Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Painted nails

I held off as long as I could.

For the past few years, Mary Clare has made several inquiries as to when she, too, would get "narrl-powrish" on her fingers and toes. I bought myself some time by calling our trimming and filling sessions manicures and pedicures, but I knew that would only last for so long. As would telling her that she would get to paint her nails when she was bigger. The "when you're bigger" point only goes so far when your school friends are sporting sparkly pink nails.

A few weeks ago we noticed that Mary Clare had her fingers in her mouth. A lot. Sure enough, she was biting her nails. Being a former nail biter (who happens to be married to an active nail biter, ahem), I wanted to try and nip it in the bud. We talked about it. I researched yucky tasting nail polish. We talked about that. I threatened to buy yucky tasting nail polish (for both Mary Clare and Chip). We talked about that. Mary Clare would stop for a day or so, and then be back at it. (Chip never stopped.)

And then one night at dinner it hit me that perhaps a reward would get us the results threats had not. So, I took Mary Clare's hands in mine and told her that if she wants to paint her nails some day, she needs nails to paint. Her eyes got big. I continued and told her that if she would stop biting her nails, after a week we would see how they had grown and I would be able to paint them. Pink. With sparkles. And that's when her head exploded.

Every night that week she would show me how long her nails were getting. And she would ask, "Now can we paint them? Now can I get pink narrl powrish?" So on Friday after her nap, I followed up our hair braiding practice session with a little nail painting action. I first tried this pale, pale pink Essie polish that I use on my nails from time to time. You guys, it was the saddest thing. I asked her if she thought it was pretty, and she bravely nodded, as if trying to convince herself and me that it was what she had been waiting for all this time. I mean, the look of disappointment killed me. Just killed me. And what a jerk I was for  even trying to pull ballet slipper pink off in the first place.

So I ran downstairs, grabbed the 99 cent bottle of pink sparkly business that I had bought earlier that week and put a coat of that on her tiny little nails. Huge smiles. Huge. It was like I had painted the Disney princess on top of each nail.

Now our big concern is the longevity of the nail polish. At bath time, Chip had to convince her to put her hands in the tub, that it wouldn't come off in the water. The next morning when I walked into her room, the first words out of her mouth were, "I can't see my narrl powrish! Is it still there? Is it gone?" So I turned on the light, and she, I kid you not, breathed an actual sigh of relief and said, "Oh, I just couldn't see my narrl powrish in the dark. It's still there."

It's been five days now, and it's definitely chipping away. I am not going to offer a touch up, but if it keeps her from biting her nails and she asks for it, I guess a coat of pink sparkles is the least I can do. 


  1. PALE PINK???? wah wah waaaahhhhh. What, you were all out of clear or nude polish? Glad you had the materials on hand to redeem yourself. Maybe you should get her one of those shellac manicures. I hear those stay on for a while, and when it wears off she won't really have any nails left to bite. Win-win!

  2. Thank you, Kaly. I mean seriously. The girl is almost FOUR and she just now had her nails did. Pity. We are long overdue for a Mary Clare slumber party where we get crazy and show her the finer things in life. We paint a different color on every single nail. Whaaa, that's cray cray.


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