Saturday, October 17, 2009


I have no photos to share, only a story, one that will perhaps make you smile. The other day I had volunteered to make cornbread for a teachers' crafting night. I readily agreed because I thought of that big bag of cornmeal my 'base-access' friend had given me. I forgot that I had used it all up before I left for the summer. Thankfully, we have a 'bakkal' (mini-grocer) on the bottom floor of our apartment building. I popped Big Ben on my hip, grabbed my keys, and headed down to see if they had any Turkish substitute for cornmeal.

To get to the bakkal, I pass the "Guzellik Salon" which is a sort of mani-pedi-massage-hair removal kind of place. It is owned by my next door neighbor, one of my closest Turkish friends. Her windows are tinted in her salon, she can see me, but I can't see her. She popped out and insisted I pass Big Ben in to her. I went on in the bakkal, then came back to retrieve my boy. Of course, she asked me to sit and chat. I did. Then she insisted I drink Nescafe with her, I did. Then she noted that my flip-flop clad feet had no toenail polish. I smiled and quickly suggested to her, "Oh. Um. I was just going to ask you for a pedicure." (Disclaimer: it's cheap here and it supports her business.)

So, she filled the foot bath with hot water, and I stuck my feet in. At this point, Big Ben is already having a heyday, but even with my feet stuck in water, I was able to manage him. Then my friend tore off 1/2 her chocolate bar and handed it to him. He's 12 months old, and it was cappachino infused no less. Brown juice was running down his face. Remember: he does not walk, he does not crawl. He scoots on his bottom. So off he scooted, leaving chocolate hand prints everywhere he went.

Then my friend tells me, "I want to give you a manicure today. This is free. You've sent all your school friends to me, this is my gift." She begins filing my nails and selects the BRIGHTEST red you've ever seen in your life for my fingernails. I don't paint my fingernails. I'm a mommy. I wash dishes, change diapers, braid nails were last painted for the 2006 staff banquet, I think.

Suddenly this situation has gone from mildly amusing to horrible in a matter of seconds. I'm about to have red nails. I'm about to have wet nails. And I have a chocolate baby. I hopped up and grabbed a cloth, tried to pry his teeth apart to get the chocolate when my friend wasn't watching, then swabbed his face and his hands and her floor with the same cloth. (She would have DIED if she had seen me do that.)

But of course, the minute the polish went on, he smirked and off he went. Diving into the plants. Grabbing the electric cord (for the water bath). Splashing in the foot bath. Unloading nail files. Playing the drums on her glass coffee table. She doesn't know English, so I was saying things like 'Cut it OUT!!!' and "GET over here!" with a big cooing smile on my face. He pulled up on her arm as she painted. She just laughed and said in the nicest voice, "Naughty boys, we love them." (which is really true.) He patted my arm as I tried to sit still. I was mentally preparing myself for red nail polish to go flying on her white walls. It was awful. I kept hissing, "STOP IT!" But it was as if he knew. Mom has red nails. Mom has wet nails. Then my friend got what she thought was a brilliant idea. She took a glass saucer, put 7 sugar cubes on it, and put it on the floor in front of him. He smirked and started sticking them all in his mouth. Sugar water ran down his face and he just grinned. Then he banged the glass plate on her tile floor. It was a nightmare.

As soon as she finished I snatched him up, carried him like an airplane (so my nails would not smudge), and put him straight to bed.

I don't think I like being incapacitated.


The Fish Family said...

I could just envision the entire crazy scene. Hope those nails stay pretty for a long time. Sugar cubes and chocolate?? What was she thinking?

Kelley said...

Oh what you must do to keep up relations in another country - over here, we're not nearly that nice :) I laughed through the whole story. I bet Ben can't wait to go back to the bakkal! Did you ever get the cornbread made???

becca said...

oh my!! I can't imagine attempting to get anything like that done witha one year old!!

Deena said...

So Cute! Somehow they always know!!

Site Meter