Spa Day as Child's Play?

I might be the only one, but I haven’t taken my daughter to the spa. And I don’t plan to.

This notion I realize is passé. Mother/daughter duos have become a common scene in nail salons across the nation. Everyone is doing it or has done it.

This curious human behavior, though, is a relatively recent phenomenon. I became aware of the mani/pedi seeking mother/daughter duos about a decade ago when, on rare occasions, I was able to escape from my home. My escape was only possible during the two hours a day my child was in pre-school, and in that time I had to complete all my household chores, run countless errands and do the weekly food shopping. But if I could squeeze together enough spare minutes (perhaps two or three times a year) I could stop at the nail salon to get a pedicure.

I first witnessed the incident that was to become a trend, when reclined in a cushiony black, leather chair, feet soaking, eyes closed, enjoying the low hum of bubbling water and shuffling flip flops, I heard someone scream my name. I shot up from my semi-conscious state, lurched forward and searched for my child. Then I remembered I was in a nail salon. Alone. Getting a pedicure.

Over at the nail station a little girl about the age of my pre-school daughter shrieked my name again. But she wasn’t yelling for me. She was calling to her own mother, who sat at the next station receiving a manicure. With freshly polished nails, the mother was unable to tend to her child, but the Korean women who ran the salon were eager to appease the girl, who was well behaved but had a smeared fuchsia fingernail.

Sadly, the salon owners are more than willing to accommodate anyone who walks through their doors, and that’s precisely why legislation governing patrons’ behavior at nail salons must be enacted. Clearly, laws are needed as people have continually proven themselves unaware or incapable of reasonable behavior.

It’s not that the children are necessarily ill behaved. And it isn’t just that salons serve as an oasis for grown women seeking momentary respite from their increasingly overwhelming lives. No, the need for legislation is simple. Kids don’t belong there.

The first time I got my nails done professionally I was exactly 27. I know because it was the day after I got engaged. I showed up to work ready to flaunt my new, sparkling finger when my boss caught sight of my stubby, unpolished nails and promptly sent me across the street for a manicure.

The thing is no one needs a manicure or pedicure, and this is particularly true for children under the age of 17. What dried up, scaly skin could they have? They’re babies, and the service is meant for grown women. Kids receiving spa treatments just doesn’t seem kid-like to me.



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