Kids are so honest. I love, and hate this.
My kids are still in that blissfully unaware stage, where social constraints have not yet clamped down upon their eager little tongues.
My son Dashiell very matter-of-factly told me this morning, “Mama, you have a fat, wobbly tummy.”
Then, just to make sure I understood, he poked it, no doubt imagining it was some kind of gelatinous creature from outer space, as I climbed out of the shower. Thank you, my little love – just what I wanted to hear.
My already fragile post-baby body image could do with a good dollop of truth right now, especially when we have friends coming over, and I’m already wondering what to wear to look sufficiently stream-lined.
But there must have been truth to his observation, as this afternoon, our neighbour’s daughter innocently asked, “Briana, do you have a baby in your tummy?”
“No sweetie.” I managed a forced smile, sucking my stomach in as far as possible and resisting the urge to give her just the teensiest slap.
On the bright side, I am learning to take myself less seriously. It is impossible not to, when living with such small bearers of the truth, who seem to delight in revealing all the aspects of yourself you may not need to be reminded of.
Like the other day, when I was in mid-conversation with a friend, and my charming Dashiell, remarked, “Mama, your tooth is really yellow!”
The truth is, yes my right tooth is pretty yellow, but it is not something I particularly wanted to draw attention to.
“Yes sweetie, it is yellow,” I felt compelled to reply.
I even laughed the other day, when the kids started slapping my bottom in the fruit and vegie section of the supermarket and shouting out “wobbly, wobbly bottom”, at the top of their lungs. They thought it was hilarious and so did I!
Pre-kids, this scenario would have filled me with absolute terror, but today I take it in my stride. So thank you, my honest little delights, for peeling away my vanity piece by piece.
Similarly though, when my kids tell me I look beautiful, I believe them.
Recently Sullivan, my youngest son, when seeing me all dressed up to go out, stared with a look of wonder and said, “Mama, you look like another lady!”
Given that I had been in my hideously “comfortable” mauve dressing gown all day, nicknamed ‘the walrus’ by my partner, I took this as the highest compliment and drove off glowing with self-confidence.
I am constantly astounded by the way our kids can show us such truth about the world and ourselves, even if that seems to mostly involve the ‘wobbly bits’.