Nick King's Blog

I've done some pretty cool things, but nothing's as cool as creating our family

Adventures in Nail Varnish

The thought of having to deal with hair and make up fills me with terror.  I've told you that before.  

I also recognise absolutely that, having made the decision to adopt our daughter, engaging with all things girlie came as part of the package.


So, finally giving in, our three year old little girl and I went to the chemists the other day with the sole purpose of purchasing some "pale and unobtrusive" nail varnish.

"What does pale and unbusive mean Daddy?"  Was the answer I received when I told our daughter that, hoping to manage expectations.

"It means that Daddy gets to choose what we buy darling," I replied.  Bottom lip poked out somewhat.  Hers.  Not mine.  

"But I want bright, sparkly nail polish!" Our daughter responded, with a stamp of the foot.

"We'll see what they have."  Was my diplomatic reply.  


There is a point children reach where they understand that any answer their parent gives beginning with the phrase "we'll see", actually means 'no'.  Luckily our daughter hasn't twigged to this yet.  Indeed, our now eight year old son only occasionally picks up on the answer that hides the negative so effectively.  

In the interests of family harmony, long may that ignorance continue.


Having no idea where to go, I chose our local branch of Superdrug.  

Having never actually been in Superdrug previously, I made the choice entirely based upon the enormous amount of gaudy make up displays visible through the windows,  This and the steady stream of prepubescent girls I had witnessed exiting clutching their little pink bags, presumably filled with a range of pocket money priced cosmetic delights.


You've most likely walked into a shop to buy make up before.  I hadn't.

There's tonnes of the stuff.

An entire wall of the shop comprised massive shelves full of different ranges of lipstick, lip gloss, nail varnish and other, err, cosmetic stuff.

Not only were the shelves extensive, high and long, very, very long.  Their contents were all small, really small.  Tightly packed.  The whole creating a seemingly impenetrable, shimmering wall of pink and purple.


Our daughter and I stood.  Hand in hand.  Staring.  Bemused.  Mesmerised by the sight.  

A friendly sales assistant nearby took pity.  "Can I help?" She asked.

With the fervour of the dehydrated desert traveller reaching a cool oasis, I grasped the opportunity.  "Yes, please.  We need nail varnish.  For her," pointing downwards, "not me."

The sales assistant smiled indulgently.  "I'm assuming not too bright, not too expensive," she whispered conspiratorially.

I nodded.

"I bet you'd like some really lovely pink nail polish," the assistant said, kneeling to address our daughter at face level.  "Come with me," she said bustling towards the back of the shop.  

In a brisk five minutes, interspersed with whispered asides, our daughter and I were led by the kind sales assistant on a brisk tour of the both Superdrug's extensive cosmetic section and the entire process of painting and removing nail varnish.

Clutching our appropriately gaudy fluorescent pink plastic bag full of the necessary nail paint and accessories we made our way home.


Having never seen anyone put nail varnish on, I have to say our daughter did a very good impression of the customer at a nail bar.  

I painted the nails.  She flourished her hand dramatically, keeping the fingers rigidly claw like as she waved them about, blowing on the newly applied varnish.

We did OK.  It was a bit uneven.  But it looked OK.  

I heaved a sigh of relief.

"Can we do my toe nails in a different colour please Daddy?" Our daughter asked.  

It's never going to end is it?