October 28, 2014

awkward moments in motherhood...

This past weekend, Jay, Eisley and I were waiting in line at Costco for a fruit smoothie that would hopefully sustain Eisley for the duration of the shopping trip. (Braving Costco on a Saturday is no small feat, let me tell you this. A smoothie for $1.50 was a small price to pay to have a calm child.)

Anyway, as we were standing there in line, Eisley noticed a little girl who was sitting in a cart over to our left. She burst into a smile and pointed at her, excitedly announcing, "Mommy! She looks like Mulan!" Jay and I glance over and see a small, serious little girl of Asian descent, patiently waiting for what may have been her very own fruit smoothie of bribery.

I had that sinking feeling of, "Oh, Lord. How many people heard her say that? How do I answer her? How do I handle this? Let's get our smoothie and get out of here, STAT!"

I kind of mumbled something to the effect of, "Yeahhhh, I suppose so…"

As this whole thing was conspiring, the girl's mother (who was in front of us in line, OF COURSE) turned around in line and sort of chuckled good-naturedly. I looked at her with an apologetic face and a shrug like, "Ah, kids! What are you going to do?" But I feel like I just made the situation more awkward because I kept wanting to say sorry, but then I wondered if that would be too much, because clearly my daughter's comment was coming from a place of childhood innocence (and princess obsession).

Now, here's the thing. With Eisley, everything seems to relate to princesses right now. She sees a girl with red hair: "Mommy! She looks like Merida!" She sees a child wearing a pink dress: "Look! She has a dress just like Aurora!" She sees literally any person with a braid in their hair (including a weathered 50 year old Target employee on a smoke break): "She has a beautiful BRAID! Just like ELSA!" So, you see, if I tried to explain to Eisley how you can just point at people and call them Mulan, she'd give me this look of utter confusion. In her mind, who the heck wouldn't want to be told they look like a princess? I just don't think it would make sense to her.

Also, we live in an incredibly diverse part of the country and people of ethnicities different than our own don't stand out at all. I haven't really had a conversation about how not everyone looks like our family, because that fact is all she's known all along. Perhaps that's why her comment caught me so off guard.

As Eisley grows up, we will surely have some bigger talks about what you should and shouldn't point out about people, but for now, this was one of those things that I think we just had to get through as gracefully (or ungracefully) as possible.

In any case, I kept giving my husband the side-eye all like, "What do we saaaaaaaaay?" I was was glad we finally were able to get our smoothie and bust a move out of there.

The last time I remember feeling that awkward was when Eisley was maybe 6 months old, and we were in an elevator with a well-dressed twenty-something woman. We were headed up to Eisley's pediatrician's office, which is in a building with several other businesses. The woman turned to me and said, "Is there a gym on the third floor?" I was a little confused and said, "Um, no…it's a doctors office. Why?" She said, "Oh, okay! I always wondered because everyone going to the third floor is always wearing gym clothes." As she stepped out onto her floor, I glanced down at my yoga pants and running jacket, very aware of the fact my hair was in a rather untidy messy bun.

And, no, I had most definitely not worked out that day.

Needless to say, I have never worn yoga pants to the pediatricians office since that day. (Which I hate to admit is a total bummer.)

I have no doubt that many more awkward moments await me as Eisley gets older, but now it's your turn to spill the beans on your own awkward moments. If you're a parent, what is something your child has done that made you want to melt into the floor? Or was there a story your parents told you about something from your own childhood that was awkward for them? Lets all make each other feel a tad bit better, shall we?

13 comments :

  1. Don't be too hard on yourself. Her observation was innocent and informed by her (limited) worldview. She said a little Asian girl looked like Mulan; well yes, of course she does. Mulan was Asian (and kickass!). It's only an awkward situation if YOU project your awkwardness onto it. xx

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    1. Thanks for the comment (and reassurance). ;) If only there were a way to not project awkwardness onto a situation…it's something I can't seem to master. It's just humorous to be caught in a situation where a child says something a grown-up could never say without getting the stink-eye, you know? Oh, 3 year olds…never a dull moment.

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  2. My mother-in-law recently told me a story of how back in the day her friend's toddler at the time made a (loud) comment about a checkout lady's larger size. The mom quickly responded something along the lines with no hesitation, "Well sweetie, God makes people in all sizes!" And the woman apparently smiled and said, "That was good!" Hah. I think most people get that kids say the darndest things. I have a 3 year old little boy, and I know it's just going to happen. At any moment. Also... jealous your Costco lets you take food inside!! Our Costco's cafe is outside and they FORBID any type of food/drink/smoothie inside... even if it's their own. As if.

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  3. I am hopeful that the mother of the other child took Eisley's comment as a compliment to her beautiful daughter :)


    P.S. Where did you pretty header image go?

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    1. That's my hope, too! :) As for the header, I'm fickle! Haha…honestly, the more I looked at it, the more I wished I could add some color to brighten up my layout, so I'm going to rework it and see what I can do. I'm going to see if I can figure out how to do both lettering and regular graphic elements. A new challenge = yay! :)

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  4. This made me laugh out loud. Especially the gym comment :)

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  5. This seriously made me giggle. I love childrens' thought process, it's just so innocent and simple.

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  6. We were at trader Joe's recently and my 4 yr old pointed at a woman putting something in her cart and said (loudly), "mommy! That lady is buying TOO. MUCH. WINE!" Sooooo awkward...

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  7. I obviously can't comment as a mom, but as a teacher, I read a lot about dealing with students' comments about race and difference. Two books with chapters I found super helpful and enlightening were Nuture Shock (http://www.nurtureshock.com/) and "Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?" (http://www.amazon.com/Black-Kids-Sitting-Together-Cafeteria/dp/0465083617) They both have chapters deal specifically with talking to young kids about race in a way that is positive and celebrates differences while acknowledging they exist. Super interesting stuff!

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  8. Not the worst, but the other day a kind-of friend who I don't see very often said to me (about my 3yr old), "so, this isn't meant as a criticism or judgement, but, um... Does your son ever wear regular clothes ?" Because he is obsessed with footie pajamas and I'm a lazy mom who let's him wear them everywhere, all the time.

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  9. I had taken my kids to a big box store and when we walked out there was a man smoking just outside the exit doors. My daughter was about 4 or 5 then and walked past the man and said really loud "EWWWW that STINKS! He's going to turn into a donkey" My kids were on a Pinocchio kick at the time. They both told their grandfather who occasionally smokes a cigar that he would turn into a donkey too if he kept smoking.
    Kids are lovely... I am sure the mother of the little Mulan look-a-like has had her share of embarrassing moments with her daughter.
    As far as the lady in the elevator, I think that was a little catty. Leave the new moms alone! :) Sometimes yoga pants and a messy top knot for a new mom is a huge success!

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  10. When Isabelle was three she went through a phase of pointing out things she observed about others... specifically their looks. One day we were in Target and she saw a guy with long hair and she *loudly* exclaimed, "Why does that man have girl hair?!" Another time she asked a larger lady if she was having a baby. The lady just looked at her straight-faced and said, "No." I wasn't able to think quick enough to recover that one. Talk about embarrassing! After those two instances (and I'm sure a handful more) we have a rule that we do not talk about people's looks. God made everyone differently and everyone is special. Slowly I have been able to let her point out things that she likes about someone and it never fails that she finds someone to compliment. It's usually that she likes their nails or hair which always puts a smile on people's faces. Now I have Cooper who is the master of pointing out things so we're back to keeping those thoughts to ourselves and if they want to talk with me about it they can ask me once we're in the car.

    P.S. That girl in the elevator sounds like a real gem! Nothing wrong with yoga pants and a messy bun! :)

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  11. We took my youngest bonus daughter to the doctor (walk-in clinic on a Sunday- her fever was awful and her ears were making her crazy); she was 3 at the time? As she hopped up on the table, she said to the Doctor "are you a boy or a girl?" To the adults it was clear she was a woman, she just had a cropped hair cut. I DIED. The lady laughed it off and said that she was a woman, she had two little kids and a husband and etc. but my word, it was so awkward. I wanted to slink out of the room and also not laugh because it was kind of funny.

    Oh, and the one time the same bonus baby asked my dad if there was a baby in his belly (my dad is a bit overweight, yes) as she put her hands on his belly. YIKES. There was no easy way out of that one except for being able to explain that only ladies can have babies in their bellies.

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