Ah motherhood…check your self-esteem at the door.
When you are the mother of toddlers, showering comes at a very high premium. You must do so in exactly eight minutes, forgo leg shaving on most days and do it with an audience of at least one of the toddlers. Most often your audience is the oldest toddler because the younger ones are in brightly colored, over stimulating containment devices in the next room (I’m looking at you, ExerSaucer and bouncy seat). The oldest toddler will watch you through the shower glass, chatting the entire time about Jake and the Never Land Pirates, his need for a cheese stick NOW and how soon you will be finished in order to play with him.
And, of course, once the toddler is really aware of his surroundings, he will ply you with questions about your body. Your pasty white, soft around the middle, “Hey your thighs look like that commage cheese you give me Mommy” body will get a toddler’s onceover and perspective. And since toddlers have zero ability to keep their inner monologues to themselves, you can be guaranteed that you will leave a conversation with a terrorist, er, toddler, ready to have liposuction, a tummy tuck and a boob lift right after Yo Gabba Gabba is over.
One of the few benefits of having a C-section is having an outward sign to prove to your children how they came out of you. Until they are of age and ready for the Birds and the Bees talk, when they ask you, “Mommy, where did I come from?” you can simply point to your scar and say, “Right here” and secretly say in your head, “On the day my abs were blown to hell.” The scar serves as a very physical reminder to your kids that their mother suffered greatly to bring them into this world.
One particular morning, I stepped out of the shower right into the prying eyes of my then three-year-old son. As his gaze covered the entire surface of my front side, his face lit up in a huge smile. We then had the following conversation:
Him: “Mommy! You body is so happy!”
Me: “Oh, yeah, bud? Why do you say that?”
Him: “You body is smiling at me!”
Him, exasperated: “You have two eyes, a nose, and mouth! A beard, too!”
And he was right.
I think my right breast may have even winked at me.
I guess, all things considered, I should be glad he didn’t say, “Turn that frown upside down,” right?
Nothing like the wisdom of a three-year-old to make you realize that your C-section scar really does look like a smile. And to those of you who also bear the C-section badge of honor, you now will never look at yourself and NOT see a big, soft, bearded smiley face looking back at you in the mirror.
Smile . . . and welcome to the club, ladies!