It may sound strange but I don’t get a lot of one-on-one time with my daughter. We do a lot together as a family and, while the boys are in school, I have another little girl here with me during the day. So, this was going to be our first real girl day in a long time.
She is still very young, not quite two, so there is only so much we can get into but I had visions of a little shopping, lunch and painting her nails for the first time. And, a little selfishly, I was looking forward to her nap so I could have a little quiet time for myself.
We managed to do every one of those things but they didn’t quite work out the way that I had hoped.
Shortly after sending the boys on their way, we headed out ourselves. We took a drive to the local Wal-mart to pick out the perfect nail color. I had some polish of my own but I thought a quick drying color would be best and that it would be fun to take her to pick one out.
Normally, a trip to Wal-mart means that we need a cart which she complains about being forced to sit in the entire time, constantly trying to make an escape. So, on this day, since we were just there for one thing, I thought I would let her walk. She had a different idea and insisted that we take a cart. When I told her that we weren’t going to get one, she proceeded to emphatically point at the carts and cry. So, in an attempt to keep the afternoon light and fun, I obliged. It was at this point that she decided it would be fun to push the cart herself. I figured, we’ll only be here for a minute, what could go wrong. Well, if you ask the poor lady we almost mowed down, I’m sure she could tell you a thing or two about why that was a bad idea.
When we finally made it to the cosmetics aisle and were searching through the nail color, I thought that there must be a line of nail polish geared specifically to little girls. You know… pretty colors, quick drying, etc. When I didn’t find it there, we headed to the toy aisle in the “girly” section, as my boys refer to it. How lucky were we! I immediately spotted a small pack of Barbie nail polish which came in five different colors and even had sparkles. Perfect! My little girl was so excited that she actually squealed for delight at the sight of it. Off to the register we went!
As we approached the check out aisle, I explained to her that she must hand her new found treasure over to the teenage boy who was not quite as interested or excited as we were about our girl-day adventures. She took one look at him with his sour-puss facial expression and hair hanging in his eyes and yelled “NO!”. There was no way she was going to hand her special treasure over to this person. We went back and forth about this a couple of times until finally I had to pry the polish from her hands and hand it to him. It took approximately half a second before she threw herself face down on the floor in a full-on tantrum. Wonderful! This was not going as I had envisioned it.
After her dramatic display of emotion on the floor of Wal-mart, I decided that lunch at home would be a much better option than attempting lunch out. I had also decided that there was no way that I was going to try to paint her nails while she was in this kind of mood so, immediately after lunch, I put her down for her nap. Ahhh…now for the “me” time.
Apparently my sweet, little baby girl did not care much about my “me” time and did what she could to keep me from it. She jumped up and down in her crib, screaming, crying and throwing things about the room. She is bigger now so the jumping up and down causes an exquisite thumping and banging noise as the crib beats against the wall with every jump. I tried very hard to ignore it, thinking that she would eventually tire out and go to sleep. After about 45 minutes, I could take no more. I even thought to myself “Well, if she doesn’t take a nap, I will just put her down for bed early tonight and then I will have time to myself.”
So, I scooped her from the crib and we cleaned up the mess she had made. After a little play time and dance time in her room, we made our way to the living room for the main event…her first manicure. Even though she had no idea what was next, she seemed just as excited as I about this special event. She smiled and wiggled with delight. I asked her to choose her color and then took her hand. As I opened the polish and was about to swipe the brush across her nail for the first time. She snatched her hand away and gave me, what I like to refer to as, the stink eye.
I don’t know what she thought we were going to be doing, but painting her nails was apparently not it. In order to give her the idea, I painted one of my own nails. She slowly agreed to it. The problem was, this wonderful Barbie nail polish was horrible! The sparkles really just formed a big clumpy, gloppy mess and it refused to dry. Even after several minutes of blowing on and waving our hands it was still just as wet as when we started.
Have you ever tried to get a 21-month-old little girl to sit still. It’s not happening. I don’t know where the polish wound up but it didn’t take long for it to disappear from her finger tips. Besides that, she wasn’t happy with just one color. No sooner had I painted her fingernails pink did she decide that she also wanted blue, yellow, purple and then red.
The other thing that isn’t happening with a 21-month-old little girl is reasoning. No matter how hard I tried, she was not understanding that it wasn’t a good idea to paint one color over the next. So, after trying to fight it, I just went with it. We made a huge mess but I think she had fun.
There was more playing, a little bit of Dora on the TV and then dinner and a bath. Before I knew it, we had already reached her normal bed time. We snuggled up in our pjs, sang her favorite bedtime song and then I tucked her in. She fell asleep quickly and all was quiet. I washed a few dishes, cleaned up some toys, made myself a cup of tea and then tucked myself in on the sofa under a blanket, ready to watch an episode of Oprah that I had dvr’d earlier in the week.
I had seen approximately 10 minutes of the show when the front door flew open and in came my husband and the two boys. They were exhausted but excited to tell me all about their day. I listened and helped the boys into their pajamas and into bed, still eager for some quiet, “me” time in front of the tv. My husband had other ideas as he had dvr’d the Ohio State game earlier in the day and was getting comfy in my spot on the sofa with remote in hand.
I retreated, obviously irritated, to my bedroom and plopped into bed. I sat and thought about the day I had envisioned versus the way it had actually turned out. How was it that I was so far off?
So…here are the lessons I learned that day:
1) I need to schedule more “girl time” for my daughter and I.
2) 21-month-old little girls are too young for a manicure!
3) I shouldn’t try to force the special moments, just go with the flow and the special moments will just appear.
4) When attempting to get some “me” time, I should hide and lock the door so that no one can find me!