I gave my 8-month-old a manicure (sort of), and it was good enough to photograph, Instagram and then tweet. But don’t worry, I didn’t make her sit still while I applied layer upon layer of toxic polish and then force her to sit still during the drying time. I used a set of press-on nails (yup, they exist) that I got as a freebie. The whole thing—from peeling off the sticker backing to removing the temporary nails from her fingers—lasted just a few minutes. In that time, she giggled, tapped her fingers, picked up her rice cracker, and gently rubbed her belly, clearly enjoying all the things her fingertips could do.
Still, when I posted the picture, it was met with harsh criticism from my mom, mother-in-law and several unnamed female relatives. Look, as parents we all want our kids to experience the best parts of our own childhood, and in my case, that was collecting leaves in my parents’ backyard, building forts and hearing the clickity-clack of plastic press-on nails my mom would occasionally buy me. But now I live in the middle of Manhattan, in an apartment building surrounded by more apartment buildings, with no yard to collect leaves in and no place to build forts. That left the clickity-clack of plastic nails. And yes, I know they're a choking hazard—but I was watching her the entire brief time she wore them.
I realize that may sound a little pageant mom-ish, but really, I’m a normal mom of two whose priorities are more reading and math flashcards than sequins and big hair. And while I won’t be parading my little girl around in faux nails, if, when she’s old enough to walk, talk and voice opinions, she decides she’d wants to wear some, I'll still be fine with it.
Bryce Gruber is Editor of The Luxury Spot, and a contributor to Lucky Mag. Follow her on Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.