Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Parenting Fail

Perhaps you, like me, have always sought to parent with an emphasis on frankness regarding the human body and its natural and normal functions, without shame and with acceptance and appreciation for the wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Perhaps you have always, in private settings, permitted honest observations about the differences and similarities of our bodies, encouraging a dialogue about function over form and of the very subjective and changeable nature of the term "beauty." Perhaps, during your recent pregnancy, your children were encouraged to observe the growth of your belly and even the existence of your stretch marks, so as to foster a sense of normalcy and acceptance regarding the biological functions of the female body, and of the cosmetic changes sometimes rendered by those functions.

Congratulations on being so forward thinking and relaxed and hippie-like and whatnot! Now your child, too, might pipe up with any or all of the following questions and observations (if you're lucky, all within the span of a few days!):

-"Why are your front teeth so big, Mom?"

-(while tenderly patting your face) "Hey, Mom, you forehead skin feels bumpy! Why isn't it soft like the rest of your face?"

-(after bursting in on you as you are exiting the shower) "Huh, Mom, your butt doesn't look the same as mine- yours is sort of SAGGY, isn't it?"

Humph. I think maybe it's time to emphasize the importance of diplomacy and tact over honesty, now.


MotherRunner said...

Ahhh yes. The unintentional cruelty of a frank little child. Can't wait to hear the commentary my kids will have on my body when they get older. :)

Scottish Twins said...

I think about this all the time. Is it better to allow your kids to be honest and just say what's on their mind freely about these things or to point out that it is unacceptable to say these things? If they mention that my belly is big, they aren't implying that big is bad. It's just an honest observation. So, by pointing out that it is wrong to say someone's belly is big, I am the one that is changing their honesty into something negative. From then on they will see big bellies as bad.

It's such a tough thing. Reminds me of that horrific breakfast we had with Damian!!

Swistle said...

The wording/composition of this post gives me a big headrush of joy. Whooo. Think I'd better have a little sit-down on my saggy rear.

d e v a n said...


Nik-Nak said...

My front teeth are too big for my mouth. I also have a LARGE forehead. I can't wait til the kid is old enough to point that mess out.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh I hear about my imperfecitions all the time.

Yesterday's: Z, looking thoughtfully at my upper lip, "Mommy? Are you growing a beard?"