being a mom
Resolution Week: My New Yearâ€™s Resolution Is To Stop Giving My Kid Weird Body Issues
On my very first day in Texas, I took my daughter, two-years-old at the time, to the grocery store to pick up all of the necessities for our apartmentâ€”toilet paper, cheerios, and chardonnayâ€”and as I lingered over a display of Frito Pie ingredients, wondering what the hell Frito Pie was, a woman with a massive hairdo and leopard print caftan approached, exclaiming, â€œHow adorable! She looks just like you–you should put her in a toddler pageant!â€
I laughed appreciatively at her hilarious joke, until I noticed the wounded look on her face and realized she was being serious. I would find out later that â€œYou should do pageantsâ€ is the ultimate compliment in Texas regarding toddler cuteness, and that my response was basically on par with punching a kindly grandmother in the face. She handled it with southern grace, though, patting me on the shoulder and even saying, â€œbless your soul!â€ which I would find out later is the Texas equivalent of,Â â€œwell fuck you too, honey.â€
What really stuck with me that day, though, was the womanâ€™s assertion that my kid looked just like me, because frankly, until then Iâ€™d never seen a resemblance. I had always joked that my husband must have cheated because there was no way she was mine.
I went home and relayed the incident to my husband, and after having an arrogant laugh about the aw-shucksy quaintness of the natives, I asked if our daughter really did look just like me.
â€œOf course,â€ he said. â€œEveryone says so.â€
I stared at my toddler while she slept for a while, and piece by piece, I could see it, too. The hair. The eyes. The tip of her nose. As she got older, these things became even more recognizable, but I saw them as features that were inherited but improved on her, because while my daughter is beautiful, the most I could ever hope for is â€œinteresting.”Â