Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Had Fuzzy Navel

Last night we got shaved ice. Ty had red raspberry, which we all agreed was the best. We sat on a skinny strip of grass next to a busy intersection downtown where we slurped our sticky concoctions, and Sylas reveled in the discovery of several cigarette butts. It was a magical evening. We concluded our outing with a trip to the mall to expend any secret stashes of extra energy. It was on our way toward the play area via Sears that I noticed how terribly homeless my children looked.

When did I stop caring (or even noticing) whether or not my children look presentable in public? Was it around the time my two children quadrupled into three? Or did it coincide with my turning thirty rather suddenly last week? I couldn't put my finger on the exact moment, but there in front of me was the indisputable evidence in all its glory:

Saylor - hair uncombed, bright green frog print socks poking up above the rim of her gargantuan wheeled tennis shoes, remnants of sour grape shaved ice adorning her shirt.

Samera - five flowers of various sizes and colors adorning the top front of her head, tan capris polka-dotted with pink bubblegum shaved ice, too-small crocs.

Sylas (my crowning jewel) - hobbit hair (he hasn't had it cut in two months - it is so shabby) that is sticking straight out in one spot, neon green lips and hands from a toddler unfriendly green apple shaved ice, ballpoint pen "tattoos" over 95% of his body, bright blue swim trunks on backward so the yellow cords hang down his behind and swing from left to right as he darts behind and between racks of clothes, even brighter orange Harley Davidson shirt, flip-flops on the wrong feet.

I was embarrassed.

But then I started thinking things like,

1. It's not worth the fight it causes to tell Sylas to change his clothes.

2. It's not worth the tears it causes to try to coax Saylor's hair into something resembling a pony tail.

3. We would never go anywhere if I waited until all three were clean at the same time.

4. My children are having fun, so who cares?

5. The other parents here obviously aren't overly worried about tidy children, so why am I?

6. Man, those shaved ices were GOOD!

All those justifications later, I just sat back and let myself be enveloped in the welcoming arms of trashdom.

And you know what?

It felt good.

And everyone survived.


Christy said...

Great post! This is something I am always thinking about when we go out in public, because my kids always have dirt, milk, cookies crumbs and/or boogers on their faces. Their clothes always have stains on them even after 10 minutes of getting dressed I swear! But sometimes it's not even worth caring about. So I don't...most of the time...ok, sometimes! ;)

The United Statements of Merica said...

I love it! The more I read your blog, the more I think you're just a cuter wittier version of me.

Avery had a sparkling white napkin and an spaghetti stained shirt.

Reese simultaniously wiped bugars and oatmeal all over my skirt.

I threatened Lauren to cut her hair "like a boy" if she didn't stop complaining about getting her snarly hair (that she will not comb) fixed. Because I can't afford to go through a bottle of detangler a day.

Reese was developing her tallent of body art with "washable" markers. (You can wash them all right, but that doesn't mean it will come off) Who needs fancy tights when you have stripy marker leggs.

I'm not even going to go into the outfits they try to pull off. Let's just say that Avery (yeah, she's 6) put her shorts on the right way today, and Lauren only had to go back and change once.

Today was a good day.

By the way, nothing says homeless like a head full of fancy botique flowers.

Amber said...

It's because you are 30 now. Nobody else's opinions matter anymore. We can do whatever we want. Dress however we want. Ignore our family's white trash appearance whenever we want. It's true. 30 year olds can totally get away with it. With that said, sometimes I still think "when did I stop caring?" When Cora was born, everything mattered. She was such a well dressed, well coordinated, clean baby. Her hair was always done, her face smudge-free and her socks always matched. I'm not sure when that stopped, but we too reside in trashdom now. At least you have good neighbors!

Amy Jason said...

Amen. Most days I let Bjorn dress himself which means clothes backwards, random color schemes, his cars socks with crocks, and usually paint or markers up and down his arms. Atleast I can tell people he dressed himself. But I am fully responsible for Isaac. So if he looks like a scrounge, it is on my head. But I rarely worry about it. Who really cares? Who really looks and examines my kids? Nobody. So I don't fret about it. So it's nice to hear that other mothers feel the same. I do draw the line at some things though. Like we went to Lagoon a couple weeks ago and there was a family there that had all their kids in there pajamas, which wouldn't have been that bad if they were summer pj's, but they were winter pj's...long sleeves and long pants. It was 100 degrees. Come on. That's just crazy. Anyways. Love ya. Your kids are cute as can be no matter what they are wearing or how many stains they have splattered on their clothes!

sharlee said...

Join the club! (The sad-sack tired mom club). It's the natural progression of motherhood, don't you think? And Relax and enjoy!

Mardee Rae said...

Maybe the homeless look runs in the family? I think next Family Reunion we should have a competition to see who pulls it off the best. I'm pretty convincing. I love the descriptions. I also loved Merica's comment because I remember the days when her kids always looked like they were on their way to a photo shoot for Gap Kids or something. I gave up that standard a long time ago. Now I think my kids are cuter if they look like they've had a day full of unbridled fun! (Or so the justification goes...)

Matheson said...

LOL! I've given up a bit too. Kendel wears the same shirt almost everyday. I finally had to chop her hair to her chin since she wouldn't let me touch it to comb it. Thanks for a laugh. And no no baby yet :)

T-licious D-zire and C-hillins said...

Happy Late Birthday pretty lady!!! :)
haha I love the detailed descriptions.... I could really picture how cute the green lips and shorts on backwards were :) My kids typically look kempt in public (not always, but typically :)...... it's me that's scary!!!! I take time to comb Lily's hair so then mine doesn't get done.....ugh!

Higham Family said...

I have to say that the Snow Shacks around SE ID are really Love Shacks to me. I've longed for them for six years, and now we are making up for lost time. Idaho does have its redeeming qualities. As for the homeless child look- I remember (pre-child days) seeing those kind of children and thinking- "I will never let my kids look like that! We will always be clean, with nice hair, and matching clothes!" Then I had kids. You seriously have to pick your battles and sometimes I look a bit homeless myself.

Parley and Anna and family! said...

In our family we ALL look homeless. I try...at least with the kids...but it is just not an ability I have! I'm glad to hear there are other mothers out there who care about as much as I do! In the end, it really doesn't matter. I like looking homeless, anyway, because then I won't be mugged!

Emily said...

Oh so familiar. Besides homeless, my girls also pull off the polygamist look quite well - they like to layer pants & playdresses. I don't know how to fench braid though, so they're not totally authentic.

I find that I can either get them ready or myself, but never everybody, so we take turns looking like we spent last night on the street.

Rozel (a.k.a. Michelle) said...

Oh that was funny. I am lucky to get myself out of the house looking presentable.

Higham Family said...

I forgot to say that absolutely must try cream on your snow cone if you haven't already discovered this heavenly addition to an already heavenly treat. It goes great with any (seriously any) flavor. If your shack doesn't offer cream- get a new shack!

Lena said...

if thirty is the number that you stop caring and your children look homeless, then I am doomed. I still have a couple months to go before the big number and my children have been looking like orphans for atleast 5 years (it all began when Remington started to dress himself at the marvelous age of two and refused to wear any of the cute clothes in his closet.) It has only gone down hill from there as each of the children have formed unusually strong opinions about what to wear and how to do their hair.

Rachelle said...

all i thought about was how perfectly groomed and behaved your kids are at church. They never have a hair out of place, and could never understand how you do it! I am so glad to know they don't look like that every day- it would be exhausting!