I am a “people person.” I aim to please others, others please me. I like hanging out with my friends, family and my lovely husband. When I’m out I need company to pee. I love a great party. And I don’t go to the mall alone because how am I supposed to pick out a scrunchie without getting a second opinion?
I love people. I really do. But I also truly appreciate alone time. And not because when I’m alone I can get more done. Or focus better. I just like being alone because then I don’t have to be such a lady. I don’t feel the need to cover my nose when I sneeze or stifle a burp. I can trim my toenails or wear socks that don’t match. I can be….well…I can be gross. We all have our gross moments, mine happen when I have no witnesses.
That being said, after my daughter was born I was never alone. I put her in her bouncy so she could be with me when I showered. I loved that Bumbo because then she could sit and watch me eat. I got her first good laugh after I had a good burp. The only way I could convince her to let me trim her toenails is if I showed her on my little piggies first.
She watched, but didn’t judge. She didn’t laugh at Naked Mommy or tell me to close my mouth when I chewed. She didn’t say, “Wow! How could something so big come out of something so little!” Really, she was there but sort of as a nonjudgmental offshoot of me. I felt alone even though I wasn’t.
That would all change though.
I knew the jig was up after I had a “gas issue” while rocking her to bed one night. Every time she got rocked into any….aroma… she started to cry. Yeah. That was embarrassing.
She was becoming more and more aware, just like all children are supposed to do, and it was largely for the better. So not only did she notice what we did around her, she would copy those behaviors in public. And while it would be sort of funny to have a daughter that burps like a man and farts like an elephant for the first few years of her life, it would not win her any dates to the prom. We knew she wouldn’t learn manners unless we displayed them. So we still burped but always said excuse me. We chewed with our mouths closed. And I guess that’s what Mommies and Daddies are supposed to do, but man life wasn’t as fun…or gross.
I guess it has all paid off. Given that she is only 2 ½ she has already turned into quite the little lady. She covers her mouth when she coughs. She blows her nose into a Kleenex. She says excuse me when any part of her body makes a noise (even if she does it with a giggle).
The down side is that we seemed to have created an I Am A Lady Monster. She calls us out for every sound we make, every time we dare chew with our mouth open….yeah, all that with-her-yet-still-alone gross time is gone. Thankfully we aren’t that polite in general or we’d be getting in trouble for not crossing our legs appropriately or having our elbows on the dining room table.
So we’re working on that now. How to kindly point out there is a gigantic piece of spinach in Mommy’s teeth. Or how not to yell out “Daddy’s STINKY!” in the middle of Target. In the mean time I have begun to appreciate the 9 hours a week she is in school, as long as the cat doesn’t “Meeeeeeeeew” instead of “Meow.”