thing it was, and I resorted to cornflour instead. It worked. All the while, I was chatting away with her as if it was a game, and of course I gave her lots of treats (homemade beef jerky). I then clipped two more nails, properly this time, to ease her over the fear, so she will not develop a paranoia over nail clipping.

It has taken us both such a long while to learn to do this without too much anxiety, I felt as if I undid so much of the good work in that one careless instant. Well, emergency over, she has had a nice nap in bed, which is of course covered in cornflour and a few small blood splotches, but none the worse for wear. The tightrope? My heart is still pounding from the horrible sinking feeling that leaped into my throat and gripped my chest at the instant when I realised I had hurt my baby. It isn’t the blood that disturbs me, nor the mess, it is the fact that I caused her pain, albeit accidental and momentary. I feel the pain in a palpable way, a kind of resonant symbiosis-osmosis, a sort of transference-empathy, it is as if I am hurt too. Perhaps even more so than she is. In fact, I think much more so!

The little Minx is milking it, of course. She even reached out her hurt paw, pointed it at me, before she fell into a snore-ful sleep!



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