October 27, 2011

Not My Child

So a few weekends ago I took Evie with me to Wal-Mart. I needed groceries AND cleaning supplies AND baby supplies AND furbaby supplies. So yeah Wally World it was. I no longer freak out about taking Evie places with me, in fact it is loads of fun to watch her watch stuff. She is so observant and loves the lights and colors. Plus I can ask her opinion on anything from buying the shrimp pad thai or chicken pad thai and if she wants apple cinnamon flavored puffs or blue berry? It's just more time for me to interact with my daughter.

However, I returned home 2.5 hours later (Wal-Mart is 5 minutes from my house) and told Chris I remembered exactly why I don't take Evie shopping with me. Probably eighty percent of the people we pass stop me dead in my tracks to shriek at me that Evie is gorgeous and has the most beautiful eyes they've EVER SEEN!!! This is usually accompanied by making of funny faces, wagging fingers and for those who don't catch my hawk like glare, grabbing Evie's hand. If Evie likes the person she will smile at him/her from under her eyelashes or bounce in the seat and say "AHHHH!". So yeah, Wal-mart takes FOR-EVER. It is worse than Target and worse than Kroger.

Don't get me wrong I truly appreciate this acknowledgement that Chris and I created the most beautiful human ever (obviously -- at least we think so), but it makes shopping take so long. Plus I can only fake smile through clenched teeth while thinking touch my kid ONE MORE TIME lady, and die, for so long.


This post isn't about that eaxctly. It's about a Wal-Mart encounter I had that same trip. With a beauty pageant mom, or at least a presumed beauty pageant mom.

Picture this.

I am stopped in drink aisle trying to haul a 24 pack of Coke ZERO into my cart without slamming it down, therby jolting Evie and "Pageant Mom" approaches me.

PM: "Oh my goodness! Would you look at those cheeks?!?"

Me: Tight lipped smile. I'm thinking Umm yes. I see them every day. "We think they're pretty cute..."

PM: "She's just beautiful! Those eyes, so blue! Who'd she get those from?!?"

Me (as I side eye her warily): "Well we both have blue eyes, but I'm pretty sure she got her color from her daddy." I'm thinking, what would you do if I said I'm not sure, but the sperm donor I used is Swedish. Your dark lip-liner and light pink lipstick is so hideous and anyway, WHY THE HELL DO YOU HAVE SO MUCH MAKE UP ON?????

PM: "Well she's just gorgeous. Gorgeous! You should put her in modeling school or pageants, show off how beautiful she is! You know they have a baby category!"

Then she gave me kind of a half wink and a smile and sauntered off, her overly bleached blonde hair and bright green "Mississippi Girl" t-shirt still burning my retinas.
And I'm thinking, "Ma'am. I have yoga pants, running shoes and a VOLS t-shirt on. My hair (with the 3 inch brown roots) is in a pony tail. I have on mascara and that is it. Why in God's name would you ever think that I would be a good candiate for pageant mom?" I was seriously irritated

Then I realized that it wasn't about the way I looked at all. It was about the suggestion that I put my kid in beauty pageants or modeling school to show her off to validate myself. It made me really mad, which is silly because I am sure that she meant it as a compliment, but really all she did was prove to me how hard it is going to be raise a little girl in a skinny, beauty obsessed world.

And that? That makes me so sad. I want far more for my daughter than trying to validate herself through her looks.