There’s this really cute couple that owns the nail salon near my hospital. The wife and I have been pregnant together two times now, and they always seem to remember me even though I only visit a few times a year. I’ve found that balance between enjoying my silence and pampering, and chatting with this family about kids and parenting.
My most recent visit happened to be just before I had Hadassah Lee. They were expecting a girl soon, as well. The three of us got to chatting about daughters of the two year-old persuasion. The fun, the cute, the sass. What on earth would it look like for all of these girls to become big sisters? I mentioned my twins’ affinity for pedicures, especially the ones their daddy gives. I said something like, “You must have fun with your daughter’s nails, huh?”
He stopped scrubbing my feet to look up, a concerned look on his face. No. He does not paint his daughter’s nails. He is afraid she will put her fingers and toes in her mouth and chew on the polish. He does not want those chemicals near her. I squashed the rising mommy guilt and smiled. Of course. I understood. We continued to chat while he finished painting. He then left me to dry while he stepped outside, pulling something from his pocket as he walked. What was that? A lighter? Sure enough. The man who’s afraid of chemicals near his baby girl, smoking a cigarette. I couldn’t help but laugh.
My husband cinches the car seats so tightly that the kids practically turn blue, but he has no issues with daily screen time. I have an almost-all-consuming fear that one of my children will develop MRSA cellulitis from a bug bite, but I feed them McDonald’s without qualm. Neither of us smoke. Neither of us have a problem painting our toddlers’ toenails, either.
Parents each have their own things. I like the idea of just rolling with it. We all long for a world where moms and dads support each better, right? Let’s stop longing. Let’s make it happen.