Mommy, Will You Paint My Nails?


It is 8:00 pm. I just took a shower with a one-year-old and a three-year-old (which isn’t easy, am I right? And, of course, a shower alone is not an option). After getting them to wash their hair and to quit squeezing out all of the body wash, they are finally clean. Now, I’m chasing them down with a towel; then, I wrangle one into a diaper and the other into a pull-up. This WHOLE time my three-year-old is asking “Mommy, will you paint my nails?” “Mommy, Mommy, will you paint my nails? Will you paint them pink, no, PURPLE!? Will you paint my toes too?”

At this point, I honestly want to scream “no, no, and no!” (and, I have). Let’s be real; I’m tired. I woke up at 6:00 am because my one-year-old was screaming, had pooped her diaper already, and demanded milk. By 8:00 am I am finally out the door, and off to childcare. I make it to the office before 9:00 am (hopefully), and work until 5:00 pm. Then, drive across town to pick the kiddos up just to drive them back across town to our house. It is 6:00 pm by this time and dinner still needs to be made. The one-year-old is crying again for milk (and probably also pooped again), the three-year-old keeps saying how hungry she is and how she needs me to turn on Paw Patrol. After dinner is made, we eat, then I begin convincing them that they do, in fact, need a shower. Shower time comes, and thus, so does the request to paint her nails. Again, I’m tired; I don’t WANT to paint her nails. She will move and mess them up, and they will be chipped off by this time tomorrow. BUT, I do (try to) paint them, and this is why.

I paint them because time is fleeting. One day, and one day too soon, she will not want me to paint her nails (who knows, she will probably want fake black nails soon enough – certainly not done by me). It is time that we can spend together, time that she wants me near her, time that she wants me to help her, time that she wants to feel pretty. So, I do it. I paint those dang nails. I paint them whatever color she wants – be it pink, purple, or gold. As a busy working mother of four, I don’t want to paint a three-year-old’s nails after a long day, but I’m glad I do. This is something that is important to her, and something I believe she will remember when she gets older. As she becomes an adult herself, something that she will truly appreciate – that her mommy was busy and stressed but still took a few minutes to sit with her, and paint her nails. In the end, it has nothing to do with nails, but all to do with quality time.

Take a deep breath and remember that five minutes a day doing something seemingly so small can be infinitely large.