Welcome to Paisley Petunia…part two!
I find inspiration in pretty pictures, endless possibilities in a bowl of Meyer lemons, the meaning of lifetime devotion in the wagging tails of our 3 rescue dogs, end-of- the-day bliss in a glass of red wine and now, the boundless, soul clutching meaning of life in the faces of my 2 little angels.
It's a happy, creative, joy-full life we've got here in the LA sun. Come play! Bring wine.
So the other day, unconciously, I was pulling at my earlobe all day (my earrings had irritated it) and the next morning, while she was eating her breakfast Tinsley started doing the same thing. At first it was cute but then it got me thinking…(which is a small step from obsessing)…my babies (who are barely babies at this age) are definitely in the mimicking phase. It is really all around adorable when they answer their toy phones or twirl their hair like me or hum to Fun. on the radio. They understand a lot (they also understand a lot in French because their nanny speaks to them exclusively in French, which is like whoa, they have more French words than me) but anyways, they really do grasp complex conversation more than I realized. And here’s the thing, it started to freak me out a little. I mean obviously there is the concern with swear words (talking to you Daddy, the balance of your IOU swear tab should be deposited in
mommy’s Louis Vuitton luggage fund T and A’s 529b acct) but also, we should be worried about sarcasm (talking to you Mommy) and then something else occured to me…I started worrying about raising a girl in this materialistic, vanity obsessed world and crap, I might need to think about how I model my own behavior in front of her. She gets a lot more than I give her credit for. Let me explain…
Recently, I have been on a kick to lose 5 pounds (sounds ridiculous, I know) but after the hormones recently and the major stress of moving/remodeling not so recently, I found my eating and exercising were a mess. So, I’ve sworn off starch and fistfuls of cheese (my weakness), I’m trying to cut the wine out during the week (stabs self in eye with rusty fork) and I am pushing hard to get back into the gym for a serious workout 3 times a week. Which are all just a little more severe than good, healthy living choices except, I’m not doing it to be healthy (well not really.) I started up this plan to lose 5 freaking pounds. And as I watched my 19 month old daughter pull her earlobe and repeat back my incessant singing along, I thought “oh shit, what am I doing to her.”
I mean we all know how hard it is to be a girl in this day and age. There are some really talented mom bloggers out there writing eloquently on this subject (read some of them here and here) and their posts drove home how much I need to foster confidence and self esteem in my daughter (of course, in my son too but his battles might be slightly different.) After reading them, I was thinking about how I would tell her she is beautiful but that she is also smart and powerful and unique and that her brain and her heart will take her much further than her looks. I was thinking about my personal commitment to keep anything “princess” out of her life for as long as possible. (We can talk about that later.) I was thinking of how I will get her to volunteer and do things that will help her develop empathy and compassion and hopefully, she will learn the beauty of doing for others is so much more beautiful than just beauty. I will tell her how my former self tried so hard to be blonder, thinner and happier than I really was and how in the end, that was a major fail. She will see the error of my ways because my much older, wiser, secure self will save her from those same silly mistakes.
And then I will obsess over 5 pounds, not eat bread, talk about how I need to be on a diet all the time and constantly obsess over the way legs look like arms here in LA. Whoa, I think, that is a major f*ck up on my part, no? Until her friends and US Weekly take over, I am really all she knows and sees. I am her model on which she will model her behavior. And, I am a vain, vain girl. I am obsessed over 5 pounds. I had better get it together right now and probably forever, before I do some serious damage that no volunteer gig or anti-princess campaign can overcome.
I’ve seen the pledge to stop using the F word (F word here being fat) and I had thought long and hard about how I would talk to Tinsley about these kinds of things but honestly, I just hadn’t thought enough about how much my personal demons will haunt her unless I work out my own issues someplace besides in front of her. Truth is I am a work in progress. Becoming a mom did not suddenly take away everything that the world has hammered into me for the last 30-ish years. I’m not going to be able to change my own self image issues over night but at least I am now acutely aware of what I am doing.
I would die a little bit a thousand times over if Tins starting obsessing about 5 pounds. Anorexia, bulimia and other body image issues are hugely on the rise with young girls, so it’s not that uncommon for moms to hear their 10 year old daughters worry about being fat. They are bombarded with a societal need to be skinny. The very last place these girls need to see and hear about skinny is at home. Yuck, stop it right now Christina. I mean it.
Who is raising young girls right now and how do you handle this issue? I’d love to hear (and share if you like) your stories and advice.
Posted by c at 4:22 PM 0 comment