If you were trying out for one of those major talent shows like AGT or American Idol, wouldn’t it scare the shit out of you if you found out the judges were going to be a panel of toddlers? I’m serious…think about this for a minute. They have no filter. There is nothing politically correct about anything that comes out of their mouths whatsoever. It’s that no bullshit straight to the point kind of honesty that some adults could use a lesson on.
My two-year old daughter is my worst critic. From the backseat of my car she will protest my singing to the point of tears…”no mommy, no! I don’t like it!”. Everyone dreams that their singing would move people to tears, but this isn’t quite what I had in mind. Needless to say, I won’t quit my day job.
When a toddler can finally speak, proceed with caution. No feelings are spared and until they harness that ability to filter what they say, absolutely nothing is off-limits. Everything within eyesight is up for interrogation. All they know is that your armpits are “yuck” today and they demand to know why. Your personal grooming slip-ups will bother them so much that they won’t let it go until the neighbors and even their teachers believe that you are an amazon woman who is boycotting Gillette products.
Toddlers will find everything you are insecure about and question it. Feeling a little bloated? Here, let me grab that love handle for you! Have a freckle you are self-conscious about? No worries, they will persistently try to scratch it off for you every time they see it. It’s really amazing how human nature is to point out what’s wrong or different before noticing the things that are right. Why are we born with this embedded in our brains? I have never had a day where I’ve looked in the mirror and loved my own body. My beautiful mother shares the same self-image issues. I shit you not, as I type this I received an email from my mom…”I found a moisturizer that I love, you should use it so you don’t end up looking like me!” haha. Oh that woman. If she only knew how lucky I’d be to look like her when I’m 50.
I hope to teach my daughter to be a more forgiving human. One who won’t judge others so harshly. But most importantly, I hope she isn’t too critical of herself. There’s no need to put yourself in front of a firing squad every morning when you look in the mirror. I make it a point to tell her she is beautiful everyday. The things that are not perfect are the things that make her cute. Her little outie belly button, the wrinkles in her nose when she smiles, even her raspy little singing voice is music to my ears. We encourage her to keep singing, and we turn her focus onto how cool it is that she has her first freckle. She now proudly shows off that freckle to anyone who will look.
The world can be a cruel place with judging eyes all around us, and kids can certainly be mean. Try as you might, but lets face it…we can’t protect our kids from everything. As a parent I will dedicate my life to making sure that my daughter’s beauty grows from within until it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building! (Annie reference). When the day comes that our kids are in front of their own panel of judges (whomever they may be), let’s hope we have given them the strength and the self-esteem needed to be strong enough to face them without fear.
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