If you have ever had kids, or have been around kids, you know that your own vanity pretty much gets tossed out the window.
Kids, well, they can slay your ego in one fell swoop. Not intentionally of course, as they are cherubs, really. They just haven’t learned to work that censoring mechanism that usually comes with maturity.
(And I say “usually” cause I know an adult or two who have yet to find how that censor works.)
In any case, kids, especially mine, say what comes to mind. And that is why we love them. And also why their comments can be fodder for this mom blogger to share.
It is very humbling to look at yourself or others even through the eyes of your young child.
I’ll never forget the time my son and I were looking at a book about teeth. His were the little pearly white baby teeth at that point. Not the awkward buckish things apparent in his mouth now.
Anyway, this book showed a nice smiling lady who informed kids about how teeth need to be taken care of properly and they are supposed be white.
My son looked at me squarely and asked. “Well how come your’s are yellow, Mommy?”
OUCH. This, after I brought him into the world after five drug-free hours or labor.
Then he added that it was okay because they are “Not green like Nana’s teeth.” And on he went to the next page.
I remember the story of one of my older sisters embarrassing the heck out of our mom. Apparently a well-intentioned woman came over to the stroller where my sister sat and said, “Oh what a cute little boy.” Well my sister, with her little pixie haircut — of which she never forgave my mom for doing — stared back at this woman and said from all of her four-year-old wisdom, “Yeah, and you’re fat.”
And that was that. She was fat as the story goes and my sister, well, she was just telling it like it is.
Kids will do this. They point out what they see. If you look different, they want to know why. Why is he fat? Why so tall? Wearing an ugly shirt? They’ll let you know. Whisker? They reach out and touch it. If you dare have bad breath, look out. No Mercy.
Take my daughter for instance. There is not a lot I can do that she is not there with me. She is my little shadow, so there’s no privacy. Once when I was changing my clothes, she noticed a little birth mark I have. (I won’t tell you where, that’d be TMI.) But she asked what it was. So I told her.
“It’s a Beauty Mark.” (I am not sure why they call them that. They are clearly NOT beautiful, even on Cindy Crawford’s model face, and I think it can only be the fact that such an ugly thing to appear on one’s body would otherwise traumatize such a person if it was not labeled “a mark of beauty.”)
Then I thought I’d better come clean with her. “It’s called a mole.”
She went to touch it and see what it was all about. It didn’t seem to faze her then.
But the next time she saw it, that was when she uttered in sheer disgust:
“Blech, that is the ugliest mold I ever saw. Daddy! Mommy has a really ugg-a-ly mold!”
And she left me there to wallow in my ugly “mold.” I don’t dare correct her. It’s too damn funny.
And vanity — well clearly there is no place for it here.