Let me start this by saying I wasn’t in the best frame of mind this morning. I left town Thursday and got home just as Sunday was becoming Monday. I didn’t get much sleep because my OCD was thinking about all the things I needed to do today before my kids woke up. Highly productive, I know. I spent my first couple of waking hours juggling phone calls between American Airlines, DirecTV and Thermador. Don’t ask. Not looking for sympathy–ok, maybe just a little–but also trying to set the scene 😉
In the midst of resetting breakers and rescheduling flights, I realize the available sustenance for my kids’ lunch consisted of granola bars, apple sauce and GoGurt. So I did what any legitimate candidate for Mother of the Year would do…I took the kids to the grocery store and went straight to the Lunchable aisle. Don’t judge.
As we were making our way to the checkout, we ran into a woman–we’ll call her Fashion Critic–who felt inclined to share her thoughts. Here’s how it went:
Fashion Critic: Well aren’t those some interesting outfits.
Me: Yup. They’ve got minds of their own.
Fashion Critic: How old are they?
Me: 5 (Henry) and 3 (Hattie).
Fashion Critic: That’s awfully early to lose control. <Insert smug smile>
At that very moment, I wanted to burst into tears–because that’s what I do when I’m really pissed. I cry. Weird, I know. And then I wanted to tell her to suck it. Mature, I know. I didn’t do either. Shocking, I know. I gritted my teeth and told her to have a nice day in the bitchiest tone I could muster.
What I wish I would’ve said was this:
“Listen, lady. Mind your own business. I honestly don’t care what my kids wear at home, to school, to the grocery store, pretty much anywhere. They like to dress themselves. They rarely match. Sometimes their clothes are a little baggy. I. Don’t. Care. You know what I do care about? The fact that my three-year-old daughter ran downstairs this morning to tell me she had already brushed her teeth and combed her hair. Then beaming with pride, she told me she had already picked out her clothes for school and dressed herself. I told her she looked beautiful and how proud I was of her for doing all of that by herself. Sounds like a total loss of control, huh?”
Listen, my kids aren’t anywhere close to perfect or even easy. They challenge me everyday in more ways than I knew were possible. But I’m thankful for that–or at least I’m trying to be. I know their stubbornness and independence are parts of their personalities, and I’m trying to let them develop without smothering them with my OCD (easier said than done). It’s actually therapeutic for me as a control freak to let my little people express their fashion freedom in whatever way they see fit. I fight a lot of battles as a mom, and this is one I will gladly concede.
If you dress your kids to the nines everyday, awesome. To each his own. Different strokes for different folks. All those cliches. Every family is different, and whatever works for yours is all that matters. This parenting thing is hard enough without everybody and their mother giving you their thoughts on how you’re raising your kids.
Ok, rant over. Just one more thing to that fashion critic at the grocery store this morning…
Suck it, lady. I’m doing the best I can. Have a nice day!
Keep your eyes on your own paper. It doesn’t just apply to test taking.
Go grab a rotisserie chicken and pre-made side dish out of that heated kiosk in the grocery store and grab some fresh broccoli. Heat and eat. Don’t judge. It’s what’s for dinner at my house tonight.