And for once I was SuperMom

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Princess Peanut

My daughter is obsessed with tutus, princess dresses, and fairy wings. The other day we went to a friend’s house and the first thing she whipped out of the closet was a ballet pink tutu. I looked at my friend,
“She is obsessed with tutus,” I shrugged apologetically.
“That makes sense, because so is her mother,” she responded. It took me a second to realize that she was teasing me.

My daughter has taken to calling herself ‘Princess Emma.’ We haven’t really introduced much about princesses to her, but they are everywhere in children’s programming. Even just watching The Wiggles: they sing songs about Sleeping Beauty and nursery rhymes. I haven’t avoided fairy tales and nursery rhymes because that seems a bit extreme, and quite frankly there must be something to them because they haven’t gone away. There must be something in tales of princes and princesses that clicks in our archetypal cores because wouldn’t a culture that favors the ‘new,’ like our own, have tossed them out by now? But they are still here.

Last week she was running around in an over large princess dress, it was falling off her shoulders so she was running with her little arms akimbo to keep it up. With her floppy toddler run, tiny body, crooked dress, and awkward arm position she looked far from regal. Adorable? Yes. Regal? Hardly.
I have taken to calling her ‘Princess Peanut.’ The name just seemed to fit. Had you told me that I would be referring to my female child as a princess I would have told you that no such thing would ever leave my lips. The name occurred to me the other night, while she was running around in that too big pink and green dress, and as the words spilled out of my mouth she veritably vibrated with joy.
“Yeah, I’m Princess Peanut,” came out of grinning lips.

I think I shall just take her where she is, she likes dressing up, and to be completely honest so did I. If I had fairy wings and a tutu as a child I would have worn them a lot. Come to think of it I did have a tutu; I think I didn’t wear the yellow frilly concoction too often because it was itchy. This is what she likes, this is where she is. Should I encourage it by buying ‘princess’ merchandise? I don’t know. I think in a home where her father already throws things at her so ‘she won’t be afraid of the ball later,’ and a mom who refuses to do ALL the housework I think a true princess attitude won’t last.
The belief that she is beautiful and powerful? I can get behind that.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Your Birth Story Here

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I was nervous about giving birth again as I answered, ‘yes,’ my voice started to crack and I my eyes started to tear. I started to talk about how I would have to be insane to not be nervous about birth again.
Some of you know this and some of you don’t but Emma’s birth was long, very long. After 38 hours of labor my doctor offered my Pitocin and I asked for a c-section. Two hours later my daughter was born. My doctor later told me that the cord was wrapped her around and her head was cranked back, Emma was not descending nor would she have. She called the c-section a ‘miracle.’

So, yes, I am nervous. I didn’t get to have an all natural birth. I did get to have a healthy baby. It was long and it was hard and it scares me to think of doing it again. But by the end of the day, or the night, I had a healthy baby and that is the point.

Before I actually went into labor I thought that c-sections were only for women that weren’t educated and didn’t know their options and allowed doctors to make all the decisions for them. Then I was in labor with no interventions for 38 hours. Let’s just say that my mind changed.
Before I went into labor I had hitched my wagon to the all natural birth and labor train. I still think that there are good principles there and that some interventions are poorly timed and in some cases can cause more harm than good. I do not think that, ‘98% of all labors,’ should go naturally, as I have heard people say. One in three women in Kenya still die in childbirth….I read that on a billboard in Nairobi, who knows if it’s true. The point is that childbirth was dangerous and still can be.
Before I went into labor I used to think that no women should be denied the right to an all natural birth. I would try to influence friends to read books and learn their options. Then I realized that some women don’t care. They just want that kid out and healthy. To a certain extent I think that’s okay. There’s a part of me that wishes they would care. There’s another part of me that’s louder and says it’s none of my business.

So I am nervous. I do care and I would like to push this baby out naturally. There’s also a part of me that wouldn’t mind just being cut open and having that baby taken out of me. Without going into a long over explanatory medical drama, there were a few moments where I thought that my midwives here weren’t going to allow me to try for a VBAC and I realized how tore up I got thinking I was losing the chance to ever have a vaginal birth. This very well may be my last pregnancy and this very well may be my last chance at a vaginal birth. We sorted it out and they have given me the go ahead to try. I have had moments of sadness when I hear women talk about their birth, but I feel like we made the best decision for me and my daughter.

In the end if you have had amazing birth experiences…be thankful.
If you have had to have c-sections…be thankful.
If you have healthy children…be thankful.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Body Beautiful

I’m twenty eight weeks pregnant. Officially in the homestretch. The end is nigh. Soon I will have my body back to myself and I will have a new little human being to care for.
Pregnancy is the easiest part of parenthood. All I have to do is eat and be extremely uncomfortable. I think it’s made to be uncomfortable so you want it to be over, because otherwise it’s really easier to keep them inside.
Today the checker at the grocery store was cooing at Emma and then looked at me and said,
“And Mama looks like she’s about to drop,” she smiled eying my belly.
“Oh no, I still have a long way to go, I’m twenty eight weeks” I swiped my card, she offered my kid stickers and we moved on. Some of you have picked up my initial insecurity about my large belly. I show early and my belly gets very big. That might be because I am short and have a short waist. That might be because of perspective the belly looks large because the person orbiting behind it isn’t that big. Who knows? Unfortunately it is not a matter of opinion, but of fact.
Early in my pregnancy I had a couple of friends look me in the eye and tell me that I looked fine and stop worrying about it. My husband has also repeatedly said things of the same nature. So I took their advice. Someone asked me if I was feeling better about it and I said I think I was. Come to think of it, I hadn’t thought of it much. I’m pregnant, this is what my body does, this is what it needs to do, there’s not a thing I can do about it.
I will tell you what pregnancy has done for me, it has made me love my non-pregnant body. I find myself daydreaming about my waist. I remember in high school standing before the mirror and whipping up my shirt, squinting at my belly, and wishing that thick waist would turn into something longer and thinner, more waspy and more delicate. Now I can’t wait to have that waist back, that non-achey, leap off the couch without wincing, waist. I love that waist. I miss my butt and thighs, those fit in my favorite jeans, run for three miles, butt and thighs. I miss those. I miss those jeans too. Any qualms that I had about fitting into some narrow ideal of beautiful are gone, I would be happy just have my body back the way it was.
And give it a hug, because it's been through a lot.
I don’t know that I feel specifically beautiful as of late, I think my back hurts too much for me to care all that much. I feel largely utilitarian. Pun intended. So I look forward to getting my body back and walking around in hips that don’t pinch, slipping boots over feet that aren’t swollen, and loving it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Are Koreans Better Parents?

Amidst all this discussion whether or not American kids are brats or French parents are better I had started falling back into an old pattern of thought; that other cultures are ‘better’ than mine.

I took Emma to the library the other day. When I walked in there were two Korean moms with their toddler aged children playing at the train table. By the time I had sat my large pregnant body down and turned around Emma had jacked a train from the one of the Korean children. I moved over and corrected Emma, I started to take the toy and gave up when she protested. (Pathetic, I know. But I get tripped up on this one, because I just told her not to take a toy from a child and then I’m doing it to her, I know that it’s different, but I think she sees it that way. And I really, really didn't want her to throw a temper tantrum in the library.) I meekly smiled at the mom, all the while telling myself that she was judging me as a another weak American parent with a bratty child. The mom distracted her child away from the table, which was a good move, but only furthered to sink me into the mire of guessing at her thoughts.

A few moments later I looked up and the same mom was wrestling a train away from the grip of her toddler. Straight up two handed tug of war. I smiled as I looked at my own American ‘terrible two.’ I guess toddlers are toddlers. We all come into this world selfish and need to learn how to share, no matter what our race or nationality.
We’ve been potty training for the past three weeks. Yep, it’s taking that long. Yes, my daughter is ready, she shows all the signs of readiness; she can make a pincher with her fingers and go up on tippy toe. She was NOT interested in learning, for several months she actually ran away from the little potty screaming. So we waited until we got her to willingly sit on it and we were ready. If anything we may have waited too long. In this three weeks of struggle I have had several other mothers say that in European countries they train their children far before we do. I again marched down the thought path of ‘other cultures are better than mine.’

I think one thing we have to be careful about is plucking parts of other cultures out willy nilly. Culture is a whole being, things exist within a culture among a framework of understandings and behaviors. Yes, Europeans may potty train their children earlier than we do, but one thing to remember about Americans is that we prize our personal possessions very highly. We are also among the more germaphobic cultures, this probably has to do with ambiguity avoidance. Americans are among the WORST when it comes to dealing with ambiguity. So for us dealing with months on end of accidents is stressful and distasteful.
Doubt me on the ambiguity avoidance? Here’s how we train our children to believe that they will know everything that is going to happen to them. A few Saturdays ago I took Emma to the library and there was an entire one hour activity going on teaching children what to expect when you go to the dentist. An hour? On the dentist? I think a short conversation about what is going to happen is a good idea, it’s quite an odd thing really, to go sit in this big chair and let all these people poke around in your mouth. I do like to give Emma warnings on things and tell her what we’re doing or where we’re going, because she has no control over any of it,
‘Time to change your diaper,’ I say.
‘No I don’t want to change my diaper!’ She screams. And you know what? It happens anyway.
An hour class on visiting the dentist seems a bit much to me. All this does is teach your child that they will know exactly what will happen to them everywhere they go. That message is not only untrue but weakens their ability to roll with the punches.

I think we can learn from the French about parenting techniques and I think we should turn a mirror back on ourselves. Why are our kids incapable of sitting in a restaurant and theirs are? One thing that has rang in my mind from reading the article on French parenting, the author said that her French friends don’t have to jump off the phone because their children interrupt them or throw temper tantrums, almost every time in the past week that I have been on the phone with a friend Emma has blown it up and I’ve had to hang up. So now I get to sit back and think about what I am not doing well, and why she is doing that.
No culture gets everything right and no culture is superior to another. I think looking at each other and learning from each other is the best thing we can do.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Pretty Good Wednesday

There seems to be this rage against ‘perfectionism’ in the blogosphere. One of my sisters sent out an email with a link to a beautifully written and funny blog wherein the blogger confessed, with pictures, to all of her imperfections. I laughed while I read it, and thought, ‘Me? Push perfectionism? Have you read my blog?’ I wrote back that I hope I don’t perpetuate perfectionism, her response assured me that I didn’t.

Wait, what do I perpetuate? For women I think you either fall on presenting yourself like you’ve got it all together or you’re uber self deprecating. I know I tend to land on self deprecating. Most of the time it’s done for humor. I like myself, I know what I’m good at, I might complain, but if you corner me I actually like my life, I like my body, I like my face, I like my husband, and I like my kid. Some of that has to do with just plain giving up, my boobs and butt are not going to magically morph into Sofia Vergara’s so I might as well learn to like them.

Today I think I did well. Not perfect but well. Not ever perfect, but good with no harm done, that is what I strive for. The past few weeks while we’ve been potty training have been a mess, literal and figurative. There’s been temper tantrums and crying, from everyone but Scott. So here’s how it went:

I hauled myself out of bed at 7:30 to my husband snuggling with Emma on the couch, he was reading a book on theology and she was watching The Wiggles. And there was coffee already made. [Loss of perfect points because there was TV involved and Scott got up with the kid, because shouldn’t I be doing it all?]

Breakfast, and shower. Scott leaves for work. I ‘Dora’ Emma and give her a bowl of dry cheerios to eat in front of the TV while I ‘finish’ myself. No makeup, passable job on hair, and yoga pants. [Still a loss of points, because there was TV involved and if I was perfect wouldn’t I have managed to get makeup and stylish clothes on without using TV?]

9:00, I turn off TV, there were protests but no tantrums. I say she can watch some after her nap. We’ll see if I follow through. I clip her into her booster seat with play-do. She asks for the blue and happily goes at it. I sit next to her and watch, at one point I lean over and show her how to correctly use the cookie cutter to make shapes. She starts screaming and tears the star I made into little bits. Ugh. I don’t react, I think. I don’t know if I would like it if someone messed with my play-do, but this is a totally unacceptable reaction. I don’t let feelings of rejection or hurt come in, because after all it’s just play-do and this isn’t about me, it’s about her. I calmly tell her reaction is unacceptable and rude. She calms down. She asks for the green, I ask if we can trade. Even when I was a child I hated when other kids mixed up the play-do. So through some bargaining and outbursts I get her to trade. I try to demonstrate skills with my own play-do, no go. Oh well I guess we’re not ready yet. She asks for the blue ball I just made, she does it politely and I give it to her. It gets mashed up with the green, I flinch. It’s not about me, it’s about her. After all I made the play-do for her, and really, what do I care? [I think I break even on perfect points here; because I was able to let my kid do something without getting too much of myself in the way, I tried to teach her things but let go when I realized she wasn’t ready.]

She begins to occupy herself with toys and I wash dishes and start laundry. When I taught high school art those students certainly didn’t need me hovering over them all the time. So I would sit at the large table where I did demonstrations and do something that I could break concentration on, like work on an example drawing or another piece of art unrelated to the class. I couldn’t grade, that took too much mental work, but I could stop drawing and walk around or stop to answer questions. That way I was accessible but allowing them to work on their own. I applied this principle to today. [Gain of perfect points, because I was able to allow her to play without me and get housework done. Some would say loss because I should be paying attention to my kid all the time, I disagree.]

At one point I put her up on the counter when I dyed some of the play-do red. The recipe I found for play-do involves cooking the dough and then kneading in the dye after it is done. I ended up with blue, green, purple, yellow, and ‘white,’ because I have a proclivity for Red Velvet Cake and never have red dye around. I actually had some today so thought I would dye the ‘white.’ I kept trying to show her the dye and how I was kneading it in, and, oh, isn’t that interesting? She of course got distracted by all the things on the counter, chocolates from Valentine’s Day, cake from Valentine’s Day, and kept repeatedly asking for all of them. She didn’t throw a temper tantrum when I said no, and I promised that she could have cake after lunch. Finally I put her on the ground because it wasn’t working. She climbed onto the couch and finished her bowl of cheerios from breakfast. She then put the bowl on her head and asked me if it was a hat. To which I said no and asked her if it was a shoe. We played that game for a few moments, very cute. [Broke even on perfect points, because the activity didn’t work, but I gave up when I realized it wasn’t, and there were no temper tantrums.]

After a little while of us mutually coexisting I spread out a blanket and got out a box of buttons and a muffin tin. (Why the blanket, you might ask? Because you can clean up easier, just scoop up the edges of the blanket and it doesn’t get spread all over the floor. Read that on a blog. BAM! One perfect point.) At first she protested that she didn’t want them. Then when I picked some up and dropped them in she became interested and started playing with the buttons. I sat down and continued reading a website with toddler activities. I found a math one where you draw numbers on pieces of paper and then place the amount of objects next to the number. I quickly cut up paper and drew numbers on them. I sat down next to Emma and demonstrated placing the correct number of buttons next to each number. She started placing more buttons on each piece of paper. Oh well, roll with it. I sat and watched her and then a few minutes later demonstrated that I had ‘One,’ button next to the ‘Number One.’ Same reaction. We’ll keep trying…[Gain of perfect points, I ‘crafted,’ came up with an educational activity for my kid, played with her, and let go when she wasn’t ready. Some might say that I should have persisted in the lesson, but is her learning to count about me being able to tell people that my kid can count or about her ACTUALLY learning how to do it when she’s ready?]

We ate lunch. Which she actually ate. Some of which I got her to eat by just pointing it out, ‘look, pear,’ and down it went. Then I followed through and gave her cake. [Gain of perfect points. Some might say loss, because I gave my kid SUGAR. I eat sugar. So it would smack of some hypocrisy if I didn’t give it to her.]
I used to have this wonderful vision of every evening patiently teaching my kid to clean up the day’s mess. I did it maybe once or twice. When I tried when she was eighteen months old she would get distracted and start playing with other toys in the bin. So I gave up. These past few weeks I have realized that if I get her to pick up her toys after lunch and before naptime I actually have the energy to lean over a toddler and get her to do it or to turn it into a game. If I wait until evening I give up and do it myself. After lunch I got her to pick up buttons and her Noah’s Ark set. [Break even on perfect points, because if I really was perfect I would do it in the evening and fulfill my fantasy and someone else’s ideal of what I should be doing for my life. While wearing pearls.]

I put her down for her nap. Diaper, pants (oh, she was pants-less all day because we’re still potty training), and four books. Half way through ‘Stellaluna,’ our ‘last book before naptime’ she hopped up and pretended to be a bat. I asked her if she wanted to read the book or go to her nap, she sat back down, and then hopped again and proceeded to fly around the room like a bat. I picked her up and plunked her in her crib, because I don’t care how ‘Stellaluna’ ends and apparently neither did she. She was fine with this development and happily snuggled with her blankey. [Loss of perfect points, because if she was perfect she would have sat through the whole book. If I was perfect I would have patiently waited for her to finish flying, all the while gently smiling because isn’t my kid so creative?]

For the afternoon she slept and I wrote. I also ate a gigantic piece of Red Velvet Cake and gave myself heartburn. [Loss of perfect points because if I was perfect I wouldn’t eat sugar, and even while pregnant I would still be skinny.] Right now if I was perfect I would leap up and start cooking dinner so it would hot and ready at exactly six o’clock. But I’m not, so I am going to finish my thoughts and dinner will be ready when it’s ready. So the day was not ‘perfect’ but I was present, I was mindful of my daughter’s needs, there were only small disconnects between Emma and I, I paid plenty of attention to her and also got a few things done. So next time you find yourself starting to climb into that box of ‘perfect’ ask yourself, ‘What is really important?’ Or, ‘Am I fulfilling someone else’s expectations for my life?’ Or, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Then do whatever you need to do.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Mother of Beauty

I read an article the other day that was entitled, 'Why You Should Take Nude Pictures.' 'Okay,' I thought, 'I'll bite.' Nude photographs of myself have always been on the 'do not do' list. The 'absolutely under no circumstances should you allow someone to ever snap a photo of you nude' list. Especially if you ever plan on enjoying your fifteen minutes of fame, or if you ever intend on running for public office. The article basically said that having yourself photographed nude is a glorious celebration of your body and that every women under 30 and before childbirth....wait, what was that? That's right, it said exactly that, you should do this before you are 30 and before 'your body is ravaged by childbirth.'
Ahem, so sorry to see that I have lost my window of being attractive nude.
Bummer, that now that I am 30 and have given birth that my body is no longer beautiful.

During the summer I was pushing Emma in her stroller, I was post run in my spandex. I passed a group of gardeners and heard,
“Damn!” I think he got punched or something because the next thing I heard was,
“I'm just saying!” Before I had a kid this would have angered me, now, all I could think was, 'oh, thank you.'

This is sad. We have gotten this one backwards. The first time I heard the phrase MILF I was a bit grossed out, just because of the use of the word 'fuck.' Now it angers me, because the implication is that after you have a child you are no longer sexually attractive. If you are it's the exception rather than the norm.

In most cultures in the world having a child raises your status. In parts of eastern Europe you are not considered an adult until you are married and have a child. In parts of Africa the highest social status is that of grandparent. Somehow in the United States becoming a mother does not raise a woman's status. Once you become a mom you start to feel yourself avoiding things that may be considered mom-ish, certain hairstyles, comfortable shoes, certain jeans, certain styles of clothes. Anything that might indicate that you are what we see stereotypically as a mother.

And what do these clothes and hairstyles usually look like; low maintenance, maybe even an indication that you have 'given up' and no longer care about your appearance. In some ways I see this happen because women become so caught up in running a household and caring for children and family members that they neglect themselves. Now that we lack the social systems that we once had, extended family and a more integrated community, so many women are doing this on their own. Which means that, yes, sometimes you don't have time to shower or put on makeup. Or some days you just don't want to, some days I just want to take a break from thinking about my appearance. Have the way I look not matter for 24 hours. Actually believe my husband when he says I don't need to wear makeup.

The idea is that we are used up, no longer young and perky, and past our prime.
Why is that we only consider young and perky women as our standard of beauty. Becoming a mother lowers the status of the American woman because it is perceived as making us less attractive.

How did this happen? Motherhood is a huge part of our lives. So is feeling attractive. How have we made them mutually exclusive?

Unfortunately women are more than the sum total of our attractiveness. We are worth more than what we look like in the lens of a camera or the reflection of a mirror.
So to the author of that article, I am past 30 and my body has been 'ravaged by childbirth' and I actually like it better than I did when I was 20. Not for some emotional empowerment reason, but because I still look good naked.

Oh, and I didn't need to take pictures of myself naked to get that way.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Take A Breath

The other day I read an article entitled, 'Things Never to Say to a Pregnant Woman.' I laughed heartily through the reading of it. Many of the things have been said to me including, 'Was it planned?' Or 'You look ready to pop!' Or 'Are you sure there aren't twins in there?' Or 'Have you picked a name yet?' Or 'You shouldn't be eating/drinking that.' Or 'I never had morning sickness.' And last, 'I was sick the whole way through.'

Some of these irritated me, some of them I have snappy comments to volley back ('Have you picked a name yet?' 'Girls gotta keep some secrets.' Maybe not that snappy, but it works.), others I have never bothered to get up the emotional energy to take offense.
I guess when I read it I thought, 'Wow, ya'll are in trouble no matter what you say, aren't ya?'
I even read one comment on the article where someone was offended by being asked, 'How are you feeling?' Really?
'How are you feeling?' makes you angry?

Something that has been a hard adjustment coming back into American culture is the verbal culture of 'offense.' I could sit with a group of Kenyan women and talk about the differences between our skin and hair with no offense being taken on either side, I would get publicly flogged for that here. In coming home I had to remember to walk on eggshells once again.
Many of the comments listed above are completely inoffensive to one person but highly offensive to another. For every comment I get about 'twins' I have friends who were told they didn't even look pregnant at seven months. (One looked at me and said, 'If I had that belly I would be casting it.') How is the speaker supposed to know how the listener will take it?

We live in a nation where most of us don't have to worry about where our next meal is coming from, or whether or not our house will get bombed tonight. Our government is benevolent and most of us are safe. This leaves some emotional energy left over. We run around wielding the phrase, 'that offends me' like a broken bottle in a bar room brawl. We all pour burning oil on each others heads when we expect every sentence that comes out of each others mouth to be inoffensive. Especially when the only way to rate the offensiveness of our words is to be a mind reader.

To the listener: take a breath. Let it go. Focus your anger on something more productive, like world hunger or the crusty burnt food on your stovetop.

To the speaker: Ask yourself, 'How would I feel if this was said to me?' Or, 'How well do I know this person?' If someone is bold enough to tell you that they were angered by what you said practice these phrases, 'I'm sorry.' Or, 'I didn't mean it that way.' Or, 'I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.' If you did mean to hurt their feelings, shame on you.

Here are phrases that are generally welcomed by all pregnant women:
“Here sit down.”
“Why don't you take my seat.”
“Here go ahead of me.” (Especially kind in the line to the bathroom.)
“Would you like something to eat?”
“Would you like something to drink?”
“How are you feeling?” (Sorry, that lady above is out of line, this is a nice thing to say.)
And last but surely not least,
“Would you like some chocolate?”

Or you could say something odd like, 'Thank you for having the patience and willingness to further the human race.' Because if women stopped getting pregnant we would actually cease to exist. So if you don't mind me and my apparently enviable belly, you're welcome.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I am twenty seven weeks pregnant. The beginning of the end. I remember having dinner with a friend in the fall, she was about where I am now. She was sitting with one leg up on a chair and just looked unbelievably uncomfortable, all I could think was, 'Oh stink, it's coming.' As I was talking to her she said that she hated this phase because it just wasn't 'ladylike.' This got me thinking, what really is 'ladylike.'
Pregnancy is one of the thing that ladies do. Only women can do this, why is it that when we are in the midst of this are we considered unladylike? Your normal walk, whether it started 'ladylike' or not inevitably turns into a waddle. All those things that are stuff of ladies, high heels and nylons, become impossibilities. Earlier this week I was hopping about on one leg, belly hanging, struggling to get some leggings on and thought, 'This must be the most grace-less thing I have ever done.' Thankfully there were no witnesses.
Today was the first day that I felt really big and uncomfortable because of that very big-ness. I was standing in church with legs together, a polite position, it occurred to me if I stood with my feet shoulder width apart I would feel better. So I did, and my body expanded and felt better. Soon I won't be able to cross my legs; another 'ladylike' affectation gone.
In my first trimester my body produced too much saliva, Google it, it's a real symptom. I couldn't stand to swallow it because I was so sick, I have no idea why, but it was abhorrent to me. Every time I spat into a sink I thought, 'Really? And, I hope no one just saw me.'
Now with ever present heartburn, a condition that causes me swallow, burp, and grimace like an old man, I feel my very insides are rebelling against anything 'ladylike.'
Rather than debates about whether it's more polite to cross your knees or your ankles maybe it's time we re-defined ladylike. Instead of looking to the poised Miss America stereotype as our model maybe it's time to think about what really makes a 'lady.'
Is it hiding all bodily functions?
Is it the way you sit?
Is it always moving with a sense of grace?
Or is it the same friend mentioned above who invited us to dinner on the first night we moved to the North Shore. That seems pretty ladylike to me.
Or is it bringing someone a meal after they've had a baby or lost a loved one?
Or is it being nice to the barista even after they've messed up your order?
What do you think defines a lady?