Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Zuzu is a sweet and empathetic girl. She is quick to comfort her sister when Coco gets hurt. She is willing to apologize when she accidentally hurts someone. She is usually willing to help out if I ask her to do me a favor or assist me with a chore.

On the first day of summer vacation, I painted her toenails. I know there are people who take their five-year-old the salon to get pedicures with them, but I am not that person. Zuzu asks me occasionally to paint her toenails, but I usually put it off. I did it once a few years ago, and she smeared the nail polish on the couch because she couldn't wait for it to dry. Anyway, I need to touch up my own toenails, and it was the first day of summer break so I was trying to be Fun Mom, so I offered to do hers as well while her sister was sleeping. She was very excited and she wanted pink and glitter topcoat.

Of course, Coco woke up before we finished, so I painted her toenails as well. Pink glitter for everyone! We did it out on the front porch and it was really sweet to see how excited they were about they matching sparkly toenails.

Zuzu asked me to paint her fingernails, but I said no and explained that she always puts her hands in her mouth and nail polish contains yucky chemicals that don't belong in our mouths. Zuzu has never sucked her thumb, but she chews her fingernails, puts her hand in her mouth when nervous, and often chews on her fingers (and sometimes toes!) when watching TV or being read to. So a manicure is just not something I was going to mess with.

Anyway, I didnt think much more of it. I put the nail polish up on the little windowsill at the bottom of the stairs where I put things out of little hands' reach that I will take upstairs later.

Fast forward to me going downstairs to switch laundry, to smelling the faint smell of fresh nail polish but assuming it's my own toes, and then seeing Coco shove her hands down between the couch cushions when I walk by. Something clicked (probably the wide-eyed guilty look on Coco's face) and I realized they had been into the nail polish.

Turns out that "out of reach" no longer applies to this windowsill. Zuzu had painted her fingernails and her sister's. And by "fingernails," I also mean most of their fingers from the second knuckle to the tip and also SOME OF MY BEDROOM CARPET.

This sneaky naughtiness is really hard for me not to completely lose my mind over. It's so deliberate. I tell myself frequently, "They are little and still learning" but I get so angry when she is (frequently) deliberately, intentionally defiant.

As a consequence, I removed all the fingernail polish and told Zuzu she has lost the privilege of painted nails, indefinitely.

I salvaged the carpet by actually snipping the drops of polish out of it. You can't tell at all, but I know it was there...

When I was removing the nail polish, crouched in our upstairs bathroom, scrubbing her little fingers with a cotton ball soaked in more nasty chemicals, I said to Zuzu, "You knew you were doing something that you were not supposed to do and something that would upset Mommy. Why would you choose to do that?"

She said, "Well, I just wanted to make myself happy."

As sweet, kind, and compassionate as she can be, girlfriend is also lookin' out for number one. Her priorities are very clear and consistent, actually. And making me kind of insane.


  1. Gwen is required to sit on the toilet seat with her hands on the pieces of TP on her thighs until her nail polish dries. I tell her she absolutely must not move/leave until I come up and confirm that the nails are dry.

    I freely admit that sometimes I leave her there for ~10 min. rather than the ~5 it usually takes. I am either an awful or a brilliant parent. :)

  2. I definitely think the sneakiness is just natural kids wanting to do what they want to do it and our stubborn independent children are going to find a way to make that happen. Yay for determination! Boo for respecting parents/authority. Both my older two will try to do stuff like this every once in awhile.

  3. Oh my girls have done this so many times. Constant sparkly polish everywhere.

    the deliberate naughtiness is a tough one. Piper is all about it and then devastated when i call her on it, choking out "you is mad at me" between sobs. Grace is a rule-FOLLOWER. Her teachers just pointed it out yesterday, but girlfriend doesn't like when other people break the rules. She got that from me ;)

  4. Aren't our summers off so great???

    I think at 4-5 is when they really do get defiant. They are old enough to understand what we tell them. Benjamin also chooses to ignore me a majority of the time.

    I once spilled a whole jar of rubber cement on our carpet. For years I worked on that spot. Finally you couldn't see it anymore... and then we moved.

  5. The deliberate naughtiness is SO frustrating!!

  6. Jack is the only one of my kids who does stuff like that and it's maddening!! I do Dorothy's nails (and Cooper's) sometimes, and I only use quick-dry polish. No hassle; no mess.

  7. My daughter is right there with her. So sweet and empathetic as long as she gets whatever she decides she must have! No worries about her getting pushed around, I tell ya...