Sunday, April 29, 2007

I swear I'm still here

I'm still here, I swear.  I'm lurking, hitting the j's and emailing folks, but it's all quickie.

Not that kind of quickie.

The truth is that I am being held hostage by the five year old.  Apparently she has taken all those comments regarding duct tape to heart, and duct taped herself to me. 

Okay, well, it's not literal, it's figurative.  (But she may as well be physically taped to me--I nearly stepped on her twice the other day.) She wants to know my whereabouts, every minute.  She sits next to me whilst I'm doing my journal lurking.  So close I can't even move my elbow.  I'm totally beat by the time her Dad gets home, and by the time she finally hits it....I hit it too. 

It's totally something I try to handle in stride, a passing phase, if you will, but it's still annoying.  I know, cherish each moment, blah, blah, but do I have to cherish ALL my moments, even the moments in the bathroom? 

I've never been so happy that a doorlock works ever.

Calm. Blue. Ocean.  Calm.  Blue. Ocean.  breathe, breathe, breathe...

And then,  AND THEN,  right when I am ready to jump, right then, she says something like this, which happened on Friday.

"Mommy, why are we going to the mall again?"

"I need to get some face powder." 

(Of all my beauty extravagances, I will not, no way, no how, compromise on the foundation/powder I get.  I buy it once a year, which is fine because I am rendered sightless for days when I see what price beauty truly entails.  Cursed, bad, funky-hued skin....sigh...)

Anyway.  Where was I? 

"Powder?  For you face?  So you can be pretty like me?"

"Yes, so I can be pretty like you.  Although, I don't think anyone could do anything to my face to make me as pretty as you."

(Okay, I'm a little indulgent, but she's five.  I'm just padding her brain as a precautionary strike against "I'm so ugly" adolescence.)

This is where she floors me, where I want to let out a whoop and stop the car, and hug her, and it makes me forget how awful it was that morning, getting out of the house with a list THIIIIIIIIIS long of things  I needed to do, on which there was no time allotted for YET another bathroom break.  ("We all have heard the question: "Mommy, I need to go potty." -- A simple, no-brainer type of request, or a plot to make you lose your last tenuous grip on sanity?  Live at five."  As they cut away to uber-Mom, wipes and smiles at hand, escorting the perfectly behaved little one into The Cleanest Bathroom On Earth; superimposed over some lady with crazy hair, a wad of Kleenex, and a bucket in the housewares aisle, cart full of melting ice cream, heard hissing "I told you to go before we left the house.")

I've done it again.  Where was I? 

She says to me, without skipping a beat, "Mommy.  Just be yourself."

Oh.  Wow.  I don't know what makes me more impressed, the fact that someone's been eavesdropping, and paying attention; or the fact that she understands that being yourself, comfortable in your own skin, is what makes someone pretty.  And that she felt that my being myself was pretty.

I was really touched.  "That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.  Thank you, sweetie."

My girl, she's pretty AND smart.

Of course, I still hit the makeup counter. 

I figured it couldn't hurt to take out a little insurance, for those days when I'm not myself.

Monday, April 23, 2007

She's got 20/20

Audrey turned five yesterday.  She was so very excited to "get the party started" that she practically vibrated from room to room at her Nana's house.

I'd met the family at my Mom's from work.  I forgot the # 5 candle, so I asked Mr W to pick one up on his way back to the house.  At the appointed time, we lit up the 5 and the little row of five candles (you can't ever have too many candles when you are five)...and she blew them all out in one breath.

We all cheered, and I was about to move into serving mode, when the row of five lit up again.   ??

Once again, she managed to blow them all out, only to have them spark up.   Surely her father is not that mean, I thought, to get her the relighting-candles.

Nope.  It was an accident.  The five candles I pulled out just happened to be bonus candles in the pack.  It was totally funny, one of those moments that are better because they are not planned.

We took her to the pediatrician for her well visit today.  Mr W and I followed her out into the hallway as the nurse checked her vision.  I'd forgotten at this age that the eye chart is pictures.  I listened to her, as she told the nurse what she saw:  "Heart"  "X'  "Boat"  "Flag."

As the nurse moved her hand down the chart, and the pictures got smaller, I had to chuckle, as the pictures became  "Little heart"  "Little X"  "Little Boat"  "Little Flag."  It was so adorable, her Dad melted on the spot.

Unfortunately for her, this was the most enjoyable part of the visit as she was due for some shots.  Four of them.

I thought she was going to be brave.  She said she was going to be brave.  I should know better.  All bets were off once she saw the syringes.

The girl has perfect vision.

My hearing, on the other hand, will never be the same.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Learning to let go, Part II

When I was in the sixth grade, one day in PE, as I sat in the requisite pleated white PE dress (with bloomers), pretending to listen to the instructions of our teacher, Ana P. remarked to me that my legs were hairy. 

"Don't you shave them?"  she said, penciled eyebrow raised in concern, her voice betraying the concern with a sense-of-horror tone.  She may has well asked if I was related to Bigfoot, I was so mortified.

I should add that Ana P. was a little older than we were, and one of the faster girls.  Fast in development, and allegedly fast at other things; she was one of the more worldly girls in the grade, the ones you'd go to with the questions you were too embarrassed to ask your Mom. These are the girls to who the mysteries of periods and lipstick had come to while the rest of us were still pondering throwing out our last Barbie. 

I should also add, in my defense, that while I am not all that hairy, thanks to some ancestor in my past to who I am pretty grateful, I did take her remarks to heart at the time.  I proceeded to nag my mother on the subject, like only a prepubescent girl can, and eventually, I wore her down.

"Just get in the shower, I'll be there in a minute,"  she said on the day she finally caved.

Yesss!  I thought, as I ran to the bathroom.  It wasn't until I realized I had nothing with me, and she would more than likely be in the bathroom with me while I was in the shower naked to show me that I got a little nervous.  Great.  Just what the prepubescent girl wants, her Mom surveying what's going on when she doesn't even really want to see it herself.  Ugh.

Her face a mixture of annoyance, anxiety, and a little hurt, my Mom showed me how to shave not only my legs, but my underarms as well.  I don't know who was more rattled, in retrospect, her, or me.  I do remember her saying something like "I can't believe you want to do this, you don't need to at this age."  Yet she was understanding enough to help me, if only because I told her that it was coming up amongst the other girls, via PE.  She didn't want to have me suffer the scrutiny.

A week later when I took off a hefty chunk of top layer of skin near my ankle, where I still bear the scar, I wished I hadn't been so persistent.  Not that I wasn't willing to bear whatever pain it took for smooth, silky legs, but as I watched it bleed and FELT IT STING (ouch), I had to wonder.

Nolan, dear boy that he is, has had a little shadow of fuzz on his upper lip since he was about five.  His hair is sooo dark, it's always been noticeable, and a quiet joke among the older family members for ages.  Not that we've ever been laughing at him--I'm the one that gets teased about it, go figure.

Now that he's older, and the puberty train has picked him up, it has gotten more pronounced. 

It's my turn to be nagged.  Between the fuzz on his upper lip and his eyebrows, I get an earful every weekend.

"Mom, please can I shave?"  "Mom, please will you wax this mess?" (pointing to between the brows)

Over and over, times infinity, he has nagged me like only a pubescent boy can. 

Over and over, I've gently told him no, as "once you start shaving, you're stuck, you never get a chance to stop again."  Even appeals to his father didn't work, although I could sense him changing his mind the last time Nolan  asked.

In the face of our repeated denying of his request,  Nolan did the next best thing, and started appealing/pleading his case to the other adults in his life.  Jane.   My mom and dad.  My brother.  Remo.

Fine.  If it means that much to him,  I thought last night, we'll do it.  When we got home, I called him to my bathroom.  Luckily, I had shaving cream that is not fruity (I love that Aveeno one that says its supposed to make it so that you don't have to shave as often.  It works.  And it's by the guy stuff, but not scented, so even better). His Dad had a drawerful of extra razors, so I grabbed one and was all set.

I lathered up the area above his lip, and tried not to giggle.  I was just about to offer the instructions when I heard his Dad in the hallway. 

I surrendered my duties in a flash.  Which is good, because I was about to provide him misinformation.  I mean, who knew shaving your legs is not the same as shaving your face?  Once he took over, I could tell Mr W felt a little flush of manly bonding pride.  He patiently explained the ins and outs, and he let Nolan do most of it himself.   (He looked great when he was done.)

As I watched them through the door, I couldn't help but remember that look of anxiety, and a little hurt, on my Mom's face.  I didn't need a mirror to know that the expression on my face was probably quite similar.

I just understood it better from this vantage point.

Learning to let go, Part I

I remember when Nolan was in kindergarten, and we got his first poster board "All About Me" project.  You know the ones where the kids put pictures of things on them, tell about their favorite things, and whatnot?

I remember I let him do it on his own.   I helped, but not too much, just with the writing.

And then I saw the other ones.  The ones that looked like they'd been done by professional scrapbookers.  I knew it was ridiculous to feel even a twinge of competitiveness--afterall, my logic in letting him do it was so he'd take pride in his work--but I felt it nonetheless.

My Martha streak engaged.  After that,I took over and 'helped' or, more accurately, 'overhelped' as we've done these posterboards over the years with different teachers/kids.  As though my mettle as a mother is determined by the straightness of my columns and the captions accompanying the pictures, I'd hem and haw over the shoulder of the child working on the poster, if not out and out doing it myself.

Ryan is the Star Student of the week for his class this week, which meant another poster needed to be made.

I was busy making dinner the other night as I was helping him with it.  In the interest of time and neatness, I'd plopped down at the computer and started making his poster, printing out pictures of things I know he likes.  I was starting to make headings and such for his lists of favorites using fun fonts when he stopped me.

"Mommy, you don't have to do that on the computer.   No one else has done it that way.  Can't we just color/write it in using markers?" 

"I guess.  But can we do it tomorrow, then, because I should get dinner finished right now?" 


Tomorrow arrived, and once again I was a little busy.  I decided to farm the work out, and asked Ben (who likes drawing and coloring) to help him with it.  They sat together at the table, just thick as thieves, planning and coloring.  I watched from the kitchen every now and then, but made myself back off.  Their result is more colorful and warm than anything I would've made.  It's real, right down to the misspelled (and omg, crossed out) words.

"Mommy, what do you think?"  Ryan asked me as he pointed at it proudly.

"It's perfect,"  I replied.  Shut up, Martha.

I have to remind myself he's eight, not five; he's big enough to do a lot more on his own...

...I just have to let him.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

In a few months, this will make me cry

You know that scene from 'Jaws' where Sheriff Brody is sitting at the dinner table, and rubbing his temples; while his little boy copies him?

I love that scene.  Loved it when I saw the movie, got the tug in my heart that was "aww" and "someday" and warm.

I am living that scene right now, everyday, all day.  The girl, she is relentless.  It is not a warm feeling that engulfs me as I sigh and grit my teeth as she watches me get ready for the day.  I put on lippy.  She puts on lippy.  "What's that for?" as she picks up something from the makeup bag.  "OOoooh, pretty,"  she says, as she takes it all in.  

I guess you can tell--the stalking continues.

I am still trying to get her past the nighttime issues.  I am a busy girl, and sleep deprived on my own due to my late-night surfing/reading/watching cable I have been caving and sleeping with her.  I'd put her in bed with us, but she kicks.  And it's not nice when she kicks.  The last time she kicked, her father was nearly a soprano.

Last night, I put her in her bed, and went around closing up shop.  Turning things off, smoothing hair off foreheads, covering escaped limbs...and she stayed down. 

I eyed my bed in the dark, thinking about how much I miss it.  I even contemplate "accidentally" waking up my husband, but the ensuant snore made me reconsider.  I crawl in, get cozy, and am just dropping off when I feel a little hand on my calf.  Sigh.  I scoot so she'll be closer to me, and hope my husband doesn't wake up shaped like a horseshoe.

I had a somewhat restful night, but the howling cat from hell woke me before the alarm.  I got up, went to let the dogs out, and was heading back down the hall to brush my teeth when there stands a bedheaded little girl, already walking down the hallway looking for me.

She's been Velcro-ed to me all morning.  I've answered four thousand questions ("What time is it?" is the current favorite); been subjected to songs about all topics (she's singing her numbers right now); and have contemplated shutting myself in the bathroom for half an hour at least twice. 

She's going to preschool in an hour or so. 

I'm thinking about taking a nap in the library.  Just like in college, except I will wake up in time for my next class.

I emailed my husband:

"Am about to jump.  Remind me of this on the first day of school, when I am weeping about how much I am going to miss her."

All of you, at that time, feel free to join in.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Some day, these will be fighting words

**oh, for Pete's sake.  I was just touched by the AOL poltergeist, and this is my second time doing this entry.  Someone has apparently not discussed good touch/bad touch with it...**

Let's try this again.  Ahem.

Yesterday afternoon, Ben and Ryan went along to pick up Nolan with the lady I carpool with. 

At dinner last night, as I was feeding everyone, Nolan announced to me that they got a good look at his crush at that time.

"Oh, yeah?  I bet Ben went up to talk to her."


Ben starts giggling and decides to play along:  "Well, she looks like she can spell her name, that's a start..."

Nolan looks a little threatening,  so Ben changes his tack:  "She's pretty."

"She's too old for you,"  Nolan warns.  "She's like two years older than you are."


"Cut it out, you guys,"  I intervene.

I look over at Ryan, who has been quiet during the entire exchange.  He looks up at me, like he's thinking about what to say.

With a little, semi-dismissive wave of his hand, he says, "Eh, she's alright."

I had to leave the room because I was laughing.  Like he's some authority on girls or something, that wave, "she's alright".  

I mean, really.  He's hardly been around the block.

Yet the change, I sense it coming.  From fighting over who gets the controller next to fighting over "but I saw her first."

Umph.  Wait'll they find out that passing non-neutral judgement on the girls their brother brings home is like waving a red flag.

Time to build the boxing ring.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Jogging my memory

Listening to Nolan talk about his crush has brought me back to another time.

See, I wasn't much older than he is when I started to date his Dad.  (A fact my childhood best friend points out with glee everytime I am ranting about whatever it is I am banning from the house in an effort to protect the boy from the world.)

I told him the story, about how I'd really been interested in this boy my age.   A boy who was interested in me too, but only talked to me and certainly never asked me out.  No, his way of letting me know he liked me was to stare at me the entire time we were in Science (he sat across from me).  I could feel him, willing our eyes to meet, as he burned a hole in the top of my head.

I was in eighth grade, and desperately was hoping he'd ask me to our little eighth grade graduation soiree, and he did not.  I was really bummed out about it, but not so much that it prevented me from going stag to the thing anyway.  At this same time, I'd  made Mr. W's acquaintance at an event at the high school.  He, on the other hand, made his interest known.

His attention, which might be viewed as stalking these days (he just happened to show up everywhere I went, and drove by my house so many times I could recognize his passing by without going to the window) was certainly getting my attention.  He gave me his number, and kept telling/asking me to call him.  "I don't call boys,"  I protested, a half-truth, but one I maintained until he wore me down.

I called him.

And the rest is history.

The other boy stayed interested, for a long time, enough so that even to this day, Mr W is not too happy if I mention his name. 

I was hoping the story might help illustrate to Nolan that if you are interested, you should say something, or someone else might beat you to the punch.

Sometimes you just need to get over yourself and open your mouth.

I will spare him all the tales of when you open your mouth and insert your own foot.  While it is true that I am something of an authority on that, he has been becoming more familiar with those all on his own.

Even my overprotective self knows some rites of passage are best experienced firsthand.

Love, according to the boys

It's been interesting for me to have a front row seat on the boy point of view.  From the first time I was hit with the reality that yes, they are obsessed with their penis from the get go, astonished that they innately knew where it was and that IT MUST BE PROTECTED! as you change their diaper, it's been nothing but a learning experience. 

I had a lot of guy friends growing up, and I have a lot of guy friends (but fewer) now as an adult.  I thought I had a handle on things.

Until I realized that knowing boys is nothing like living with them.

Whether it's the aversion to bathing that seems to develop the moment you stop administering the baths yourself, or the mystery of the lost sock; the way that one of my boys didn't change his underwear for about a week and saw nothing wrong with that, or the debate over which is worse, silent-but-deadly or bomb-that-rattles-the-windows...I've discovered you just don't know as much as you think you do.

So I watch them.   I kiss them, hug them, love them, even if proximity makes my eyes water.

I try to do what I can, for the future women in their lives, guiding, correcting...and hoping.

Hoping that they keep open hearts, and are able to love freely when the time comes, and not be as annoying as the last guy my best friend dated. 

I have eagerly awaited the questions about love.  Crushes.  Girls.  Something I know a little about.

I was surprised that my oldest started to confide in me about someone he really likes.  (He's usually not so chatty about such affairs.) I let him talk to me, and sometimes I will offer a little advice.

Considering he has not spoken directly to her and has been admiring her from afar for months, I figure a little encouragement couldn't hurt.

"Mijo, why don't you just talk to her?  Just be yourself, and say something."

"She's always in a pack.  I can't talk to her when she's in a pack.  Why are they always in a pack?"

Jokingly, I suggest a wingman.  A diversion.  A friend willing to take a little heat so he can have a few words.

We'd banter back and forth about this daily, until one day last week, when I mentioned it to Mr W.  Since Nolan was around, we both were kinda giving him a hard time, but trying to help him out. 

I backed off, so I could listen to Mr W's take on things.  "Son, don't worry about it.  If a girl wants to talk to you alone, she will come to you.  She'll find you.  Don't worry about the pack."

Right after the 'is he kidding?' thought flashed across my mind, other thoughts, other snippets and flashes from my past reared their heads. And then I felt myself blanch, right before I started to blush.  I felt a little sick.

Surely, it is not that simple.

Oh, but yes, it is.

My husband is a genius.  An evil bastard genius.  It's always the quiet ones, you know.

It's one thing, afterall, to know you always have your heart on your sleeve; it's quite another to know that all those times when you thought you were being subtle, you were pretty much waving the "I like you LIKE YOU that way" sign above your head.  The one with the "nail me" fine print.  Nice.  Humbling.  (I should be relieved, I guess that no one bothers to read fine print.  I have to stick with relieved, because 'horrified no one took me up on it' is just too...ugh, the shame...)

At any rate, the boy felt better. 

But as of today, he still hasn't talked to her.  Wonder what Mack-Daddy has to say about that.

I managed to catch something at dinner about a bet.  As in, "bet you a don't talk to her."  I found this amusing, but not as amusing as the story Ryan told me.

Ryan has mentioned a little girl in his class having a crush on him for quite some time now.  I've kinda discouraged him thinking that, as they are only second graders, and I figure maybe she just wants to hang out with him; and the other kids are teasing them about it. 

Tonight, he was earnest as he said: "Mommy, Shannon has a crush on me.  Seriously."

"What makes you think that?"

"She likes me.  She follows me around sometimes."


"Really, Mom.  And when I ignore her, she's worse and comes around all the time to talk to me.  But when I'm nice to her, and talk to her or try to play with her, she doesn't want anything to do with me."

Oh, boy.  Well.  He's eight.  He's got that whole thing figured out.  I'm thirty-eight.  Apparently, as my memory gears me up for some more embarrassment, I still don't have a clue.

Ignore her = she tries harder

Talk to her = she's gone

As I take note of this, I am stunned by the simplicity.  (Are boys/men really like that?  Oy.  I'm feeling a little sick again.)

"Do you have a crush on her?"

His "NOooo" is so instant, so emphatic, that I had to giggle, exchanging a look with Mr W as he laughed too.

Later, we were out walking, and I asked him about her again.  "So, does Shannon have a crush on anyone else?"

"Nope," he says with conviction.  "Just me."


"I know she likes me because one time, we were waiting in line, and I came up to her and she saw me coming and she did this to her hair (he flipped imaginary hair back over his shoulders) and looked for something to smash and she found a pine cone and she did this (he wiggles his foot back and forth, wiggling all the way up to his hip, crushing the imaginary pine cone) and that's how I know."

I am struck by how very Olivia Newton-John in "Grease" this move is, except we have a pine cone in place of her cigarette, and I am sure Shannon is not wearing black hot pants.

"Do you think she was smashing things to impress you?"


I believe him.  Afterall, she did do the hair flip, that time-honored flirty move used by girls everywhere.

I left him at his friend's house, and went home.

I found Mr W in our room.  (he was alone)

Relating the story to him, I flipped my hair about ten times.  (flirty girl)

"24 is on in 30 minutes," he reminded me. (I was about to take the dogs out for a walk.) 

Subtlety is a waste of time.  Hair flipping? Only works on eight year olds.  What was I thinking?   I should adopt a more direct approach.

Like emblazoning "nail me" on a t-shirt. 

No fine print.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Real Moms

I got tagged for the 'Real Moms' meme, first by Chantal, and then by Steph.  I have been thinking about it off and on now for quite some time---but decided o just go for it.

Real Moms need Real Dads.  There is nothing more humbling in the world than realizing that not only does he help you out in ways so subtle you don't even notice, but sometimes, he does things better than you do.  So get over yourself and let him handle the baths once in a while.  Bite your tongue when he tells you what they had for breakfast.  Look the other way when he takes 20 minutes, 10 wipes, and covers his nose with his shirt when he's changing a diaper.  He can handle it.  Let him. 

Real Moms sometimes hoard the chocolate.  The kids know the dark chocolate is mine.  Step away from the Dove, and no one gets hurt.

Real Moms spend a lot of time in the car.  If that isn't an excuse for your music habit, I don't know what is.  iTunes cards are like crack. (Don't complain about my singing, either. It prevents road rage.)

Real Moms like to be appreciated.  I used to think it was odd when Mr W would have the kids say "thanks for dinner, Mom" but it's nice.  Even if I wind up scraping too much of it into the trash can, it's sweet that they say thanks, for a job that you really can't get a break from.

and speaking of breaks....

Real Moms need some time to themselves, where there are no demands, no noses/asses to wipe, and no interruptions.  Impossible?  Maybe.  But five minutes will do if that's all you can get.

Real Moms are still real girls.  I can remember exactly when it happened...I was talking to a friend of mine, and he said something about how he'd hand his wife a wad of cash and point her in the direction of the nearest Ulta.  I felt a little green, as I was still hauling Audrey around and down to the minimum amount of all things girly.   I think I was at the mall the next day, GodMACzilla reborn.  (You know it's bad when the Clinique lady not only recognizes you, but knows your daughter's name.) 

Real Moms still look.  And like to be looked at.  Oh, yes.  Errands are a little less tedious when there is eye candy in the produce work...the coffee shop.  On the flip side, it sure puts a little spring in your step when you get The Look.  You know the one, the one that reminds you you have a pulse, and it just started to race. 

Real Moms sometimes go hide in the bathroom.  For whatever reason, it  seems to be the only locked door children get; they understand it means privacy.  I will admit that sometimes I go in there, not to do any business, but to take a break.  I might read.  I might cry. I might be putting myself in time-out.

Real Moms love all their kids.  I have a coworker who once asked me about how you find the love for the other kids (she has one baby, and she's mad about him).  I told her you love them all, equally; you might not like them all the time, but you do love them.  They are all different, different strengths/different weaknesses; you might feel more warmly about certain qualities than others depending on your mood, but at the end of the day, you still love them.  At least that's how it works for me.

Real Moms like it when people remember their names.  It's fun the first few times someone calls you "<insert child's name>'s Mom."  I'm over it.  There are a couple of my husband's colleagues that I don't see very often, and their stock shoots up every time I do see them, because they remember my name.  (And use it in sentences that don't involve potty training.)

Real Moms like sex.  I know, I'm echoing Chantal here, but, really: Why not?  It got you to the Mom-stage to begin need to remember how to do it so that when they are finally gone, you can resume your earlier fervor.  And have a heart attack.

Real Moms accept their faults.  I apologize to the kids when I am out of line, and that does happen from time to time.  (More than I care to admit.)  They need to know that no one is perfect, we all have moments when we cross over from "plain unreasonable" to "fucking insane" and are no worse for it. 

That's all I have to say for now.  I have to get the kids in the car to go to aikido.

And I need to find my iPod...

Monday, April 2, 2007

I just need some time...ALONE

Audrey has upped the ante and is now stalking me in the daytime, too.  I've not been this tethered to a child since my breastfeeding days.

It's so frustrating, too, because one minute, I am ready to go into the bathroom and lock the door--forever, or until her Dad gets home; and the next, I am giggling at something charming that she just said.

"Mommy, you look pretty," is always a good one.

Anyway, she has been fixated on her babyhood, and for some reason, asked me the other day:

"Mommy, when I was born, did you see my tushie?"

To which I replied, "Of course I did.  When you came out of me, you were naked."

"WHHhhaaaaaat?"  she asked, completely aghast.  "I was NAKED???"

"Honey, everyone is born naked."

She was totally horrified.

As if she would have sprung out of me in pink go-go boots and a Hello Kitty t-shirt, bows in her hair, ready to party.

With as much trouble as the docs had pulling her out during my c-section, it only felt like it.