Friday evening, I received a phone call from a friend. My friend is 9+ months pregnant, 7 days past her due date, and probably more than a little stir-crazy. She and her husband wanted to go to the show, and asked if I minded having a just girls-date with their 6 year old.
This little woman-child Brooke and I have been friends since she was 1 ½ years old. She is absolute delight, super-intelligent past the point of amazing, and has a sense of humor to boot.
“Of course, I’d love to!” I said, “I’ll be right over!”
I drove up at their house, the garage door opened, and out they came. Little woman-child was carrying her purse with her Target and Barnes and Nobles gift cards. (She had received the gift cards for her birthday, and at her Mom’s baby shower.)
“Got some shopping in mind, Brooke?” I asked. She just grinned, swinging her purse. “Let’s go, chica!”
It was about 7 p.m., and MLH was still out in the field. I knew he was at least 2-3 hours away.
We head north towards Target, and I have an idea.
“Brooke, want to get your nails and toes painted?”
“Sure!” says Brooke.
“Have you ever been to a nail salon?”
“No, ma’am!” she answers.
We drive up to one of the nail salons in a strip mall owned by some Vietnamese proprietors. We walk in, and the male owner says, “Yes?”
Me: “Might we get a polish color change for this little one, both fingers and toes?”
He says, “What her thumb?” (She had a cartoon bandaid on it.)
Me: “She smashed it. Don’t touch it, we won’t paint that one.”
He says, “Okay, pick you color.”
Brooke looks at me, her eyes wide. She grabs my hand, and we walk over to the colors. She is immediately drawn to the wildest neon green shade. Just the very color would probably make her mom go into labor, and cause her dad to sign Brooke up for a convent. She jumps from that green to an iridescent blacky purple. (I can see her at First Baptist on Sunday.) I successfully steer her to an OPI Koala Beary pink that better suits a 6 year old, and we go to the station. A sweet young lady starts working on Brooke’s nails, then her toes. Brooke is still as a mouse, enjoying every minute.
The manicurist finishes Brooke’s nails and toes, and comes around to the front of the station. “Stand up, little girl,” she says.
Brooke looks at me, wide-eyed again, and stands up. I’m staying really close, watching over my chick. The lady grabs her shoulders, and waddles her over to the dryer light island. I say “waddles”, because that’s what it looked like. All she would have had to do is say “Come here.” But she gently grabbed Brooke’s shoulders and baby stepped her right, left, right, left over to the island. Picks her up, sets her on the stool. Puts Brooke’s hands under the light. No way will her feet reach the foot light. “You stay,” she says.
Brooke looks at me like, “Ummm, Janie, what was that about?” I’m kind of shocked, myself, but no one’s hurt, so I grin at Brooke. She grins back. We break into giggles. We talk about the décor, and some other things. Finally, it’s time to go. The little lady releases us, and smiles us out the door. We get in the car. Brooke says, “I couldn’t understand her!” I remind her that the manicurists are from another country, and they don’t have to speak English to do a good job. She’s pleased with her color change.
North we go to Target. We look at toys; she buys a couple with her gift cards, and also, some wrist rattles for her new sibling to be. We segue left into the shoes (yes, men, it starts this early) – Brooke’s been a shoe addict since she was 2, in no small part, thanks to me . We find some new shoes, really cute. Four pair, to be exact. Also, a cute top and some shorts to match the sweet brown embroidered clogs that were on sale.
We pay for our purchases, Brooke utilizing her gift cards for the toys, me buying the rest.
Brooke’s in the mood for Italian food, but Olive Garden is too crazy. It seems there is a softball tourney in town, and bus loads of kids are everywhere. We try Johnny Carino’s, and are able to get in after a 10 minute wait. I text-message her parents to let them know where we are. Brooke asks for her purse. She pulls out an old cell phone and pretends she is text-messaging her dad. I laughed out loud. Then, she pulls out a deposit slip and starts filling it out like she’s going to the bank. This kid absorbs everything she sees at her parents’ office. She tells our waitress, “I’m starving. Would you please bring us some fresh bread and oil? And Janie drinks tea, and I’d like some water, please.”
This kid cracks me up.
Brooke’s parents join us after their movie, and we enjoy a good time, lots of laughs, and a great meal.
It was a perfect girls’ night out.