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6 Times My Toddler Put Me on Blast

Photograph by Andrea Wada Davies

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 six months.

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1. "I just farted on Daddy's neck!"

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? Yes.

3. "Chocolate chip cookies? Oh, we have those for breakfast."

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) another day.

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!

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6. "My mom has long armpit hair."

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.

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