8/6/09

What A Liberal Mom Should Say...

As I chopped zucchini for dinner I found myself catapulted into this conversation with my 4 year old daughter:
"Mommy, what do you call those shiny things people put in their belly buttons?"
Picturing my toddler's tanned bloated belly with a giant rhinestone dangling on it as she strutted down the pool decking to swim lessons, I answered, "That's called a belly button ring and that's similar to an earring."
"Oh," she laughed, "I think I want to have one of those."
OMG, I am so barreling down the fiery road to teenage parenting hell right this minute!!!!!!!
"Really?" I replied, trying to keep my voice light and interested, "Well, you know, you can make that choice when you're eighteen years old. It's a choice an adult is aloud to make when they understand the consequences."
And then I flung my parenting body right off the skyline bridge, donned my liberal college cap-feathers and all- and pulled my shirt up to show off an old scar, "See? Right there above my belly button? Mommy had a belly button ring when she was in college. I chose to have one. But then, after awhile I changed my mind and I took it out and it heeled up and left just a little scar. That's the cool thing about piercing your ears or your belly button or your nose, if you change your mind, it will heal up and go away."
Wait, is that the parent in me I see, clawing her way up the rocky cliffs, scaling the bridge railing? Did that conservative bitch just knock my feathered bowler off my open-minded bohemian head? I swear, I can't keep myself straight sometimes! I couldn't stop talking...
"Piercings are different from tattoos. Tattoos are also something you may choose to get when you are an adult, but they don't disappear when you change your mind. They stay there forever." (Forever... and ever....and everrrrrrrr... I wanted to repeat)
I paused to look at my daughter's reaction to all this information.
Then, I added, "Mommy thought about getting a tattoo but she always changes her mind so she never got one."
Shelby looked down at the goldfish in her cup while she fingered her belly button. I was trying hard to look calm and relaxed while hiding my angst at her answer to all this.
Finally, she offered, "I think I'd like to just get my ears pierced for my birthday, okay?"

1 comment:

HollyM said...

Ohmigod, you are so in for it with that one...very shrewd little Shelby, very shrewd indeed.