So, Addie (our 2 1/2 year old) has become more and more conversational.
We can really have basically regular conversations with her at the dinner. Though her information isn’t always accurate.
Dad: What’d you do today, Addie?
Addie: ummmmm I went to Home Depot and the zoo and played puzzles.
Me: nope, we had a friend over and played puzzles
Addie: Oh yeah, I played with [kid’s name] and did puzzles.
Ok, so it’s not riveting adult conversation.
But it is pretty funny. And while tiring at times, I do love to hear what’s on her mind and her perceptions of things that have happened.
An added bonus is she says really funny things now. Sometimes ha-ha funny.
And sometimes, mom-shrinking-in-embarrassment-and-shame-funny.
Here are a couple recent embarrassing kid moments.
Scene – I took Addie only with me to Walmart for a grocery/ household shopping trip. She was sitting up in the baby/ toddler part of the cart facing me, and we were finishing up our trip in the office & school supplies area. I was looking at calendars. Another lady was in the aisle right behind me. Her cart was full to the brim of school supplies. She and I exchanged casual and brief conversation. She was having trouble finding the exact style of notebook on her kid’s school supply list and I wasn’t finding the type of calendar I wanted. She jokingly reminisced on the days when she had one toddler in her cart. I heard a couple of the notebooks fall out of her cart and the next thing happened so fast. She was quite overweight and standing pretty close to Addie when she bent over to pick them up. I was still browsing calendars when I heard Addie start to say in her high-pitched, LOUD, inquisitive voice, “mommy why that lady….. is that lady….. that lady….. ” I could tell she was searching for a phrase but couldn’t get it out. [Now, sometimes when we talk to strangers in a store or the cashier or the bank teller Addie will say “what’s that lady doing?” or “who is that?” And I’ll explain, “oh she has a name tag, it looks like her name is Susan.” Or “she is helping us buy our groceries or deposit our money.” She inherits her verbal processing from yours truly.] So at first I thought she was trying to process that those notebooks fell out….
Then I put 2 and 2 together and noticed our fellow shopper was bent over kind of in Addie’s face and I could see that Addie for the first time was noticing someone had a different figure.
I threw my calendar back on the shelf, trying to evacuate the aisle as soon as possible. Right as we turned the corner, barely avoiding a crash with the most unfortunately placed cardboard shelf of calculators, Addie said, seemingly so loud, “Does that lady have big jeans?” I shoved my hand over her mouth, anticipating something terrible coming out.
I said, “shhhhh” trying to overpower her volume -“we don’t talk about peoples’s jeans,” I whispered in my firm mommy voice, doing a full out speed-mom-walk away from the office supply section.
Me: “We can talk about it later. Not in walmart.”
Addie: “Why that happen?”
Me: “Ok, time to go buy our things now. Will you help me put them on the belt?”
Scene – The girls were both having a pre-bedtime snack & milk at the table, Addie sitting in one of the regular chairs (aka: big girl chairs), up on her knees. I am wearing a gray v-neck somewhat loose fitting t-shirt and came over to bring them another round of grapes, standing right next to Addie.
Addie: Mommy do you have a baby in your tummy?
Me: What? No. Does someone else have a baby in her tummy?
Me: Where does it look like I have a baby in my tummy?
Addie: [getting up on her knees] “right here.”
And she reached out and petted/grabbed my chest.
Me: [attempting to be matter of fact] “Oh. No that is not a baby. If I had a baby in my tummy, you would notice it down here.”
Addie: “What is that momma?” [still petting me.]
I responded matter of factly with regular terms and she had all kinds of questions – why? Where’s mine? where is emma’s? where is daddy’s?
You really do lose all dignity when you become a mom. I don’t go to the bathroom alone. Often there’s commentary. My kids play peekaboo with the shower curtain while I’m showering. They loudly point out your stretch marks, visible in a bathing suit. And on and on. Can I get an amen? Good thing they’re so lovable.
So, perhaps my dear toddler has started to notice people’s bodies and appearances?
Does that mean it’s time to have the “we don’t grope people” talk? I didn’t even know that was a thing. Oh, and the “some people look different than you and that’s okay” talk. In a different store on a different day she observed something else about someone’s appearance and I just whispered “I know you notice that and we can talk about it later but we’re not going to talk about that right now because it could sound rude and hurt someone’s feelings.” She didn’t say anything. Maybe she understood?
Are you in this phase? How do you handle those situations? Any words of wisdom?
Also, someone please tell me you have a story like that so I can know my kid isn’t the only one who yells about someone’s “big jeans” in Walmart. We can wallow in our shame together. And also laugh.