I had one of those epiphanies the other day. I was with Felix waiting for Stella to finish up with OT. I don’t talk much about OT anymore as there’s not much to say. Most of the time, I feel like we don’t need it, that she’s improving all the time and getting so much better at self-regulation. Then we have a day like yesterday, where we get a dreaded behavior report from school due to her choice to behave like a soccer hooligan and bash some kid in the head (after screaming, pushing, refusing to share….). I know. We all have bad days. I just still live in terror that her bad days – loud and extreme as they are infrequent – will be enough to cause us a mountain of trouble as she transitions to kindergarten.
Anyway. I shouldn’t fuss. All in all, things are good and getting better.
I’d say at least 75% of the kids and parents that go in and out of the therapy center have pretty big problems: the kind of problems that unlike ours (fingers crossed, knocking on wood, salt over the shoulder) won’t go away one day. You get to know some of these kids as you see them and their parents every week.
One of these moms is the kind of mom you want to hate, or at least envy the bejeezus out of. She’s always – and I mean always – impeccably dressed, and she’s so cute. We’re talking designer, high dollar stuff. Her kids are the same. Her older boy is the one in therapy, but she had her younger son with her that seems to be around Felix’s age – maybe a bit younger. He’s always in those darling hand-smocked onesies and overalls that cost about $50 a pair. This woman also is gregarious, either chatting away at other folks around her or on her phone. She doesn’t seem to have a career other than her kids.
Like I said. You want to hate her.
But she’s so nice and positive and perky and obviously adores her boys. This past week, I could tell she felt horrible. She probably had that demon germ that took out my household. But her positive happy mom façade didn’t crack. She still was dressed well, even if her hair was a bit disheveled. I was in awe.
My awe grew when another regular mom had a bad moment with one of her twin daughters. These girls – about 6 years old – both have autism. One little girl was having a really hard time. You could see how hard this mom tried to keep it together – to stay patient and calm and get her child back into the therapy room. It’s one of those moments when I do feel grateful, seeing how much worse things could be, and then turn around and feel guilty for having those thoughts. That mom doesn’t love her girls any less than I love my kids.
But that wasn’t the source of my awe. It was this woman’s appearance. She had on a reasonably casual outfit, but it matched. It wasn’t wrinkled. And even if she was in “mom jeans,” her toenails were painted (no chips) and she had on lip gloss. She and I probably have the same BMI, but she looks like she hasn’t given up. I felt like a lummox in my oversized shirt with the neck stretched out from nursing and floppy wrinkled shorts. I might as well be in freaking sweat pants every single day of my life.
This has to stop. This goes way above and beyond wanting to lose X number of pounds. This goes to the basic matter of asking for and taking just a few moments extra just for myself, to put on cute underwear or lip gloss. The gross underwear is in the same drawer as the cuter stuff, why not actually look for it and put that on? Better yet, let’s throw the old shit out and gradually replace it? Ditto for my now-ill-fitting nursing bras or pre-2-baby bras that are way too small? I can put on lip gloss in the same amount of time I can chap stick. So why not? Why not wear heels to work at least once a week? It’s just as easy to slip on a pair of pumps as it is a pair of utilitarian flats or sandals. I just have to choose to do it – to decide I want to do it.
I don’t have the financial resources to get all new stuff. Too bad, because I saw the most darling pair of pajamas at Dillard’s the other day. They were $100. WTF? Anyway, what I can do is let Will know that I need this, want this, deserve this. He seemed pretty receptive during the brief discussion we had. Now it’s up to both of us to follow through.
I will say, today I have on saucy red boots and my underwear and bra match.