When my pregnancy ended, my feet remained as they had before I gave birth — swollen and achy — for weeks. I worried that I had a blood clot or other medical condition that was not allowing my feet to regain their former size and shape.
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I don't have what one might call pretty feet to begin with, but after going through that experience, I was left with particularly rough, dry feet and jagged toenails. Plus, because I was caring for an infant alone, I was beyond overwhelmed and exhausted.
So, when the swelling finally subsided, I scheduled a pedi. Ahhh, the massaging action of the water jets relieving my long-burdened feet, the layers of lotion being applied, the filing of calluses, the nail trimming and polish application. All so nice.
While all of this was going on, my tiny newborn slept in her car seat beside the chair where this blissful experience occurred.
I still love that memory, so, two years later, I decided to splurge again. The pedi was scheduled for a recent weeknight. Again, I chose to take my daughter along. She is used to going to the salon with me, and I thought she would enjoy seeing her friends at the shop again, and watch Mommy getting her toenails painted.
When we arrived, she clung tightly to me. No surprise there, as that is how she usually is when we are reunited at the end of the long work day.
The cosmetologist brought a chair from the waiting area for my daughter and placed it next to mine. My toddler, however, chose to sit on my lap, which was just fine. She watched with quiet interest as the cosmetologist massaged and filed my feet. I jokingly told her to pay attention so she could do this to me at home.
After the procedure was complete, my smooth feet and shiny toes were propped up while my polish dried. My daughter and I were left to our own devices as a timer was set and the cosmetologist returned to the front of the salon.
Immediately, my daughter sprang to life and began staging a pedicure redo. She grabbed a towel and attempted to dry my feet; she grabbed the pedi tools, including the timer in an attempt to file my feet some more; and of course she grabbed the clippers to make her own art on my toenails. And for her most amazing feat, she figured out how to turn the water on in the spa. (I don't think I could've even done that.) So, the last few minutes of my pampering had a bit of a damper on them, but that's OK. Even though she managed to smudge the polish on one of my toes and it had to be redone, which meant more sitting and waiting while my daughter attempted her first pedi on Mommy.
The whole experience was quite different than it was two years ago, but I'm still glad my daughter was along. Who knows, maybe she really will learn to pamper me at home? I would be happy to return the favor for her.
First-time mother Amy Dulebohn is a page designer and feature reporter at The Herald-Mail. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.