A couple of days ago my daughter asked if she could get a new dress. We were on our way to the car and headed to school. I took a deep breath and responded with, “I’ll get you a new dress when you start wearing the ones that already hang in your closet…unworn.”
In your face! Mom wins round 1!
While my outsides shouted swagger, my insides were filled with guilt and self loathing. “Hypocrite,” “practice what you preach” “yep, she’s your daughter” and “you’re such a loser” started looping inside my rattling skull.
My lovely girl and I have had this conversation many times before, the impetus of many of our mother/daughter fights. She needs, wants, begs for something and then it just hangs in her closet or sits in her drawers until it no longer fits. Or worse, she puts it on one morning, styles it up in her unique voice, shows me—I swoon—and then five minutes later she’s wearing the same old holey, stained, pilled, stretched and stinky thing she always wears day after day, week after week.
The difference this time? A witness. My son happened to be with us and had his own ringside announcement, “You do the same thing.”
Blindsided by a right hook and up against the ropes, I didn’t have a comeback. I mean I could have said something horrible like “shut up” “mind your own business” “this isn’t your conversation” but the only thing I could really say is,
And as if my legs weren’t unsteady enough already, he hits me with a lethal combination, “What about that leather thing dad got you for Christmas.” and “You never use that cool see through purse. Didn’t Dad get that, too?” A one, two punch that lands me on the mat.
“Ok, you’re right, Dad and I are going out to dinner on Saturday and I promise to wear the leather thing that he got me for Christmas”. I kept my word .
And tomorrow I have a playdate ready to go with “that cool see through purse.” Charolotte Olympia Pandora Clutch to be exact.
I’ve scheduled to take a few more unworn friends out in the coming weeks. The evidence will be up on instagram.
I might be the older, wiser mother in my house, but my kids can be great teachers when I listen. And obviously they’re pretty deft in the ring.
The winner and champion is not me. I need to hit the speed-bag. I’m staging a comeback.