in addition to being the mother of a boy, i am also blessed to be the mother of a preteen daughter i affectionately call “the princess.” the princess is the first child and was the only child for the first four years of her life. the princess was so used to being the only child that when we brought her brother home from the hospital after he was born, it only took a few hours before she asked us when we were going to return him. she was spoiled by two sets of grandparents, one of which is jewish. my jewish mother-in-law was the mother of three boys, which she never hesitates to mention and never lets anyone forget, and the princess is the daughter she never had. once during a birthday party at our house, she took my neighbor (herself the mother of two boys) aside and asked her (between sips of her screwdriver) which kids were hers. after my unsuspecting neighbor pointed her boys out, my MIL responded with, “poor thing, you’ll never know the joy that comes with having a daughter.”
according to my MIL girls are so much easier than boys. not that she would know because she had two maids while her kids were going up, and the third baby’s feet didn’t touch the ground until he was two. since i have one child of each sex, unlike her, and consider myself somewhat of an authority on genetic sex-based behavioral differences, i have decided she’s full of complete shit.
case in point. my princess came home from school and told me she “needs” a bra. i love my daughter dearly, but that child needs a bra just about as much as her brother, the bully, does. granted, it’s not a belly piercing or a nose ring, or even a tattoo, which i’m sure will be coming soon. it’s just a bra. just a simple little bra. so, fine. we go bra shopping. we go look at all the little non-bra bras, which are really just bathing suit tops. we oohed and ahhed over the different colors and patterns and fabrics like two friends out shopping. there was no padding, there was no wire, nothing remotely bra-like about it. just a little triangle of fabric designed to add one small layer under her clothing to cover her almost non-existent but slightly budding lady lumps. and it made her very happy.
so, i have handled my first major developing-daughter crisis. and i guess what i’m most pleased about is that princess came home and told me so matter-of-factly what is was she wanted. there was no hemming and hawing and no apparent discomfort in discussing this issue with me. when i was a child, i would have died before i told my mom i needed a bra. in fact, i didn’t. she told me. and dragged my embarrassed ass down to a department store where some strange old woman measured me to get the right size. as i stood in the middle of the lingerie department while the old woman felt me up in front of god and everyone, i vowed then and there that as a parent i would do things differently and try to make the trip that is puberty as painless as possible for my kids. i feel confident i succeeded with my daughter in her first foray into womanhood.
a few weeks ago a coworker and i were shopping. i love my coworker and she is hysterically funny. she is also olive-skinned with dark brown hair and brown eyes. i am blond with freckles and blue eyes. as we were out shopping and trying on clothes, a dressing room clerk took it upon herself to ask my friend, “does your MOM want to try on some stuff too? now i realize i’m getting older, but there’s only a *ahem* small span in our ages, certainly not a generation’s worth, unless you’re from arkansas. instead of calling her a dumb-ass bitch like i should have and kicked her down and screamed, “WHO’S YOUR MOMMA NOW BITCH?!”, i became completely depressed, if not somewhat obsessed, about my appearance. i went and bought a whole bunch of new moisturizers, magic cosmetics meant to “diffuse” my lines, whatever the eff that means, researched buying my own restylane from france and having my pediatrician sister, dr. laura, inject it into my face (which if not slightly illegal may yield somewhat less than aesthetically pleasing results), and generally was depressed. then i forgot about it.
until last weekend…when i took my son, the bully, to a birthday party. i was running around this outdoor park with him in my tank top, feeling very young and sexy and proud of myself because all the other moms were sitting under the shaded tables while the dads and i were out “bonding” with our boys. a group of us, including some teenagers, were lining up to get in the go-carts when one of the snarky zit-faced attendants tapped me on the shoulder and stated very seriously, “ma’am, your teenager can’t drive the double car unless he’s 18.” *cue crickets* ok, so he ASSumed since i was the only woman there i had to be the mom. at least the violator in question was blond, so it could have been a possibility…but poor attendant boy. little did he realize he was about to have the pent-up wrath from my previous encounter unleashed upon his poor unsuspecting young ass. attendant boy will think twice before he “ma’am’s” anyone else again for a long time.
ok, bitchez. i get it. somewhere, somehow along the way, i have become a mom. i mean i’ve been an actual mom for a while, but evidently, now i look like a mom …and it’s really starting to piss me off. i used to think i looked sexy and young and could pass for 25 from the back. i was a MILF, or so i have been told. not anymore. and sadly, apparently i look like the mom of whomever i happen to be standing next to. at the rate i’m going, people are going to be asking my son at graduation, “what’s your grandma doing here?”
i never would have believed it. my small, beautiful, six-year-old son clocked his seatmate on the bus on the way to school. being that he barely weighs in at 45 pounds, and most of it is hair, this was no small feat. but i digress.
things were going smoothly until the boy accused my son of farting. my son did not take kindly to being accused of cutting the cheese when he, in fact, was not the cutter. a scuffle and shoving ensured. my son, understandably upset, and ready to put an end to this nonsense, hauled off and slugged him one, connecting squarely with the boy’s glasses and knocking out one of the lenses. tears followed.
now here’s the part every parent loves. after receiving a phone call from the school informing me that they were not going to kick him off the bus this time (and suppressing my laughter and secretly being glad my son was the puncher and not the punchee), i called the boy’s mother and delivered the necessary apologies. then we both laughed about it. boys will be boys after all.
my son is now spending the next few days with no tv, no computer, no nintendo. exactly like it was when i was a kid… except back then it wouldn’t have been considered punishment. come to think of it…how did we survive?