One of the great joys of having children is watching them turn into little people, with a personality and vocabulary to match. Of course, what they say is not always a cause for celebration.
The other day, out of the blue, my daughter says to me: ‘You have a really big bum,’ emphasizing the words to maximize their devastating effect. She’s only four. My immediate reaction was to deny this. Unfortunately she reiterated her judgement – ‘But you do,’ she insisted, laughing as she delivered her damning verdict.
Now, I’ll be honest here: I don’t think my butt is abnormally big; I’m a smallish person and not completely saggy (yet). I console myself with the fact that a four-year-old’s perspective is probably slightly warped. She also thinks two other parts of my body are big – I’ll leave you to guess what these are – but I can assure you in no uncertain terms that they are not.
It’s funny, though, how my two little girls have a tendency to pick my appearance apart. I don’t have boys, so it’s hard to know whether they would one day turn to me and say, ‘Mom, you’re having a bad hair day.’ Girls, however, do pick up on looks. If I change the way I style my hair, the seven-year-old Chatterbox will comment on it. She’s also been quick to point out white hairs.
They are completely my children when it comes to clothes, which is not necessarily a great thing if you are in a hurry or trying to save money.
The Chatterbox will ask my opinion on whether clothes match; she coordinates colors and selects shoes, checking the mirror before deciding if it looks okay. I see her turning into a discerning girl with a good eye for what works. She’ll tell me when she doesn’t like something I’m wearing, which isn’t often at the moment, thankfully.
The four-year-old tends to be more exasperating, refusing to wear trousers or jeans because they are ‘for boys’ and going off clothes for inexplicable reasons. This makes getting her dressed in the mornings an exasperating process that leaves me making ridiculous concessions: ‘Oh, so you want to wear a frilly striped pink dress with red tights and purple tennis shoes? Yes, fine, but let’s just get out the door.’ For all I know, she might end up being a great fashion designer.
Even though their sartorial tastes still need some development right now, I can see a moment in the future when we will shop for clothes together without my wanting to tear my hair out. I imagine asking them for fashion advice, conferring with them on what looks good on me. But I do wonder if they will look at me and say, ‘Nah, your bum looks big in that.’ You know what, as long as they are being honest, I’m okay with that.
Has a child ever said something really funny to you? Let me know by leaving a comment.