Thursday, May 23, 2013

Training a Diplomat

Today, while T was napping, I was performing a masterful trifecta of multitasking: cuddling O, watching a movie that will probably embarrass him later on in life if I document it for all eternity here, doing some work on the computer, and thinking about how short life is. I suppose that is more than a trifecta, but what is the equivalent of trifecta when you have four items?

In any case, I paused the movie to chat with him a little bit. It was one of those moments in which I just felt overwhelmed at the gift of being a mother, which is always a welcome change from feeling overwhelmed by the noise and the requirement for patience of motherhood.

I talked with O about how much I love him, and then I touched his little nose and told him how cute it is. I tend to overcompensate with O on the nose compliments because I had a few people make comments to me when he was a newborn about the size of his nostrils. Maybe he just flared his nostrils a lot when he was a baby, because they are perfectly normal to me.

At a recent birthday party, I saw the guy who made the most blunt and rude comment about his nose, and the hair of the back of my neck bristled when I saw him. I forgave him in my mind though, especially since I know and everybody else in the entire world knows that O's nose is perfectly proportionate to his face. Also, he now has two kids of his own and chances are some equally unaware person has made as big of a gaffe in regards to one of his kids. My mom told me once about how she has always remembered how all the nurses in the hospital made a big deal about the size of my feet when I was a newborn in the hospital. One nurse called all the other nurses over to look at my freakishly large baby feet. My feet are now a respectable size 8, thank you very much, neonatal nurses. Clearly, the protective instinct a mother has for her offspring extends to matters of personal appearance. In case nobody has mentioned it to you before, commenting on somebody's new baby, especially in light of the work and pain that is involved in pregnancy and childbirth, should include nothing but compliments and diplomacy. Anything else is license for Mother Bear to emerge from even the most demure of women.

O touched his nose and then said: "Everyone's nose is the same. Except some people have different coloured noses if their skin is a different colour." We then spoke about how neat it is that God made people with all different colours of skin. We talked about families whose members have different colours of skin. I then showed him that even he and I have slightly different coloured skin. He smushed our arms together and said "No, Mom. See, we are the same colour. Your skin is just really old. Because you're so grown up. When you were a little girl, your skin was beige, but now it's just so old." At that point he looked up and saw the look on my face. "I mean, you're just really big."

I think we'll have to work on compliments and diplomacy a wee bit more.

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