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Mani/Pedi Protocol: Is Three Too Young?

Erin Zammett Ruddy

I was getting a mani/pedi the other day and there was a mom in the salon with her two young girls and they were both getting the works. If I had to guess, they were close in age to my kids--probably not quite three and not quite five. Which, to me, is not quite old enough for a professional mani/pedi. Anyone else agree?  

For all I know they were getting ready for a wedding and it was a hugely special occassion (though it was a Wednesday so I kinda doubt it). Or maybe she really needed one and the only way to get it done was to bring her kids along. Fine. I'm not judging this mom I'm just using her example as a jumping off point to get some opinions. Specifically when, if at all, do you plan to take your daughter with you to the nail salon? As you guys know I'm not big on the girlie girl culture. A lot of people came down on me because I said I would never throw my daughter a make-over/princess party but I really don't want to create another massive debate here. I'm honestly just curious if I'm the only one who has no intentions of taking my two and half year old daughter for a mani/pedi anytime soon. Will I paint her nails fun colors at some point? Sure. She's already very aware of my nails and makeup and just this morning she wandered into our bathroom (while we were lying in bed pretending we were still asleep since it was only 7 a.m.) and she wandered out with my eyeliner all over her. But I don't want to pay someone to do it. Not because it's so hugely expensive (in New York you can get a great mani/pedi for around $20 and the kids version--they advertise these things now--are about half that), but because I don't want to create a habit for her. I don't want her to think it's normal or necessary to have her nails painted all the time. I don't want her to thing it's something she's entitled to. I remember the first time I got a real mani/pedi and it was so fun. And it felt special. And I definitely was not three. Or even 5. (I was in junior high).

I know times have changed with all of this stuff but I'm hoping I don't have to get onboard with this one because here's the big thing: I find getting manicures a necessary evil, one I only put myself through when I have a party or a wedding or something paricularly important (another perk of working from home--no one around to notice my unmanicured hands!). Pedicures I like and during the summer I get them regularly (my color: watermelon, which was my grandma Ruth's color too and always makes me think of her) but I still find it a chore to have to take time out of my day to sit still and, more often than not, listen to strangers talk loudly on their cell phones. My point is, it wouldn't be some great mother-daughter bonding experience for Nora and me because it's not an activity I derive any joy from (especially when I ding my nail in the car on the way home--doh!). Particularly since Nora is the kind of little girl who would be splashing in the pedicure bath and pouring out all the bottles of polish. Not worth it! I know some women love going to the salon and love shopping and can't wait to do those things with their girls. And that's great. But it's not for me. At least not any time soon. What do you guys think? Do you/will you be taking your girls for professional mani/pedis? Let's discuss. And please don't hate me because I don't want to do this!