10 November 2014, by Evelyn Tan
Remember those days when you were a child and you can’t wait to grow up to be an adult? It always seemed like the adults were always telling you that you can’t do this or you can’t t do that, that you would have to wait till you were old enough before you could do certain things?
Well I remember telling myself, when I become an adult, I would not exasperate my children that way and would in fact consider their requests and accede to them if they are reasonable. Like I remember when I was eight or so, I asked for my nails to be painted during the school holidays, but my mum said no! (why? Because that is for adults and the fumes are bad for you! How bad? Very bad!). And so I grew up thinking that the fumes from the nail polish was hazardous to health and only dared put on nail polish for the first time when I was 18.
Recently, Kristen made a request that made me think she is really on her way to growing up. She would every now and then (but very occasionally) ask me to apply nail polish for her. And I would usually accede to such requests since it is really occasional and there is really no harm doing it. This time round however, she asked for a manicure experience at the shops! And not just that, she would like to do this together with two of her BFF ‘s — after a movie, and along with lunch, on what she calls ‘The Girls Day Out’!
Huh?! But she is only 9, isn’t that a little too young? Luckily, I found out later that I was going to be one of the ‘girls’. Phew! So did I agree? Yes!! I didn’t see why not. It was a reasonable request (except for cost part of it! But hey, this is the time to be generous and show your girl ‘you are worth it’, right?) Besides, if this sets the tone for future interactions with her friends, I can be attuned to the company that she keeps and maybe even be considered for occasional future dates when she becomes a teenager.
Call it apron strings, whatever, but I know, the truth of the matter is, I want to remain closely involved in my children’s ‘affairs’ until they really come of age and I can safely say they can be trusted to handle their own life —- and that should be the way isn’t it?
As parents, we want to influence and lead our children to our values and belief system and though we do a lot of that in their childhood, it gets a little more challenging and tricky in the adolescent years. So, when I was invited to be part of her life this way, what is a little ‘healthy splurging’? (I did lay it down to her, that it will either be a manicure or a pedicure, not both.)
And how did it turn out? Lovely! The girls enjoyed it and I must say even I found rest, relaxing with them and allowing my ‘little inner girl’ to come out while the ‘mummy -me’ takes a back seat. Best of all, my little girl came up to me at the end of the day and said, “Mummy, I hope that (manicure) didn’t cost you too much. Thank you so much! You are the best!”
My verdict —to be appreciated this way by your beloved daughter, priceless!