I always knew you had to have a sense of humor to raise children. I didn't know you had to have really good self-esteem as well to make it through unscathed. If it's true that children and fools tell the truth, then my appearance is on a dramatic downhill slide. For your amusement, and to elicit some reader sympathy, here are some recent exchanges I've had with my daughters.
At the breakfast table, in strong sunlight
Sophia (age 7): Mom, you look kind of scary right now. Maybe it's because you don't have your makeup on.
Getting into the shower
Livie (age 3): Mommy, why is your bottom sooo big?
In the dressing room of Forever 21
Sophia: Mom, I think you're too old for that dress. I really think you should probably just wear long dresses. Like, you know, long, and with a lot of buttons up here [gesturing at the neck].
Also in the dressing room
Sophia: Mom, those underwear look too small on you. Maybe you should buy bigger underwear.
In a moment of motherly affection
Me: Livie, you have such beautiful eyes. Where did you get those beautiful blue eyes?
Livie: I don't know.
Me: From your daddy! What color are my eyes?
Livie: Uh, kind of black.
Me: No, my eyes are brown.
Livie: [looking closer] Actually, your eyes look kind of red in there. Why are your eyes so red?
So let's sum up: I'm a large bottomed, tired-looking woman who has outgrown her underwear, needs foundation and blush to get by, and should consider showing less skin. Any questions?
That's okay. My girls have enough beauty for all three of us. And I'll still shop at Forever 21 if I want to. Meanwhile, Mommy is heading off tomorrow for a quilting weekend with a wonderful friend and fellow mother. Three days of sewing isn't likely to tone my behind, but I will try to come back looking a little more refreshed.