One of the problems with staying at home with Cara and Ollie is I know how they act but I don’t know how “normal” kids act. And by “normal,” I don’t mean my kids are abnormal–though they are pretty weird which is Tucker’s fault–but I don’t know if some of their interesting quirks are things all kids this age go through.
Like Ollie’s faux Karate kicks to everyone’s shins or Cara’s obsession with image. Are my kids the only ones who do these crazy things? And that’s a rhetorical question since I well know every kid is weird but I just have these two and sometimes small issues seem like big deals.
Cara’s preoccupation with image seems to be morphing from a simple little kid thing into a preoccupation.
She started this last year with her saying she wanted to be “fat like [me]” and at that time, I’m pretty sure she meant it in a nice way. In fact, I don’t think any of her comments with any of this are mean spirited; she’s just telling it like she sees it.
Unfortunately she doesn’t see it as rude.
Last Friday was the breaking point for Tucker and me. It had been a hell of trying day with both kids acting like heathens who had been raised by wolves but not the caring wolves like Romulus and Remus had but some kind of rabid, mutant wolves with one too many legs or something.
We were on our way home from enrolling Cara in gymnastics and Cara let us know in her most authoritative voice that, “Ms.[Gymnastic Teacher] isn’t nearly as pretty as I thought she’d be.” She kind of sniffed at the end and she sounded like a snob. A snob who comments on someone’s shoes because the shoes have a scuff.
There are times when I wonder if maybe I’m worrying about this too much. Kind of like paying too much attention to your kids? All kids do this at some point in their lives and you just ignore it?
We tried to explain to her that saying something like that would hurt people’s feelings. To which she replied that she’d only say stuff like that around her family. Where the hell did that come from? It’s like she had already made up rules she hadn’t clued us into.
We let it go…for the most part. It’s a phase.
But she keeps bringing up words like pretty and ugly and handsome and just about every other adjective you can think of having to do with physical appearance. This isn’t just every once in a while…this is multiple times a day. If she sees someone at Target who strikes her as especially attractive or ugly then she’s going to tell me. And she’s going to say it loud and proud and she’s going to be oblivious.
And it’s embarrassing as hell.
What do we do?
Do we keep telling her she’s being rude? That it hurts people’s feelings? That there’s more to a person that their outward appearance?
A life atlas and instructional guide would have been handy when they sent her home with me.