Ri time


Ri is so fortunate it’s Winter. It’s the only way that I’d agree to manicures right after work and school. In the Spring, Summer and Fall, we’d be on our bikes or at the park. But the dark combined with the cold leads us indoors. In addition, Mario got to go to Grandma Ionno’s house this week and Ri had to go back to school so I promised her a night where she could choose our itinerary.

When I picked her up at Kids Club, she had it all set. Janira would come with us and we’d go to the nail salon and to dinner. She is not a cheap date.

“Chop chop lollipop!” She pushed me out the door towards the car. “We’ve got some nails to make pretty!”

She begged for a pedi along with the manicure but I nixed that request. Janira and Ri flipped through magazines while I got my gel polish scraped off. I never used to get my nails done but recently felt uneasy about my nails while sitting in a work meeting. Everyone had gorgeous manicured nails and mine looked like a cave man’s. So I tried this gel process. I regret it. You have to get your nails done every couple of weeks and I hate sitting in a salon for an hour. So, I asked the tech to take off my gel polish and just put on regular clear polish. She looked at me like I had just told her to cut my wrist.

Ri and Janira waited patiently for their turn and loved every minute of it. They read about Katy Perry and Beyonce. When their nails were finished, they flaunted them off to me. Two different colors on each hand just like Katy Perry would do.

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We decided we’d stay in for dinner since they wanted time to play. They wanted a “fancy” dinner so we got out candles and china. They got dressed up – make-up and all – while I made their dinner. They made me call their names for dinner (yes, I am a trooper). They walked in the room and owned it with their confidence and style.

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They turned on some Bieber to eat to and made me leave the room (gladly). We stopped at DQ for dessert and took Janira home. Ri and I returned home, watched National Geographic Wild, and snuggled in bed. We were asleep within 10 minutes. I woke to Ri kicking me in the head.

When we turned on the Today show at 7 am, it was 39 degrees. We decided that Ri would ride her bike to school and we’d stop at Stauf’s for a hot chocolate and bagel. Ri begged me to get her a hot cocoa in a cardboard cup so she could drink it in class. Another girl had done that last week and she thought it was cool.

And there she was at her computer as I went to leave her school. Looking like a college kid. For a brief few seconds, I had an image of her at age 19 sitting in her frosh English class with her hot chocolate (I think she will stick with that hot drink over coffee) waiting for her girlfriend to sit next to her to chat about their weekends. Then the image left me. Good riddance I thought. Let me keep her my little second grader for a bit longer.

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