Pretty Fingers

I have a long vaguely pink stain on my beige carpet.  I don’t really know how to get rid of it.  I’ve tried vinegar. I’ve tried nail polish remover. I’ve tried Windex. I’ll try more things later. Right now I’m going to sit.

And eat a cookie. The homemade kind. Today the store-bought cookies are no longer good enough, because the ones we make at home are so much better. So, we made more cookies and they are warm and gooey and chocolate-y.

I think that the fingernail polish looks vaguely inappropriate on her fingers. In retrospect,  I liked her baby nails pristine.

She was so good. She sat very still, all smiles and tense glee at the privilege of having her nails painted “just like mama”.  She let me blow on her toes until they were dry and then held out her fingers. “Pretty fingers, too, Mama!”

I reached for the nail polish and made a small, disastrous mistake. I picked it up by the lid. That I hadn’t screwed down.  It came up off the surface of the table with my hand, then dropped away in a kind of cinematic graceful arc. It threw out a long ribbon of beautiful glossy red.  It splashed into a small pool of red polish. It looked like something right out of a carpet cleaners commercial.

I panicked and poured most of a bottle of nail polish remover on it. It smeared. Now I had a red smear across my carpet.  So, after much scrubbing (Never Scrub) and much cussing (with a small voice repeating everything, until I switched to things like “Fiddle-sticks and Fudge-buckets!”), I got on the net.

(“Mama, what happened to the carpet, Mama? Paint my fingers with my red, Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama?”)

The first thing I learned was, “Don’t Scrub, Blot.” Too late.

The next advice was vinegar.

Vinegar stinks. And does nothing.

The next piece of advice was Windex. Okay. I tried it. With the sound track of a small voice saying “Oh, no, Mama. The carpet. Mama, what happen the carpet?” Over and over and over again as she got as close as she could to the spill and I tried not to elbow her as I scrubbed, not blotted.

Well, it’s not the miracle cure advertised, probably because I scrubbed, but it did lighten the stain. I now have a blurry pink stripe on my beige carpet.  Which I suppose is better than a fire engine red ribbon of polish.

At a certain point, good enough is good enough.  Coffee stains, juice spills and random God-only-knows-where-that-came-from smears are the norm for my carpet; what’s a pink smudge going to hurt?

So, I paint her nails. Life and fun won’t be stopped because of little mistakes. We are tougher than that around here.

To me, that bright red on her baby fingers looks all wrong. She keeps staring at her nails, and looking up at me and saying, with wonder in her voice, “I have pretty red fingers, Mama!”

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2 thoughts on “Pretty Fingers

  1. Sad…my sister, Shawna, is a good one to ask questions on cleaning. She works in a cleaning, restoration company and has some more tips up her sleeve.

  2. I love the drama of the falling splashing bottle of polish. I could hear mozart or vagner in the background with the creshendo building as it fell. I need a picture of her nails. Please share.

    Love you!

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