the day my not yet two year old gave me a body image complex.

So for the official record, every morning I get up before the sun rises and work out. Then I do my hair and makeup and clean the house. Naturally, I proceed to make a hot breakfast for my husband before he goes to work all day, catch up on my correspondence, and take part in my various hobbies (flower arranging, crocheting, knitting, etc.) before the babies wake up. It's important to start off on the right foot.

However, I know you'll take my word on the fact that this story starts on a day that clearly isn't normal. I woke up and the littlest baby was already squawking at me on the monitor, so I got up and grabbed her. Tom was already gone for the day (whoops, have a good day honey!) and so Avie and I hit the ground running. She was particularly cranky that morning, so we ate and played and talked and she absolutely refused to let me put her down. Oh well, that's why this is my job. So we hung out and did our thing and listened for the humming and sighing that means Lyla is up for the day. I am kinda feeling a hot mess since I haven't had any time for myself this morning: going to be generous and use the words "messy bun" to describe my hair, still in pajamas, have not had a bathroom break since 10:15 last night, whatever.

Finally, I hear Lyla start to babble to herself, singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider and scolding her Sock Monkey about a diaper or something. Avie and I go in and we get both of them changed and dressed for the day. Avie still isn't letting me put her down, but what else is new?

Lyla plays for a little bit and then agrees with me that we should probably get her some breakfast. I get her seated in her high chair and Avery finally lets me put her down on her play mat with some toys so that I can get Lyla's breakfast stuff together.

So I'm cutting banana slices and rinsing her berries and we're talking, and she starts talking about cows. This is not unusual, Lyla loves animals and cows are familiar to her. Whatever. The thing is, she's really sticking with it today.

"Cow. Cow. Cow. Mooooooooo. Seh mooooooooooo. Cow. Cow. Moooooooooooo. Momma. Momma. Cow. Moooooooooo."

"Yes, Lyla. Cows say moo. What about ducks? What do they say?"

"Mooo. Cow Momma. Momma. Cow. Cow mooooooo. Momma. Mooooo Momma."

"I know Lyla, cows! Cows say moo, and they live on a farm. What else lives on a farm? Does a pig live on a farm?"

"Momma. Cow. Cowwwww Momma. Mooooo."

I'm telling you, it was a really riveting conversation. I mean, I'll give her credit. She knows her animal noises and loves talking about them...but usually there's at least a little variety in our conversations. I know she's not even two, but I just flat out can't talk about cows all day long. So I turn around and look at her while we're talking, trying to figure out why she's still talking about cows. Maybe we left her farm toys out? Maybe she sees a book somewhere. Hopefully she's constructed a cow with the cheerios on her tray and I'll be able to market those child prodigy skills for a scholarship or something.

Well she's pointing. Here's the thing: she's pointing in my direction.

"Do you see a cow Lyla? What are you pointing at?"

"Yes. Kay Momma. Cow. Moooo Momma! Cow Momma! Cow!"

So yes, she sees a cow alright. She's pointing at me. And not just at me. She's pointing at my backside. At this point she is YELLING.


Ouch. Cuts deep kid. You could've phrased things just a little more kindly, maybe given me a side eye when I stole one of your graham crackers the other day or suggested I only add honey to your toast instead of mine, too. No need to pull the name calling card so quickly. I haven't asked Tom if we could have Torchy's for dinner in almost two weeks and I've eaten ice cream only once this week (it's all about moderation?). I had two babies in less than 18 months, and one of them was you. Cut me some slack here, or so help me, I'll figure out how to send you right back where you came from. Bless your little heart.

"Lyla that's not nice, Momma's not a cow! Momma's a person! With feelings! [*sob*] Let's see if we can see any birds outside? Do you see birds?"

"Momma. Cow Momma. Moooooo."

Sticks and stones kid. Fine, I'm just going to ignore you while I finish making your breakfast you little meanie. 

"Mooooo. Horsie. Horsie Momma."

Really? A horse, Lyla? I'm not even sure what that means.

So I'm over here contemplating what, exactly, a cow/horsie rear end would imply about my lifestyle habits and planning some extra jogging sessions in the near future while Lyla is becoming increasingly agitated.

"Horsie Momma! Cow! Mooooo! Momma Horsie! Neighhhhh horsie Momma! Ears!"

Ears, you say? I've been insecure about a lot of things in my life but ears have never been a point of stress for me. You've lost me. I am completely confused. What do my ears have to do with anything?

I turn and I look and Lyla is flailing around in her high chair, pointing desperately at my backside and yelling about cows, horsies, moos, neighs, and ears. She's losing it. I broke this one. Something went wrong. What is the return policy here?

So I glance down trying to get an idea of why she's having a minor, yet significant, mental break.

Now remember when I said that I usually get up and look 100% awesome pretty much every day of my life? Now remember how, due to circumstances that were clearly out my of control (what 7 month old doesn't sleep until 10:30?!), I had not had the chance to carefully select my outfit for the day and may have still been in my pajamas. My pajamas from the night before might have been pulled out of the bottom of my drawer because all of my normal pj's were, at that time, in the dryer. I might have just pulled out a random shorts and old t-shirt combo without giving a lot of thought as to what they were. I might have been wearing these:

that's right. Gluteus. Maximoose. if you know me, you know i LOVE a good punny joke. Great news for all you likeminded folk: they're for sale online here. For the record: I know this only because I looked for a picture of them online instead of taking pictures of the ones I have. Ain't nobody got time for that. Also I think Tom would be really weirded out to one day stumble across pictures of old boxers on iPhoto.  
Story time: I went on a trip with two of my girlfriends in the summer of 2008, before our junior year of college. We drove from Abilene to Yellowstone in a Pontiac Sunfire. Great times were had by all. We rode horses and went hiking and went to rodeos and then drove to Helena and through some reservations and to Sturgis, South Dakota during the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally. Side note: if you don't know what Sturgis is, don't...just don't Google image search it unless you're really brave and okay with seeing people make questionable decisions with body paint and general safety/hygiene.

Anyway, at one point on that trip, we went to a cheesy gift shop near the park and I got some men's boxers that I just thought were hilarious. I "got them for Tom" at the time, but let's be real: I gave them to him and then took them back because they're both comfortable AND hilarious. I wear them occasionally as pj's and honestly have not thought anything of it.

So now all of the pieces are clicking together: cow, horse, ears. Mommy fail. My poor child had no idea what a moose was, was attempting to discuss it with me, and I was over there cutting up bananas and having some kind of bizarre body image crisis about my cowhorse hindquarters. So, like a good mom, I walked over and pointed out the antlers and explained them, and we pointed to his eyes and nose and where his real ears are. And we found his legs, and his tail and called him a moose and made moose noises (don't ask. I am unprepared to discuss this part.) and generally had a great discussion about the moose. On my butt. In the kitchen. Over breakfast.

I've since (mostly) forgiven Lyla for calling me a horsiecowmoo Momma. I am, however, still planning some extra jogging sessions and cutting out eating less cake, just to prevent any confusion in the future.

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