I am the first to admit that I like things a certain way. I am the type of person who follows the instructions and I've always been the type who prefers to color inside in the lines.
So, when I discovered my three-year-old daughter painting her toe nails with hot pink nail polish without supervision, I nearly screamed!
First of all, I have no idea how she managed to get the tiny bottle open. My husband always jokes that our kids would never survive in the wild because they can't even open a granola bar without help.
Needless to say, my resourceful toddler not only managed to open the bottle, but she had hot pink polish over her tiny feet.
Normally, I would have made a mad dash for the nail polish remover, while lecturing my daughter about making "good choices." However, she looked so darn proud of herself and so happy that it somehow stopped me in my tracks.
I was fascinated by the fact that the "mess" on her feet didn't bother her at all. I thought of my oldest son who never liked to finger paint or play in the mud because it was "too messy." I couldn't help but wonder if it was his nature or my nurturing that made him that way.
So, with that in mind, I sat down with my pint size esthetician (after removing her from our cream rug, of course) and simply observed.
For once, staying inside the lines didn't matter. How could it, when the lines don't exist in her mind. I even gave in and got my own messy manicure. It's the best one I've ever had.
Sloane is a reporter and anchor for WRAL-TV and the mom of three. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.