Thursday, May 2, 2013

Did that really just happen?

Baby. Baby. I need a baby. NO NO--not me (chill yourself. I'm not even a tiny bit ready!) But you've certainly heard people say that before, right? They want a baby. And rightfully so. So squishy and cute and ohhh a little sweet bundle to love. I, too, wanted a baby. Each time. And I got two little beautiful girls.

But the thing is? They are babies, for like, four point two seconds. Then, they are kids. They don't stay babies for long. They're kids for a good bit of the time they're in your nest, and then they're tweens, and then they're teens (and oh God, hold me)....and then they're off to college and like, Mom, who? (I may hold back tears just typing that. Ouch. My girls better not do that to me. Sob.)

It's a very short, trust me, VERY short time until they are telling you their opinion, verbalizing everything they absorbed that day (mostly through your parenting mistakes...speaking from experience, ahem), and causing you to fear the future, and/or pray for wisdom daily---because parenting ain't no joke, kids.

I struggle every single day with the things I realize that my not yet 3 year old (but too soon for my liking) absorbs. I mean, it's everything, basically. And I totally, TOTALLY understand why parents have full conversations spelling out every letter of--

S-H-O-U-L-D W-E G-O T-O T-H-E P-A-R-K T-O-D-A-Y- ???

Because God-Forbid, you change plans, something goes awry, or whatever--you will never live it down.

Also, I suck at following along with secret parental spelling contests. I'm slow, I guess.

But that? That's the easy stuff.

It gets harder. And my kid isn't even 3 yet.

The other day, Emeline came across a photo from my senior year. I was in a bikini, giving a piggy back to my friend, also in a bikini--on the beach. We were young and cute. Yes, we were in our glory days, if you will. We looked good.

She looked at it. Paused. Looked up at me.

Then she said, "Mom? You were skinny?" (while pointing to the picture), in a sweet, innocent voice.

I sat there, blink-blink-blink. Did my 2 year old just say that? Skinny? Where did she hear that word? Have I said that without even thinking? Oh, sweet Jesus, why am I having this conversation with her already. She is too young. This is all my fault. 

In shock, I just very calmly said, "Oh, you think?" (not sure if she even knew what she was saying)

She looked at me. Looked at the picture. Looked back at me, and said...."Oh ::giggle::, you're skinny now, mom!"


Shock doesn't even begin to describe it.

I scrambled. I started telling her about health, and how taking care of your body doesn't mean you are skinny. I talked to her about eating well, and exercising, and how it makes our bodies strong so we can do fun things. It's more important to be healthy, I emphasized that over and over and OVER.

Then she said, "Oh, yea, you're helfy, mom!" and then bopped away like she does without a care in the world.

I was left there feeling awful, honestly. Not about myself. Not about my body. BUT THAT MY KID JUST USED THE WORD SKINNY.

You know, I've thought about this, over and over. I don't use that word in reference to my body. I can't remember ever saying it out loud in front of her. The only thing I can remember talking about are stupid skinny jeans. Which, honestly--I need to come up with a new name for them. Because it is NOT OKAY for my kid to use the word skinny.

The truth is, though. She probably picked it up from adult conversation. Someone saying, "oh you're looking skinny" (while meaning a compliment, obviously, or paying tribute to hard work)--things that girlfriends say to one another, or family members in quick conversation.

It made me realize, even more so, those ears are always listening.

And I could not believe that I was already having, essentially, a talk about body image with my toddler.

It sucked.

Every day is a challenge. A challenge to remember to choose my words properly. These kids are smart. They soak it up. The fact that they are sponges, as I told my husband, is both amazing and the worst thing ever all rolled into one.

When they can count in spanish, you're all BEAMING from ear to ear with pride.

And then they repeat something utterly embarrassing you thought you said in private to your husband, in front of all your family, and you want to go hide in a corner.

All this to say. Every single day my kid teaches me more. Babies--they turn into kids, fast. And soon issues like sleep deprivation will feel more like a minor annoyance than The Worst Thing Ever. The real things you deal with as your kids age--those are the toughies.

...and she's not even 3.

Seriously. I pray for wisdom now, for my future.

This ain't no easy thang.


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  1. My goodness! I talked about "little ears" today too! I cannot believe some of the things KP says and then I say "noooo...we don't say THAT" and then I realize, duh, she heard it from me! UGH!

  2. This post makes me giggle and give a big AMEN because you KNOW I feel the same. I know our girl isn't here yet but it drives me bonkers when people only talk about having babies... as if they forget they are actually HUMANS. But thanks for the reality check on the whole 'skinny' thing - I mean obviously we're trying to keep our language in check but I needed that reminder that there are more 'bad' words than curse words! Another great post, as always :)

  3. Girl! My jaw dropped when I read what Eme had said (before I even read further). Stopped, and sipped some water, thinking, "How the heck does she know THAT word?!? She's not even 3!" LoL.

    And w/ Emeline being just as verbal as Trey was at that age, just wait for these next 2 years to come! *whew* It's crazy-awesome and scary all in one! Haha. But at the end of the day, you get so baffled at how smart they are and you think that your kid is some kind of genius. LoL. Even when they do ask you if they're new baby cousin can drink breast milk from YOUR breast! (Yup...that happened this wknd)

    Mom life is oh-so-awesome. :)

  4. UGH it's crazy how easily they take in everything we say and then compress it into one little sentence, that keeps you thinking all day long... they are so smart, and so much like a sponge...

  5. We use the word healthy in our house too. When my one and only baby turned 13, I cried a lot. I know time is short and she will be gone before I know it. Your girls are very cute and remind me a lot of my girl when she was their age.

  6. I love love being a girl mom, but there is SO much responsibility that comes with it. I had so many body/eating issues for years, and I would hate to pass that down to my girls. We focus on words like healthy here too. We also don't deny the girls and occasional treat, but make sure they know that mommy and daddy work out for our health and that we should always be active.

  7. Yup. Gray says things every single day that make me look at him, wide-eyed and ask, "How do you KNOW that?"

  8. Girl. This whole getting older, we are responsible for what they do, say, etc. has me stressed out lately! Of course, I knew that going in, but it just means even more to me now that its here. I actually blogged about parenthood today. It's been somewhat heavy on my heart lately. It's just that I want so much for these little souls and I don't want to be the one to lead them the wrong way. Ahh..thank goodness God loves them even more than I do!

  9. It's scary how fast they can pick up on words like that!! Good for you for enforcing the word "healthy"!!

  10. I think it's awesome that you are so aware about speaking to your daughters about body image even at this young of an age. Maybe by talking about this on here more moms will be sensitive about the words that come out of their mouths. I have a friend who had an eating disorder because her mom would always tease about her being fat. Breaks my heart.

    Kids DO soak up everything. Nathan commented recently about a picture of me that was taken while I was nursing Luke in public under a cover. Nathan said "were you feeding Luke? Did you wear that so people don't see your boobies?" And he said boobies like it was the funniest word ever! I had no idea he knew that word!

  11. It's crazy what they pick up. As a teacher I hear lots of stuff that's probably not meant to leave the house or that parents didn't even directly say to their child but they heard. Now that I'm expecting my own little one, I know I have to be super careful once that stage comes. They'll pick it up anyways, though! Love how you emphasized healthy! :)

  12. I think you are mature beyond your years, Katie. And that maybe your little girl already has a bit of that trait in her. My oldest (son) used that word the other day too but people call HIM that all the time so I know where he got it from... *sigh*

  13. The fact that you turned that into a teachable moment is awesome- Emeline is lucky to have such a great mom and it sounds like you handled it perfectly :)