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Oh, the innocence of little babes! They're open and imaginative, untouched
by the cares of the world. They say what they mean without any agenda, speaking
from their big, pure hearts per their ever-playful nature. They're gorgeous
little things, really. But they also have Really. Big. Mouths.
Yes, kids—specifically toddlers—love to tell all. They spit the truth, and although that's great, sometimes
the truth hurts. Because we all know that not every truth is meant to be
announced to the check out section of the grocery store or to that group of
perfect mothers (judgmental biatches) at pre-school drop off. Yep, a toddler's
truth is often a mom's "oh shit" and just all around TMI. It's not their fault
though, they're just being real. They have no idea why what they just said just
made their mom die a million mortifying deaths.
Having a toddler means minding my p's and q's so that
I'm not outed for all the private moments or the "unmomly" things I may do. But
because I'm human, and not June Cleaver, I slip up (more often than I'd like to
admit). Turns out, I don't have to confess my slip ups because my 3-year-old
confesses for me. Here are 8 ways my toddler has put me on blast in the past
Though this didn't expose any questionable parenting action
on my part, it was a Level 9 on the embarrassment charts. My daughter shouted,
not just uttered, this statement from atop my husband's shoulders while towering
above the crowd of shoppers swarming at the checkout stands during the busiest
time of the day. And this riveting announcement got attention. Conversations
halted, checkers stopped mid-scan, babies stopped crying, people looked up from
their "In Touch Weekly" magazines. Even satellites in space stopped to pivot toward the
Park 'N' Shop at 40 Village Road. Well, the little wild lady got what she wanted: a roar of laughter and confirmation that farts will always be funny.
2. "My mom wants Botox."
My toddler has no idea what Botox is, for all she knows it's a delicious type of pizza.
I try my best to shelter my daughter from any unhealthy
statements or influences about body image or pressures to look a certain way.
We all know that beauty is on the inside, and that self-worth and happiness
trumps all. But, apparently, I slipped up and said this vain thing within
earshot of my daughter whose hearing is so sharp she can hear the neighbor
three doors down licking an envelope. She overheard my, "Oh gawd
I'm feeling gross and 40, I think I want botox" whimpers to my husband, but
decided not to let me know until she decided to let everyone at her school
field trip know. It elicited a mixture of giggles, gasps and disapproving looks
from the adults, and I didn't even try to follow up. My toddler has no idea
what Botox is, for all she knows it's a delicious type of pizza, but those moms
knew. They knew and now they think I'm vain and irresponsible to support negative body image in front of my daughter. Did I feel shame? Yes. Do I still want Botox?
3. "Chocolate chip cookies? Oh, we have those for
OK I'm not going to lie. There have been a few mornings in
the vast sea of all parenting mornings that we are running late, I am bone
tired and it just makes perfect sense to give my toddler a chocolate chip
cookie for breakfast. Sure I give it to her with the accompanying disclaimer
"OK, sweetie this is a special treat. We don't usually eat cookies for breakfast
but today is a special day, OK?!" And somehow I expect my daughter to understand
that she must repeat that entire statement when she desires to reveal to her
teachers what she had for breakfast. My daughter's teacher sent a friendly,
light-hearted note home with my daughter that day that said, "Stella told us
she had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast! Lucky girl!" Of course she was
probably just appreciating and sharing in the humor of it all, but of course my
mom guilt had me thinking that the subliminal message was "We've got our eyes
on you, lazy, careless mom."
4. "Is that the lady who looks like a crow?"
We used to have a real grouch of a neighbor. I mean she
seemed so miserable that any encounter with her made you feel like you had to
go home and listen to a Josh Groban song to make you want to live life again. Even
though she would make rude unsolicited comments whenever she saw me in the
garage or roll her eyes at me whenever I waved hello, I still tried my best to
be positive about her in front of the kids. But, truthfully, my comments deteriorated
with time and became alternating statements of "poor lady, she must be going
through something that is making her unhappy" and "keep it down or the crow
lady will come over and turn us into stone." And she nearly did the day my
daughter practically shouted this question to me when we were no more than 5 feet away from Lady Crow. I wasn't so much embarrassed as I was afraid she
would morph into a dragon and kill us with her fire breath. Thankfully, she
just let out a sinister laugh and walked inside, letting us live (in fear)
5. "That's not true, mommy."
Sometimes, with everything on your parenting plate, you just
feel like sitting some things out and taking a breather. And sometimes your
absence from those things call for answers the next day. And sometimes you say
things like, "Oh sorry I didn't make it to your Nail Wrap/Essential Oils/Stella
and Dot party last night, I had to help my son complete a big science project
that was due." You leave the "due" part open ended so that it's not a complete
lie—he DOES have a science project due ... in three months. But then sometimes your
daughter calls you a liar right in front of the person you cancelled on and are lying to. D'OH!
There has been one occasion in the past few cold winter
months where I went 10 days without shaving my pits. My daughter happened to
catch a glimpse one day when I was changing, and it immediately became her
favorite way to get a cheap laugh. Anyone who would come over would learn about
my underarm situation. Thank goodness they were all friends who could laugh it
off and not judge me for my dark, lapse of underarm maintenance. And honestly,
I wouldn't have characterized my underarm hair as "long." Stubbly maybe, but
not long. It was way more low-pile rug than shag carpet.