Hard as nails

Is it possible to have a manicure while looking after a 9 month old? Yes but don’t expect little one’s patience to hold out for the drying process. Day off, so quality time with bambino and delighted that a entrepreneurial ex City PR Mum has set-up a toddler group for people like us to use. Clean and new toys to play with, nice venue (a hotel), big toys and bouncy castle for the bigger siblings and coffee, snacks and breakfast brunch if you are peckish – perfect.

I was then surprised to see in the adjacent room some beauticians awaiting custom next to a massage bed and a nail parlour – “Is that for us?” No it can’t be – what would we do with the children? Yes they have umpteen toys to keep them entertained but once Mum leaves the room all hell will break loose. As we all sat there pondering who was going to be the first Mum to be tempted to give it a go, one lady boldly sat down in front of the nail parlour complete with toddler. We all watched in anticipation to see what would happen.

After 10 minutes had passed without incident, we all started to get a bit jealous. I’m sure the Mum having her nails done could feel 20 pairs of envious eyes burning into her back. I had already publicly talked myself out of it, saying to the Mum I was chatting to and striking up a friendship with, “I can’t remember the last time I had my nails done but with a baby? not sure it can be done.” However one Mum had already proven it could be done with a toddler but what about a baby? I thought I’d give it a shot once I had fed bambino then he would be less likely to play up on a small stomach (he is male after all). He scuppered my plans by refusing to eat – he has never done this before in all his 9 months – I think he knew what I was planning. So, having given up on lunch, I glanced at my misshapen, housewife nails that see more dirt than polish and then glanced at my baby boy who looked like he was in a happy mood despite no food. When the Mum I was talking to went off to see to her toddler, I saw my chance and bolted for the nearest available beautician. I bunged a few toys in front of my son planted my hand in front of her and said “not sure this is going to work but lets do it”. If he plays up I don’t have to go through with the polish” (although I was lusting after all the beautiful Jessica colours displayed like sweets).

So far so good…nails shaped, cuticles rammed down, special ointment rubbed in. Take a deep breath, “what colour would you like?” said the young beautician (at which point my bambino started to grizzle, having thoroughly checked all the functionality of the toys and the detailing on the hotel carpet). I sat him on my lap and persevered, despite the fact he was drumming the table of the nail bar and making all the lovely little Jessica bottles rattle. “I’ll go for the nude with a hint of pink please”. This was an ‘express manicure’ but the beautican confessed it was the fastest express she has ever done as she tried to line up the brush on my nail bed in-between my son’s ham-fisted drumbeats on the table. Once one hand was done I had no choice but to put him back on the floor so he could resume his analysis of the carpet pattern. The beautician upped the pace and for one precious moment my nails looked a million dollars. “They will take about 15 minutes to be touch-dry and then about 45 mins to be scratchproof”……WHAT!!!!!

The Mum I had been chatting to came to say goodbye and admired them and we promised to meet up again next week and she was stunned I took the plunge with the manicure – I said I would look after her kids next time and then we could do swapsies – why not go for the full body massage while we are at it?

Only 2 minutes had passed and I needed to go. I was determined to keep my beautiful polish on and not rip gouges of it out. But I needed to pick my baby up, fish the purse out of the bag to pay, open the car, get the buggy out, put bambino in the buggy, go shopping, pay for shopping, put shopping in bags, put buggy back in car. Then once home I had to bake hubby’s birthday cake and cook dinner…..

Despite all this I only knocked 2 nails, which I can live with. But what a day to pick for a manicure. Come to think of it though every day is a variation of this one so am just going to have to get adept at picking things up like its police evidence. At least I can attempt to be more ladylike – story of my life…..

I am doing this blog to fundraise for Unicef Рif you would like to donate please visit my fundraising page Рi am aiming for £1 a day for at least one happy reader.

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