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How young is too young to wear nail polish and makeup?

Now that the weather is warm, I decided to treat myself to a relaxing manicure and pedicure. The trip to the spa was relaxing and stress free… that is, until I encountered some little toes that threw me for a loop. At the salon I saw a little girl, no older than 2.5 years old, with French-pedicured toenails. Her toes were adorned with red polish and topped with a white line with blue accents. I was a little taken back – in fact, I was a little frustrated with her toes. I mean, here is this little girl not even three years old and barely talking with pedicured toes and wearing lipstick.

I was so tempted to comment or ask her mother why she painted this baby’s toes, but that would have been way out of line, so I decided to ask myself… WWJD – What would Jatae Do? My darling daughter is all of 17 months old, and I think she is just as fabulous and let her play dress-up with boas and sunglasses. She enjoys trying to walk in my slippers and flats, and she is already curious as to why mommy’s toenails are colored and hers are not. However, with all the curiosity in the world, I think it’s inappropriate and unnecessary for her to have her little nails painted. She’s a baby – well, actually, a toddler – but even so, she’s too young to even say “polish”! It must be said that dress-up and imaginative play are part of healthy childhood development, but there is also a time and place for everything. When Madison is done playing with her toys they are put away, and the same thing goes for playing dress-up – all the accessories come off at the end. While she may have an interest in polish, the fumes are too much for me at times, and I don’t want to expose her to that potentially harmful smell.

I am not a parenting expert, but I know that I am in no certain rush to have my daughter grow up sooner than necessary. So my rule is, until she can spell NAIL POLISH, she shouldn’t wear any – and when she is able to spell it, I will be the one to determine the color. If she asks why, the answer is so simple and one I’ve waited my entire life to say:

“Because I am your mother and I SAID SO.”

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