Mommy wars. Somehow I managed to make it almost three years without falling victim to any noticeably detectable displays of criticism towards what I do with my kid. I consider myself to be a fairly non judgmental person, and avoid most forms of conflict at all cost. Generally speaking, I don’t give a shit what other moms and dads do when it comes to their own parenting because it doesn’t concern me. But that changed today as I browsed the toddler tankini’s at the Children’s Place.
I may be naive, but I seriously had no idea that something as small and seemingly insignificant as an extra slice cut out of a fitted bathing garment, could hold a power strong enough to form the continental divide between moms.
Had a rack of tiny spandex not separated me from this sorry ass blob of walking negativity, I may have reached over and made this lady eat the swimsuit I was holding so she could choke it down along with her passive aggressive judgment.
There we stood, side by side in silence. Admiring the same selection of new summer cuteness.
It is here that we were no longer one with the clothing. We were two women divided, just like the baby bikini that would soon surface our differences.
I flipped through the rack casually, holding up one suit at a time. I’m picturing my sweet daughter in the summer sun, frolicking on the beach as toddlers do in their childish way. I am also trying to make a decision on the practicality of each suit. My decision of a one piece or a two piece bathing suit for my daughter all comes down to the cuteness and function of whatever suit I decide I like best.
My daughter has an outie belly button, it is adorable yes, but a one piece suit will keep that thing in check so it isn’t poking people’s eyes out. The world doesn’t necessarily need a constant reminder that the turkey is done. I get it, but on a practical note, two pieces are way more convenient when your kid wears a diaper or is potty training. They allow for quick easy changing instead of taking off a wet suit in its entirety.
I held in my hand an adorable tankini. That suit and I were sharing a moment of possibility when out of the peanut gallery my daydream is disrupted. I hear the troll’s friend (she was much nicer than the troll herself). She gawked at the suits and said how cute they were in passing. That was when the troll opened her mouth.
Troll: “No way. I would never buy a two piece for my kids.”
Friend of Troll: “Really? These are cute though, they still cover up everything.”
Troll: “God no. I don’t know why anyone would buy a two piece for their kids. It’s just wrong, so wrong. I would never.”
The… fuck? Excuse me Saint Teresa, was that a dig? I stood there still holding a two piece suit in my hands. I really didn’t know how to handle the sudden public display of passive aggression.
You see, today I learned that there are two sides of the road when it comes to mothering a daughter. The line was drawn in the sand right there in that clothing store. You are either a fashion forward mom who can’t wait to dress your daughter like a miniature version of yourself…or… you are not.
This mother was clearly trying to make some sort of statement about the sexualization of our youth. That’s fine, I get it. I also opted not to buy the teeny tiny cut off booty shorts. But this is a fucking tankini, relax lady. Is your daughter swimming in scuba gear this summer? Is this the early twentieth century?
I wouldn’t be so angry about this woman’s comment had she not proceeded to crop dust the entire store with her continuously foul opinions, and her judgmental, self righteous remarks about every item.
Friend of Troll: (holding up a pack of headbands) “Aw, these are cute!”
Troll: Snarls “No. No. I’m not one of those moms. I know my daughter is a girl, I don’t need to put a bow on her head for others to figure it out.”
Lady, seriously? Why the faaaq are you even in this store? I get the whole gender equality stuff, I really do. But she is three. Have you seriously become such a feminist that your daughter isn’t allowed to wear anything that would pin her as feminine? Is that a bad thing now? Does she even have an option or are you just going to continue jamming your opinions down her throat as you seem to be doing to everyone in this store?
You must be the most perfect mom ever. I’d give you a pat on the back, but I happen to be one of those moms you just spoke of so snidely, and now I would prefer to give you a punch in the face instead.