The weekend before our trip to Ohio and Washington DC stretched out before us. Brooklyn's last t-ball game of the summer on Saturday morning and a friend's birthday party on Saturday night, followed by a Sunday blissfully empty of plans or places to go. For me, it could be a day spent in my scrapbook room, lovingly surrounded by my paper trimmer and adhesive, papers and embellishments, happily working the hours away between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and dinner, between dinner and bedtime.
But before I can safely escape to my hideaway, reality creeps in. Rob cannot stand to be cooped up in the house all day with nothing to do, especially with a rowdy 5 year old who also cannot stand to be cooped up in the house all day with nothing to do. So, knowing that the next two nights would be filled with laundry and packing and knowing that Kensi would be good for a nap, I decided to be the "cool" mom for just a few hours. I decided to take Brooklyn to get her nails done.
I have done this once before, allowing Brooklyn to get her fingernails painted while I got a mani/pedi (with Kensi napping in the carrier next to me.) For Brooklyn, this is the ultimate in "girly-girl" activities, the pinnacle of all things princess and pretty. For me, it's a nightmare of watching her try to sit still and wait for the paint to dry. This experience would be no different and yet, somehow, worse.
As I said, Brooklyn has gotten her fingernails done, but not yet a full mani/pedi. I decided that since Kensi would be home napping, I could take B and we could have some "us" time. The shop where I usually go could not fit us in, so we found another local shop to invade. They sat us together, in side-by-side chairs. Poor B's legs are long, but weren't quite long enough for her feet to be in the water while she sat all of the way back on the chair. So the experience started with a bit of a struggle for her to find a comfy way to sit. Once she had found something that worked, they got started. On my side, the girls were getting started and asking the usual questions about color and design, "you want flower?" Trying to help me decide, they showed me a little plastic photo album with various pictures of designs. After looking through them, I had the sitting on my lap, waiting for a chance to return them. B asked to see one of them.
Knowing B like I do, I handed the album to her with an admonishment of "don't let it fall in the water," or something to that effect. Can you tell where this is going? Not ten seconds later, the book was floating in the water where her feet should have been. The poor technician helping B jumped up and pulled the book out and another girl went to work on trying to dry it. Throughout the rest of our visit there, several of the girls would trade off drying the pictures and trying to make sure they weren't damaged. I was torn between laughing at the absurdity of the situation, feeling sorry for B who looked so sad in that moment, and crawling under the chair to avoid the dirty looks from the ladies.
But alas, that would not be the end of our destructive path. At the conclusion of B's abbreviated pedicure, they painted her toes. I explained to her that she would have to keep her feet still (yeah, right) so that the paint could dry. She was in hog heaven with red, white and blue toes. Remember what I said about her feet not quite reaching the end of the chair? Well, that would come back to haunt her. Shortly after the girl was done with her feet and had moved on to another customer, B was swinger her feet and brought them up under the step, scraping all of the paint off of her toes. Repaint #1.
A different technician offered to help repaint the toes. Once finished, she helped B put on her flip flops and B went over to sit in a regular chair where she started swinging her feet back and forth and putting one foot over the other.... which scraped paint off of most of the toes. Repaint #2. A different technician (from the first two) helped out and again painted her toes. This time, she also needed a repaint on some of her fingers. I'm not sure how those got messed up.
Finally done and repainted, I paid and we left the shop. I'm sure that all of the ladies were cursing me and my child as we walked out, leaving a trail of wet pictures and frustrated technicians behind us. Of course, the story was not done there.... we got to the car, I put B in and told her to be careful and 2 seconds later, some of her toes were smeared again. Deciding that I had done enough, I left her there and we went to get lunch for Daddy.
Lesson learned? Don't hand your 5 year old something that can't get wet when she is sitting (or standing) over a tub of water. Second lesson learned? Wait until your child can sit still before attempting to get her toes painted (or at least do it yourself instead of paying someone to do it.) Ah well, live and learn. Despite all the craziness, I hope that B at least had a good time hanging out with Mommy.
And coming soon - another Mommy milestone... the life of crime.