I took Hanna to have her nails painted the other day.
I had to tread lightly in my invitation, careful not to use the word manicure. Hanna has refused all of my attempts to take her for a manicure and shuts down any effort on my part if I accidentally call it a “mani.”
She has picked, chewed, bitten her nails for as long as I can remember and I thought taking her to have them painted might give her a reason to keep them looking nice.
This actually failed as within two hours of having her ‘mani’ she went to swim practice where the chlorine ate the polish or she picked it all off in the change room. We may never know. I am beginning to suspect her hands just repel the stuff.
Her interest was piqued when I suggested she could have one of those designs on one of her nails. A flower, or butterfly or koy fish swimming in a pond with mountains and a sunset in the background on her thumb like an accent wall in a freshly painted family room.
She agreed to my terms and added a couple of her own.
She would allow someone to paint her nails but not comment on the state of her fingers. Check.
She would choose the colours with absolutely no input from her nothing-but-boring-beige Mother. Check.
She would alternate the colours from nail-to-nail should the mood strike but reserved the right to instead paint an entire hand one colour and the other hand another. Check.
I knew the commenting on her nails concern was not going to come into play because I certainly wasn’t going to say anything and no member of the staff at our local nail salon speaks English as their first language so if they were going to talk about Hanna’s hands, it would be lost on us.
When it came time to ask for a design on her thumb, Hanna’s wonderful helper asked, “You like flower?” Hanna didn’t pick up on her cues, she was hoping for either a nod or a picture of what she might like as the only two acceptable ways to respond.
Hanna said, “I’d like a swirly-ma-bob.”
The girl looked back at her confused.
When in doubt, repeat with a twist.
Hanna: Like, a swirly…ma-bob…thingy?
As if the English language wasn’t hard enough, even I didn’t know what my daughter wanted.
Next we moved onto air charades. This is where Hanna attempted to draw a swirly-ma-bob-thingy in the air with her blue/green finger and even started a body wave from the ground up to emphasize the importance of the ma-bob.
The result was tasteful, simple and elegant. Nails that won’t draw a lot of attention.