Friday, November 17, 2006

Dummy Mummy

I'm sure you are familiar with the term Yummy Mummy. It describes a woman with kids who still has it goin' on. She still has all the style and attractiveness she had pre-child, instead of following the expected pattern of turning into a dowdy person wearing "mom jeans" and horrifyingly cheesy seasonal sweaters with pumpkins or reindeer on them.

I decided after the first few months home with Bambina when I wore only T-shirts and yoga pants (= expensive sweatpants), that I had to take massive, concrete action to get back on track, even if "on track" meant "wearing pants with a zipper, for crying out loud." I wasn't sure where to start, so I followed the George Costanza Principle of "Do The Opposite" of whatever my instinct was to do. So I decided to grow my short hair out long. I bought colors I would never have bought. And for mental health I tried to avoid hating myself for gaining weight on some (mercifully) short-term medication I was on, on the theory that yumminess didn't have to mean anorexicness. I also resolved to shower every day, no matter what. I know, I know. Hygiene ought to be at the top of the "yumminess" litmus test, but some days with a new baby in the house, the showers were just not happening. YUM!

Anyway, as you can imagine, in this somewhat deluded and often-quixotic quest to be a Yummy Mummy, I often have bad days. It's hard to find the time to be all "should I wear the manolo blahniks or the jimmy choos to the park today?" So to be realistic I told myself that some days I just needed to live by certain minimum standards: I'd never wear sweats, I'd never look like I had just come from a workout or gardening bender, and I'd never go more than one day without a shower. YUM! All of which is to say that I have a burgeoning collection of baseball caps which I wear liberally, since it's easy to put one on and fix your hair in that jaunty Upper East Side way that says "I MEANT to wear this. It's soccer mom chic, you pleb!"

All of which is to say that Bambina now likes to wear baseball caps. She has a favorite Red Sox one that she will wear when I'm wearing mine. However, as evidence that kids pick up everything you say, no matter how quickly and under the radar and in the distant past you said it; and how attempts to be a Yummy Mummy can rub off on your kids unexpectedly: yesterday Bambina ran upstairs and put her baseball cap on around 5pm, when we usually get ready to go to the park (but weren't going because it was pouring). Then she pretended to put on lipstick in our hallway mirror. I asked her why she was doing that. She said, "Going to park, mama. My hair messed up."

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