Lessons In Body Acceptance

Yesterday, my 8-year-old and I went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. While waiting, he checked his weight and blood pressure on a fancy machine that I’ve never seen there before. When I realized that the machine also checked Body Mass Index, I told him I wanted to weigh myself. As the numbers flashed on the screen, I swallowed hard.

“Is that really how much you weigh?!” His mouth was literally hanging open in shock, because little boys who weigh 68 pounds have no idea how much adults are supposed to weigh. Also, I’ve been stress eating for literally 6 months straight, so you do the math.

I forced myself to erase all emotion from my face and voice as I chirped “Yep!” and got off the scale with as much dignity as one can muster in the pharmacy waiting area of a Rite-Aid drug store.

I wanted to say that I need to lose 15 pounds.

I wanted to say that I feel fat and gross and I need to take better care of myself.

I wanted to say that I’m healthy, I exercise, and it’s just a number.

I wanted to apologize, explain, or drill into his head that it’s never okay to speak about a woman’s weight.

Most of all, I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and say NEVER REPEAT THAT NUMBER TO ANYONE, DO YOU HEAR ME????

Instead, I smiled, put my arm around him, and we walked out of the store. The first step in teaching our children self-confidence is to demonstrate it, even if we have to fake our way through it sometimes. It makes me wonder how many times my own mother masked her true feelings in order to teach me lessons in body acceptance.

16508474_10158509043900508_7427872087310306240_n

Image via Courtney Privett. Find her on Facebook here!

My weight is a number that changes every day, my weight does not define me as a person, and my job as a mother is to instill in my children what things actually matter in life.

That number is not one of those things.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

Advertisements

This Is How We Do.

My oldest child started 2nd grade today.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m., a full hour before my alarm was supposed go off, unable to go back to sleep because it felt like Christmas morning.

I did all of the things mothers are supposed to do when their children start 2nd grade. I lovingly fashioned pancakes out of the instant mix that comes in a bottle that you pour water into and shake really hard.

I made sure I had a bra on, just in case the neighbors could see me shaking that bottle of pancake batter.

First day of school!

I laid out Maverick’s navy blue uniform shorts and told him to ignore the lint that blanketed them — clearly, washing them with new towels was a mistake — and made sure that his tennis shoes were double-knotted.

We missed the bus, but I assured him there was plenty of time for us to go through the carpool line. I corralled the other pajamaed children and loaded them all into our van.

11813388_1657280704507075_2050661710012201488_n

Maverick has been telling us for months that he wants to be an “asteroidal physicist.” Last year and the year before that, he just wanted to be a regular scientist. I’m not sure what changed, but I do know that I was Googling “asteroidal physicist” before I had my coffee this morning, and that was intense.

We rounded the corner and waited in the long line of cars at the elementary school, and because I am a good mother who tries to do the right things, I attempted to have a special moment with my child.

You know what I’m talking about. That moment when you and your kid connect on a deeper level, and he or she understands for a fleeting moment the depth of your love, and you relish the feeling that you’re doing a really good job until you find yourself screaming “DON’T EAT THE TOOTHPASTE OUT OF THE BATHROOM SINK!” yet again.

It’s special.

I turned around in my seat to look at him, blinking back tears. “Maverick, I am so proud of you and I hope you have a great day. Your brother and sister are really going to miss you tod—”

This was the precise moment that the teacher who was on carpool duty opened our van door and Maverick yelled “BUH-BYE, SUCKAS!!!!!!” at the top of his lungs as he leapt out.

She stood there for a moment, frozen.

I smiled and yelled “HAVE A GREAT DAY!” as if this was perfectly normal, as though the Hobbs family yells that phrase every time they part ways.

Her face never changed expression as she slid the door closed.

I’ve decided that the next time I drop my children off somewhere, I’ll kiss them all goodbye as usual, and as they smile and wave at me like the little darlings that they are, I will roll down the window of our beat up van and shout “BUH-BYE, SUCKAS!!!!” as I peel the eff out.

Because this is how we do, SUCKAS.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

My Wife Bonus.

I survived my first real week of Summer.

The boys played tug o’ war with the water hose. They pulled and pulled with all their might, but the other end was stuck to the house. In the end, the house won.

My middle child walked around for most of the week with a large human bite mark on his face — big, purple, teeth-shaped marks on his cheek and eyebrow. I told myself it looked like dirt and tried not to worry about it.

They're pretty darn cute.

They’re pretty darn cute when they aren’t raising hell.

Our washing machine stopped spinning properly, so I have to wash tiny loads instead of normal-sized ones … which means my laundry pile seriously never ends. Robbie doesn’t seem to understand the enormity of this problem. He shrugged and said (and I quote), “Just stick your hand in there and get it going by doing this” and modeled how to jump-start the spin cycle.

I don’t have time for that kind of bullshit. I’m too busy screaming at the boys to stop drinking muddy water and keeping our youngest from hurtling herself through a window. I NEED THE WASHING MACHINE TO FUNCTION. I do not want to spin the washing machine by hand. I’m not that kind of woman. I don’t even enjoy camping without a real bathroom.

You know what kind of woman I am?

The kind who likes to get her hair done. The kind who dislikes broken things.

I went to the Beehive Salon this week, and I love what they did so much that it doesn’t matter that I had to pay for overpriced childcare in order to make it to my appointment. It was worth every penny, and I consider it my “wife bonus” for keeping everyone alive. (Have you read this ridiculous article in the New York Post about the “wife bonus?” Not that I’m against wives getting a bonus. I’m not. I just can’t imagine living that kind of lifestyle. Probably because instead of a $1,500 Burberry trench coat, I own a Nike zip-up hoodie.)

I leave for the BlogU Conference next week (!!!) and I simply could not meet all of these exciting people with two inches of roots showing. I also got my eyebrows waxed for the first time since my wedding almost a decade ago.

It is my hope that everyone I meet will be so mesmerized by flawless brows and smooth upper lip that they will want to work with me on projects that pay in real money, and magically my children will have childcare arrangements … and little blue birds will carry my laptop to me every morning while the mice make my coffee.

PicMonkey CollageI left my pride all over town this week. I injured myself in Kickboxing class. I had to jump into the kiddie pool and drag my defiant, screaming three-year-old out by his puddle jumper.

I bought something that I thought was a shirt, but it’s actually a dress.

I feel my age.

But my hair looks damn good.

(If you liked this post, then you NEED to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!)

The Psycho Threes.

10339653_10154855885330508_3512220069315292922_n

Asher is in a difficult phase I like to call the “psycho threes.” Based on prior experience, I expect it to last until he’s about 5 years old.

I’m pretty much over it and it only began in earnest a few weeks ago, the epic meltdowns and unintelligible screaming over things like his sister sneezing on him or touching him or touching his blanket or staring at him.

Sometimes it’s over things like the fact that I broke his banana off the bunch because HE WANTED TO DO IT, or because there is sand on his hands after he got in the sandbox or there is a rock in his shoe after he walked through gravel.

I’ve gotten better this time around (because Maverick’s third year of life was literally the hardest year of mine, and this experience by comparison isn’t that bad) at maneuvering the whole living-with-a-tiny-psycho thing … but it wears on me. A lot. It begins first thing in the morning when he can’t get his blanket to hang just right on the back of his chair at the breakfast table, and it ends approximately 12 hours later when someone pulls the plug on his bath because HE WANTED TO DO IT.

Some days I handle it better than others. There have been many days lately where I just sat down and cried with him because I didn’t know what was wrong or how to fix it and frankly, I needed a good cry. Being a mother is so, so hard when you’re not at your best emotionally and physically, when you are tired and feel like you need a break and yet … they are still there, asking for things. Needing things.

But tonight, at the end of a long stretch of hard weeks, after a bath and dinner and a book and a bedtime struggle, came the arduous task of picking out just the right pair of pajamas and the right pair of socks and trying and failing to put them on himself. And then it was finally time to put that sweet, psychotic, three-year-old boy to bed.

I was so OVER it, but I was holding it together, masking my exhaustion by sitting calmly on his bed like I had all the time in the world. I said — because now I must ask first, instead of just picking him up and plopping him on my lap — “Asher, do you want to sit in my lap?”

And after a long pause, he broke into that dimply grin and said very seriously, “IT IS MY FAVORITE THING.”

Then he climbed up, leaned in, smelled my shoulder like someone would smell a bouquet of flowers, and put his head on my chest.

It’s my favorite thing too, you know. So at least we have that in common.