Just now as I was helping Ingrid get ready for bed:

"H has polish on her fingernails."

[H is a girl at Ingrid's extra crunchy Waldorf-y wonderfully free-thinking day care, where all the women are strong and half the kids (including H) have two mamas.]

"Oh! That's very grown up!"
"Mama, I want polish like H's.
"Oh, hmmm..."
"H's is purple."
"Oh, wow! Who helped H put on her nail polish?"
"Her mama."
"I want mine to be purple, too! On my fingers and my toes!"
"That sure sounds like fun. We'll have to think about that."
"I want to do it now."
"Well, we don't have any nail polish in our house right now. We'd have to get some from the store. I'll have to think about that. It's a very grown up thing to do, wearing nail polish. We'll think about it."

Good grief, am I ever unprepared. I don't know if I'm for this or against it. Damn hippie lesbians.


  1. I haven't copped this from my just 3 year old yet, but I know it can't be far off. I think my compromise will be: palest pink polish and on toes only.
    I'm torn between thinking it's kids harmlessly playing at being adults, and thinking it's kids being indoctrinated into having to manipulate their appearance already...

  2. I came home one day to find the babysitter had put pale pink polish on A's nails and I wasn't sure what to do about it either. I didn't like seeing it but I didn't want to freak out about it either. It was the same color I wear on my toes so I really didn't have a leg to stand on. (So to speak.) I think I ended up saying it was a grown-up thing to do and just let the polish fade off on its own.

  3. My husband and I were just talking about this because I let my 3.5 year old son put on my lip gloss and he asked if I would let my daughter do that at his age...and I wasn't sure what to say. With my son, it seems innocent and without all of those issues attached to it. But, with my daughter, it feels like it's sending the wrong message.

  4. Ok - How about this: you bring the polish, come on over, and we'll do your girl and my boys' toes. Then we can let them burp out loud and pee in the grass (or is Ingrid already defying gender expectations like that?). ;-)
    (Blogger keeps eating my comments, BTW)

  5. Ha! Cute. I couldn't figure out this post at first because I kept reading "polish" as "Polish". Huh? What's the connection between Poland and fingernails?? :)

    I blushingly admit that my one-and-a-half-year-old sometimes wears blush and powder, just because she gets so happy when she does what Mommy does (and I'm not so high-maintenance). My husband was appalled (not that it was even visible). I thought it was cute.

  6. Also, I like Emmie's suggestion. :D Wish I lived closer so I could partake in the hilarity!

  7. My son requested nail polish at his sitter's and she denied him because he's a boy. I would have loved for him to wear nail polish (even though I don't do myself).

  8. this post killed me. I've got you bookmarked, but read only occasionally.

    damn hippies indeed. With purple nailpolish? I guess it's possible that the nanny put it on her nails, and the hippie lesbians didn't have nailpolish remover?

    Kids love anything sparkly. I don't think it's about manipulating their appearance, per se. Also, as gender neutral as people want their kids to be, my niece, raised by my weebitfemmy sister and my boyish brother in law insisted on necklaces and purses from a teeny tiny age.

    good luck, and keep writing! Very entertaining!