Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chubby Dubby Curly Girly

The other day at the mall, a man asked me if my kids were twins. No really, I'm serious. It took me a second to comprehend his question. I processed it, swallowed it and spit. "No, she's 3, he's 1. That's a two year gap". I could tell you a few things I would have RATHER said, but this is public and I do hope my kids will read it one day. And for someone who is currently trying to remove the word 'stupid' from her vocabulary for fear of the 'stupid' police (Alex & Caden) writing me a ticket. I'll refrain.

If it's not bad enough that we have our own insecurities and our own image problems, once your a mother-you carry the burden of your children's until they are old enough to start carrying them themselves. Last night the kids teacher who I love dearly said, 'I could have fed him food for hours to keep him happy, but I didn't want to make him fatter than he is'. I laughed. It's funny, right? Everyone knows our kids have cheeks, they have invisible rubber bands around their wrists and typically resemble the Michelin tire baby until they are 3.

While pregnant, and in my ' 9 month psychotic state of hormone surged delirium', I used to worry about whether or not my kids would be cute. Obviously, like all parents I only hoped for happy, healthy babies with 10 toes and fingers. But what if? What if, like an episode of Seinfeld, your friend peeks over the cradle and with a look of horror can only muster 'she's breathtaking'. I've always thought my kids were the most beautiful creatures I'd ever seen. You obsess over what they will look like for months and months and then you see them for the first time and you think 'Of course, she looks just like herself'. People will say, "She looks JUST like you". You wonder, "Is that good?, Oh no, she looks like me!" You then obsess about their name. Does it sound too feminine, or masculine. Can you shorten it? What's a good nickname? Will kids make fun of them? You play rhyming games and imagine all the possibilities of what they could be called while huddled in the front seat of the school bus. If your Sean, you say the full name loudly as if it's being broadcast at an NFL football game. "IAN PATRICK KOLMER on the tackle" he'd say. Sounds like a good, strong name right?

Alex, the poor dear gets almost no attention from strangers but for her hair. You've all seen her, she could double for Shirley Temple. Her long curly locks, ringlets really, get her so much attention. I've been asked countless times..."Is it natural?" "No lady, I smother my 3 year old's head with harsh chemicals and permed it so I can spend 20 minutes a day combing and detangling it. Just so people like you will make really idiotic comments like that." I don't say it, but I want to. Others will come up and pull the ringlets, run their dirty Costco hors d'oeuvre smeared fingers thru her hair and say "Where does she get it". "HHHHMMMMM, are you asking me if she is biological? Would you like me to tell you if she's adopted? Or should I just tell you that I spent my entire childhood with ringlets and HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT and now spend too much time and money getting it to look flat, limp, & straight." Which may lead you to believe she didn't get it from me. Well, she did.

And Ian, "What a tank", "He's huge", "What do you feed that boy?". It took me months to get over the "Your huge" comments while pregnant and now this? And it's true, both my kids have always topped the charts in the 100th percentile. Despite the fact it looks as though Sean and I fill our kids with Cheeseburger happy meals, and KFC kids platters, they actually eat almost entirely organic food. But like any Mom, all I want to hear is that they are cute, adorable, or what charming personalities they have, WHAT GREAT SENSE OF HUMORS. Throw me a bone here, I'd even take a 'He's Breathtaking'. At what age do these comments become harassment? Have I discovered the root of adolescent self loathing? I did minor in psychology. Maybe I've missed my calling.

For anybody reading, I assume your out there. This is not intended to cause any guilt or feelings of regret in comments you've made towards my kids. Oh no. How can you not? I'd do the same thing. In fact I do. See photo I staged of Ian with Teletubbies. This is just a mom who can see into the future. When Alex is 15, and blaming me for her hair, wishing she could have hair like Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. And when Ian is wishing he could be Wide Receiver rather than Nose Tackle. I'm going to show them this, tell them that I understand, and that it's been difficult for me too. ;)

1 comment:

Malisams said...

I'll never forget wanting to punch that bitch on 23rd that day when you were pushing Alex in the stroller and she said to her companion something rude about Alex's chubbiness. In retrospect, I probably should have quietly removed Alex from the stroller so you could fold it up and bludgeon the woman with it for a while. I'll do better next time. :) People are so stupid and insensitive. Your kids are adorable little munchkins, full of smiles and sillies and funnies. Eff everyone else. :)