One day a mother and daughter are getting ready to leave the house. One looks at the other and says;
“Is that what you’re wearing today?”
“Yes” she replies a little defensively, “why do you ask?”
“I don’t know about that skirt, it seems too…”
Do you think she was about to say too short or too tight? Do you think it was the mother getting on her daughter’s case?
If so, you’d be wrong. In this case it was my then 4 year old daughter passing judgment on something I wore. My little fashionista told me my skirt was “too poufy” and looked funny. I was at once mortified, amazed, amused and insulted. 🙂
I felt like I was in a time warp or something. I’ve had this conversation before. I’ve been on the same end of this conversation before. I’m used to my mother criticizing my clothing, but the same words coming from her granddaughter? Yikes!
What’s worse is that it’s not just me and it’s not isolated to young children with no filter controlling their observations.
One of my neighbours, a widow in her early 70’s told me she was taking a dream trip to Israel and Jordan for 3 weeks. When I expressed my delight for her she seemed relieved and said “Thanks for that; my daughter thinks I’m crazy”
Then there was the time I was in the mall looking for shoes when I saw a lady trying on a pair of black shoes while holding the same shoes in purple. They were beautiful shoes and I told her so. She replied “I love the purple but I can’t decide which to get.”
I said “life’s too short, go for the purple!” to which she replied, “That’s what I want but my daughter” she said, inclining her head towards a woman my age with a stroller, “thinks I should get the black. They’re more practical”
Recently, my husband and I went out dancing with my cousin and his wife. While she was getting dressed, her daughter looked at her and said in the sarcastic way only a 10 year old girl can perfect; “going out again, mother? Really?”
After I finished wiping the tears of laughter I pointed out that 18 years ago it would have been her mother saying those exact words to her. She’d come full circle and hadn’t even realized!
When I look in the mirror and sometimes my mother’s face looks back at me, I know I jump just a little. When I hear my mother’s words come out of my mouth, I cringe just a bit. But now I can assuage my discomfort because I am smug in the knowledge that while I may be becoming my mother, my daughter is too!
November 23, 2010