‘Mad Mommy Face’ Is What Led Me To Botox

I was distressed, to say the least, when my daughter asked me worriedly what was wrong and nothing was. ”What do you mean?” I asked her. ”Nothing is wrong.” My daughter responded, ”But you have your ”˜Mad Mommy Face.’” That, my friends, is when I had an epiphany. And that epiphany was that I needed to do something drastic, and that drastic something was Botox.

”This is not my ”˜Mad Mommy Face,’” I told her in shock. ”This is just, well, my face!” Yes, it was because of my daughter that I made an appointment to get my first needles full of whatever shot into my frown lines. When I first heard my daughter use the phrase, ”Mad Mommy Face” I thought it was pretty cute and funny. But it turns out, from talking to mommy friends, that a lot of kids say this to their mothers.

Most mothers, I guess, do get ”Mad Mommy Face.” But, unlike many mothers, facial expressions are everything to my daughter and me. It’s how we communicate a lot of the time. For example, if I raise eyebrows, that means, ”Your play date is over. We are leaving now. No fucking around.” And she’ll get her coat on and we’ll leave, no arguing at all.

The fact is, in my daughter’s eight years, I have only yelled at her once. Yes, you read that correctly. In my daughter’s more than 3000 days in my life, I have only raised my voice at her once. And, truth be told, it was half my fault. She had been reading a book, and the little girl character in that book had written on her bedroom wall. My daughter asked me if she could do the same thing, and since I was on the phone, I kind of said, ”Yes,” without really hearing what she had asked. But I had just repainted her room, and when I went up to see that she had written the entire alphabet on her wall with pencil – I lost it! And by ”losing it,” I mean I yelled at her.

That was two years ago, and I haven’t yelled at her since. I’m not good around yelling. Even at family gatherings, where sometimes there are big blowouts between my brothers and their wives, or between my parents, I just get up and leave. When I watch my mother friends yell at their children, no matter how often I see it happen, and no matter that their kids perhaps need to be yelled at, I can’t stand it. When I see toddlers or young children being yelled at in grocery stores, on the street, the park or wherever, I get away from it as quickly as possible.

I am not a yeller, which has, in the past, been a problem for, let’s say, boyfriends. I completely shut down during fights, not picking up my phone, or just refusing to see them. I’m a true believer in ”taking a breath” or giving the cold shoulder, before I will ever yell. Also, because my daughter and I have lived alone for most of her life, there really isn’t anything to yell at her for. It’s not that she’s an angel all the time, but there’s just no need to yell. I just speak to her”¦or use my facial expressions. When I think she’s not telling me the entire truth about something, I just blink my eyes a few times and tilt my head and she’ll fess up. If she asks me something ridiculous, like, ”Can I take five stuffed animals out with us for lunch,” I’ll just stare at her without blinking and bite my lip. She knows that’s a ”˜no.’

If we both witness people yelling or a child having a tantrum, we just look in each other’s eyes and know what each other is thinking, which is, ”Let’s get out of here.” She, too, because she is an only child, can’t stand yelling and often looks as scared as a deer in headlights when she’s around siblings who are having meltdowns or are fighting. And if I ever am mad, she could tell by the way I frowned.

Except, it turns out, that because of my age, I had a permanent frown line, which meant that my daughter started thinking that I was mad when really I was daydreaming about nothing at all. So it wasn’t because of peer pressure or societal pressure or celebrity pressure that I got Botox. It was because my 8-year-old thought I was angry with her when I wasn’t.

I did get the smallest dose possible and, yes, I can still move my forehead. And, truthfully, it didn’t make me look any younger, but it did take away my deep frown lines. It did work, for its purpose, which is that I haven’t heard my daughter say “Mad Mommy Face” since.

Now if I could just do something about those permanent under-eye bags…

(Photo: altrendo images)

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