One + One = Fun

This past weekend, we attended my niece’s second birthday party.  She had lots of little friends in attendance, several kiddie pools full of water and toys, and a huge pile of gifts all wrapped in pink.

It’s been almost ten years since my daughter was 2, so this party really took me back in time, tugged at my heart just a bit.  Did it make me want to start all over again?  Have a third child?

Let’s just say that nothing makes you appreciate birth control more than attending a little kid’s birthday party.

No, it made me want to be 2 again. 

If I were a 2 year-old girl:

  • I would embrace my fat rolls as a sign of perfection and cuteness.  Heck, I wouldn’t just embrace them; I would rub my belly on request or happily raise my shirt to show off my bellybutton and muffin top.
  • Not only could I eat my cake, I could rub it into my hair, drop some for the dog, and even steal a bite of yours.
  • I wouldn’t really care what people thought, because unless they were in charge of my meals or diapers, it wouldn’t really matter to me.
  • Friends would be welcome to play with all of my toys, even the brand new ones, no questions asked.
  • Almost all of my outfits would be pink, eliminating the need for me to put much thought into what to wear. 
  • I could party all day without a care in the world; yet nobody would judge me when I’d had enough and started to cry.
  • My best friend could be a stuffed animal, and nobody would think that was odd.
  • A tiara on my head wouldn’t look out of place.  Even one with feathers.
  • A juice box and a band aid would cure most of my worries.
  • I wouldn’t need to shave my legs before I went in the pool.
  • Cellulite would just be a sign that I was healthy.
  • Everything that I needed would be provided for me, like magic.  Clean clothes?  Sure!  Dinner?  Coming right up!  A pony?  OK, let’s be reasonable.
  • I could say “No!” and it would be cute. 
  • There would be no reason to stop the fun just because I had to go potty; at least until Mommy found out.
  • Opening the presents would be just as fun as actually playing with them.
  • People would ask me easy questions, like “Who’s the Big Girl?” and “What does the kitty say?” instead of “What’s for dinner?”, “Where are my socks?”, or my personal favorite “Why?”.
  • I could wear a swimsuit with a ruffled skirt as a fashion statement, not to cover stuff up.
  • I wouldn’t know anything about spider veins, fine lines and wrinkles, or gray hairs.
  • I would still believe in fairy tales.

Style, or lack of

I checked out a book from the public library the other day, The Grown-up Girl’s Guide to Style, and now my whole summer wardrobe has been called into question. According to the author, Christine Schwab, once I hit my forties I should have given up on anything sleeveless, never wear shorts of any kind (cropped pants should be my new “shorts”), and should only wear a swimsuit when actually swimming. She makes an exception for Katie Couric’s legs and Sheryl Crow’s arms, which doesn’t help me at all! I am now 5 years into making all of these fashion mistakes. Who knew?

What ever happened to dressing for yourself? Being comfortable in the blazing heat of summer? Where I live, in Northern California, we have days as hot as 115 or higher. Even in a air conditioned house, shorts and sleeveless tops stop being fashion statements and become mandatory. Swimsuits are, in name at least, made for swimming. But what about lounging around on the beach, watching the surf but not jumping in it? Hanging around on a friend’s boat? A few years ago, we went on a week-long houseboating trip to Lake Powell. It is safe to say that everyone on that boat wore swimsuits 24/7. According to these style rules, a light long-sleeved shirt and capri pants will be stylish for summer and prevent the general public from losing their lunch.

Now with summer practically around the corner, I am feeling confused. Do I stick with what I am comfortable in, or start to cover up more? If I feel comfortable and my husband isn’t embarrassed, are shorts still an option? Is it really my job to make sure that other people don’t see anything less than a perfect body? I think most of us are critical enough of our own bodies without having to add this new layer of thought.

Legs? Our older legs sport baggy knees that the general public doesn’t want to see, along with spider veins and bruises. Arms? Even the most fit and trim arms get flappy as we get older. If your arms keep waving when your hand has stopped, you know what I mean. I have been lucky enough to have a fast metabolism and a flat belly up to now, but I know from older friends this won’t last much longer.

Summer will come, and sleeveless tops, swimsuits, and shorts will once again come out of hiding at my house….and I don’t plan to let them go just yet! Maybe I am in denial, maybe it’s a bit of a revolt. My best critic is my middle-school daughter. I have absolutely nothing in my closet that she wants to wear, so that MUST mean I am doing something right……