I’m not typically a person that has body issues. I look in the mirror and see myself, it’s not always that pretty, but it’s me, and I’m OK with that.
As a young girl and a teenager, my mother did an amazing job of teaching me to be proud of my body – to love it, take pride in it and be happy with it. But no one prepared me for what it would be like to have all of my imperfections put on blast, by a tiny little loud mouth.
My beautiful 5 year old girl absolutely loves being my shadow. Sure, she likes to be in her own light, but she has turned following me around into an art form. One of her favorite places to follow me is into the bathroom at night to watch me either shower or take a nice, long, “relaxing” bubble bath.
As of late, she started dragging a stool over to the side of the tub to regale me with the tales of her day, thus blowing the relaxing portion of the bath. And when she tires of that, then the scrutiny of my body begins:
“Will my boobies get as big as yours?”
“Why ARE your boobies so big?”
“Why do your boobies hang that low?”
“Why do you have to shave?”
“When will I get hair like a mommy?”
“When I’m a mommy will I have marks like that on my belly?”
“Why did I make your tummy have marks again?”
“Why does your tummy hang out like that?”
“Is there a baby in there or are you just fat?”
And on…and on…turning what was supposed to be a relaxing moment into an epic race of how fast I can get myself cleaned, dried and in PJ’s! I found myself getting annoyed at answering the same questions, defining every mole, explaining every piece of hair and defending my weight. It almost got to the point where I’d try to sneak into the shower so she wouldn’t find me! (Clearly as a mom, this NEVER happens.)
I realized I was beginning to hate being naked. That little inner voice you have that says, “You should really lose some weight” was becoming an actual out loud voice, in the form of my daughter. Here I was, the mom who had prided herself on the fact that we were the naked family! We were open, we call parts what they really are, we don’t shame or embarrass each other, naked is naked. And I was all of a sudden I was hiding in the closet with the door shut and bolted just so my small innocent 5 year old wouldn’t ask me why my stretch marks showed when I wore a swimsuit.
Then, it hit me, this little ball of inquisition was in no way trying to be mean or hurtful, she just wants to repeatedly go through step-by-step the process of what happens to her body when she’s “growed up!” Something so simple and innocently beautiful had me freaking out in a closet.
So bring it on tiny lady! I’m sure there is a mole on me somewhere that we have not yet pondered over.