There comes a time in every family’s life when the huge and important task of rolling back the gender stereotypes comes to a screeching halt. It wasn’t baby poo: handled that with aplomb, even when the brown bomb appeared in the bath. It wasn’t ironing shirts: I am the only one who knows how to do it anyway. It wasn’t being a stay-at-home Dad, even though a grim Italian Granny used to hiss ‘Why you no work?’ at me as I pushed D1 about in the pram.
No. The things which make you realise that the Y-chromosome has not quite outlived its usefulness are cleaning gutters, mowing lawns, and reading maps. Oh, and doing the tax and making sure there is enough LPG in the barbecue gas bottle. Traditionally picking up dog poo is also a bloke thing, hence the intense Pre-Puptial Nuptial negotiations on this score. (See post Jan19)
And then there are the claws...
|Him-In-Doors tackles Pip's talons, while D2 comforts|
Cutting them back when they get long, and scratchy-like. This is also a bloke thing, it seems, and I neglected to include a Claws Clause in the Pre-Pup. So, as Pip’s talons grew longer, and scratchier, and the boy got taller and jumpier, the Hotdog kindly bought a pair of doggie nail clippers. For me. She added the kindly advice that she had no idea how to clip a dog’s claws, but that she had heard that if I did it wrong, blood would flow like a Polanski’s Macbeth.
I looked for expert guidance, but found little to reassure. Various doggy guides stressed that if you did it wrong, blood would flow like Polanski’s Macbeth. Even experienced vets sometimes do this, it seems. I guess that provides an alibi, if not comfort.
Still, one of the things about having a Y-chromosome is that if challenged to demonstrate your manliness, no action is too stupid or too terrifying (see Macbeth). So, this afternoon, having been sliced to ribbons by Pip’s excited ‘welcome’, I screwed my courage to the sticking point and set to work. Pip was unsure, and wriggled a lot, but D2 was a calming presence, feeding him treats by the handful and holding his head. I carefully looked for the pink bit in the claw, and clipped further out. Once I slipped and got a little ooze of red, along with scowls and condemnation from D1, but no bloodbath.
One bad thing. The little file which came with the clippers was no good. I called out to the Hotdog for an emery board - standard Girl Stuff, I would have thought – but got the curt answer “I don’t do emery boards”.
So, poor Pip’s nails are a bit square at the edges now.