Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I have always been an insanely self-conscious person. I can’t really explain why, but I’m sure that it has something to do with my somewhat dodgy upbringing, and how my parents never really instilled me with a sense of self-confidence. As I got older, I started to care less and less about what other people thought about me, deciding that being myself (however awkward or quirky) was way better than being “accepted” or “fitting in.” Unfortunately, now that I am a mother, I find myself thinking and worrying about how I am perceived by other people… a lot. I am aware that in the grand scheme of things, the opinions of total strangers don’t matter, but insecurity often overthrows logical thinking. With that said, now that my oldest has started preschool, I am downright terrified of the things that must be running through the heads of the teachers, the director, and the other parents.
Just today, I told my husband that I like to look “reasonably well-put-together” when I go to drop-off or pick up our Midget. (Yes, we affectionately refer to our oldest as “Midget” and our youngest as “Munchkin.” Alliteration FTW.) I wish to exude confidence that I don’t necessarily have, and I want these people to think that I have it together – a task that might prove a little more difficult than it should because of my current choice of hair colour, the steel rod sticking out of my ear cartilage, and my proclivity for black eyeliner and hoodies. Despite my outward appearance, I want it to be abundantly clear that I am doing a fine job raising an intelligent and well-adjusted toddler. Which, of course, brings me to my daughter.
Now, I’m not gonna lie: Midget is a bit of a brat. However, I don’t want other people to think that. I want them to see that she is beautiful, intelligent, and funny. I want them to understand that she has an active imagination, and that when she talks about zombies it’s not because she sits on the couch watching George Romero films all day (it’s because mommy has a Dismember Me Plush Zombie called Vladimir); that when she asks about “girl stuff” it’s because she is trying to understand how the human body works, and that when she throws a tantrum, she’s just being a grumpy three-year old. Finally, I think it goes without saying that I want others to think that the pint-sized chick with the blue hair tied in a wild top-knot is doing a damn fine job of raising not one, but two amazing little girls.
...Even if I’m not doing that great, I want people to think that I am anyway, dammit.