Crouching parent, hidden waistband

By Mir
September 8, 2005

Hooboy, it’s been a busy day. Yep. I’m just now sitting down with nothing that needs my immediate attention. Ahhhhh.

I had one of those clarifying moments, this morning, way earlier than anything at all should be making sense. It wasn’t even 7:00 yet; the children were circling the kitchen in search of breakfast and I was trying to focus both eyes on the empty lunchboxes which needed filling. Finally I stared into the refrigerator, hoping for inspiration, when a scuffle broke out behind me.

“She HIT me!” cried Monkey. “She SHOVED me really really hard and I hit the WALL!” Said wall was actually not even in the kitchen, but twenty feet away in the mudroom. Monkey had to run and fling himself while declaring the injustice of it all. Chickadee bore a look of mild disbelief.

I tried to decide if I had enough energy to try to jolly him out of his indignation over what–in all likelihood–had just been his sister brushing against him. “Really, buddy?” I asked, biding for time. It turned out that my services weren’t even needed.

“YES!” declared my son. “And… and… after she HIT me, she TRIPPED me!” Chickadee and I exchanged glances. Now Monkey’s arms were pinwheeling. “And ALSO, THEN, she ran me over with the CAR! And grabbed some FORKS, and POKED MY EYES OUT!” Outrage dissolved in giggles. Crisis averted.

I was left with a very important realization: My other parenting skills may or may not be working out as planned, but the whole correct usage of hyperbole thing is going very well.

Here’s the thing about hyperbole, though… it’s a carefully honed talent born of living a life of absurdity.

Hey, I just happen to have a great example. It’s about my pants!

It seems like my pants often cause me problems. Today was a whole new level of bizarre, though. On account of I couldn’t make up the stupid things that genuinely happen to me if I tried.

Sooooo. This morning, Chickadee’s teacher had a little session for the parents. We all filed into the room (the kids were off having music class) and tried to make ourselves comfortable in the little student chairs. Well. It’s not very easy for an adult to sit in one of those chairs, regardless. But as soon as I sat down, I realized that I was in trouble.

In short: Pants too big, chair too small. Optimal position for balancing in the chair–leaning forward a bit. Optimal position for allowing everyone in the room to see my underwear while my pants gap and my shirt rides up a little bit–leaning forward a bit. Sitting perfectly upright in the chair created a gap in the FRONT of my pants which resulted in my anxiously tugging on my shirt to cover the excess, gapping material. Did it help that Mr. Wonderful felt the need to cite an example of parent communication based on a discussion I’d had with him (complete with reassuring eye contact and grins in my direction)? Not really.

Fortunately, towards the end of the session someone pointed out that room mothers hadn’t yet been selected, and while a swarm of mothers batted their eyelashes at Mr. Wonderful and prepared to spar for the coveted positions, I was able to hitch up my britches and make a run for it.

The logical thing to do at that point would’ve been to go home and change my pants. But! I had two problems. First, I was just confused. Maybe even a little bit incredulous. These pants? Are practically new. I just got them a few months ago. They should fit. They DID fit! I wear them all the time. Never before have they conspired to show my panties to the world. So there was that.

Second, I had a doctor’s appointment to get to. So I didn’t have time to go home and change. Oh well. It’d be fine, provided I didn’t have to wedge myself into a miniature chair. Right? Hahahaha.

I think my appointment today (which was a med check; basically just a stop in and verify that you’re alive and functioning and would like a refill, please, sort of thing) was a little longer than usual. My doctor had a few extra questions.

Like, “Are you eating?” And, “Are you sure you’re eating?” Also, “So what do you eat in a typical day?” [Is today a typical day? I don’t know. Today I’ve had froot loops with milk, a double cheeseburger, three brownies–okay, FINE–actually FOUR brownies, potato chips, salami and cheese on whole wheat, an apple, and a root beer float. Clearly I am starving myself with self-restraint.] She asked me how much I weigh now and I said I didn’t know, so she asked me If I wanted to get on the scale and I said, “Not really,” and she clucked her tongue a lot and KEPT ASKING ME IF I EAT.

Because, you know, maybe I am cleverly hiding an eating disorder and if she just asks me enough times, I will break down and confess that I only allow myself a single celery stalk each day. (Inbetween brownies.)

To be fair, when I’m very depressed and/or anxious, I tend not to eat much. She knows this about me. I did lose some weight a couple of months ago. But I’m fine now, and I’m eating plenty of food (see above). I just happened to be wearing some pants that were too big today. I tried to tell her that. She kept clucking. I found myself feebly rambling on about how I just love these pants and they fit fine last time I wore them and honestly I would’ve worn something else if I’d been a tad more self-aware this morning.

I left the office clutching my prescription in one hand and my belt loops in the other. And felt some very suspicious looks from the doctor AND the receptionist boring through my back (because the doctor was kind enough to follow me out, continuing the YOU MUST EAT lecture so that the receptionist cringed away from me as if I might binge and purge right there on her desk). I sort of wished I had a steak in my purse, so that I could’ve gnawed on it a bit and everyone would’ve calmed down.

To summarize:
* Exaggeration may be genetic, but it also helps to just be a dork in general.
* My daughter’s teacher has quite possibily glimpsed my undies. Or thinks I suffer from a nervous clothing-fiddling disorder. Or both! Thank goodness there’s only… ummm… *flipping through the calendar* oh, crap….
* I am too undisciplined to be anorexic, and too barf-phobic to be bulimic. My metabolism is just even more neurotic than the rest of me.
* Anyone looking for some cute pink capris from the Gap, guaranteed to make you look REALLY SKINNY…?


  1. The other Dawn

    But what you are most of all (besides pretty!) is really, really, really funny!

    Hey! I’m first! w00t!

  2. Marvo

    Those little student chair make for horrible adult chairs, but make wonderful step stools or lion tamer prop.

  3. ben

    At least you were WEARING underwear!

  4. ben

    Okay, y’all, I take BACK the underwear comment. Of course Mir would never go to see Mr. Wonderful commando or wearing a sexy top that shows just the right amount of skin or anything. Really! You can come back now!

    Come out, come out, wherever you are!

    Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!

    What the hell does “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free” mean, anyway? Anybody know? Bueller?

    And where is everyone today? I apparently didn’t get the memo…

    /wanders off muttering something under his breath

  5. Bob

    timing is everything.

    which is why I have nothing.

    I’m sure Mr. Wonderful appreciated a break from the usual glimpse of powerpuff girls undies (I don’t mean he’s a perv) getting a glimpse of sexy, lacy, attractive grown woman lingerie – you were wearing sexy, lacy, attractive grown woman lingerie weren’t you? Please tell me you didn’t wear granny panties to a meeting w/Mr. Wonderful. Were there no scouts in your lineage? Always be prepared. If you had been wearing the sexy, lacy, attractive grown woman lingerie it wouldn’t have mattered if your pants “accidentally” gapped – you could have had the confidence in knowing that accidental gappage would have been a positive experience for all (and guaranteed a first choice in the room mother list.)

    Of course, had you been wearing a thong…….

  6. big-bad-ex

    Alle, alle auch sind frei.
    …nach meinem bestem Gewissen.

  7. aderyn

    when i was a freshman in college, i went the other way regarding freshman 15. i lost like 6 pounds. my doctor did the same exact thing. he even did a little imitation of bulimia, complete with the finger in the mouth. i dont think he believed me either.

  8. Amy-GO

    As you need it even more than I thought…pie is on the way!

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