Sunday, July 05, 2009

Lesson Learned

I’ve learned a lot of things in the almost nine years I’ve been a mother. Friday I learned that I shouldn’t take my oldest daughter with me to shop for bathing suits if I want to keep my dignity and self-esteem intact.

Ella and I were out and about Friday, running pre-4th of July errands, and I decided to take advantage of my escape from the house by looking for a new bathing suit. It’s been four years and two babies since I’ve bought one (maternity suits don’t count). We were near Old Navy, so I stopped in; I’ve gotten cute suits there in the past.

Their bathing suit selection was pretty thin. They had lots of tops and bottoms, but very few that actually matched. Ella helped me sort through, and she would hold up matching sets that she found. Unfortunately, none of the suits she found were in any way, shape or form appropriate for an almost-40 mother of four. They were barely appropriate for an 18-year-old. Each time Ella held up a teeny-bikini, I’d have to hiss at her, “NO! Put that away.” And then I’d have to explain, in hushed tones, why I didn’t want it. When I’d say something like “It’s too small!” or “It’s too skimpy!” She giggle and wave it around before hanging it back on the rack.

Finally, I found a cute one-piece suit and headed to the fitting rooms to try it on. While I changed, Ella climbed the walls, literally; turns out she can climb more than rocks.

My kids see me in all states of undress on a regular basis. I don’t remember the last time I was able to take a shower without one of them poking their head in to tattle on the others or to request a snack. But trying on a bathing suit with an audience was more than I could handle. Ella wanted to know why I was leaving on my panties to try on the suit and helpfully pointed out that she could see them sticking out from the suit. Then she asked, loudly, why my “boobs” were showing so much, did I want them to show like that, and why do “grown-up ladies” like to have their boobs stick out of their suits. At this point I heard giggles from neighboring fitting rooms. The final straw was when she cracked up and told me that I looked like a pear. More laughter from other customers.

The suit was ruined for me after that comment. I’d never be able to wear it without thinking I looked like a pear, even if I didn’t. So I got dressed and headed for the exit, Ella giggling the whole way behind me.

I think I’m going to have to buy a suit the same way I did last time – order several different styles and sizes, try them on in the comfort of my own home, and send back the ones that don’t fit. And you can bet I’ll be locking Ella out of the room when I do.


mzbehavin said...

You are too funny!!!! And I could relate on so many levels... I raised 4 kids, and didn't see the inside of a bathroom ( alone ) for six years..... I might be tempted to put that child up for adoption.... :-) Pear shaped..... keep them coming.... I love this blog!!!

Cathy said...

omg--that was hilarious! i'm wearing swim shorts over my one-piece--i love it--feel so much more comfortable chasing after my kids at the pool!

Unknown said...

tell her that the firs time she tries on a suit as a teenager and watch the hysterics start!

poor you.

Suna Kendall said...

I really like the ones in the Lands End catalog. Some are really cute and you can get ones that don't show all your flab and such. This of course is being said by someone who hasn't been near a swimming pool in quite a few years.

Alicia said...

I think I speak for all grown up ladies who do NOT like having their boobs sticking out of their suits. Or hanging, as is more likely the case.

I found your blog via Wendi Aarons'. I'm also a mom of four in Austin. Added you to my reader. :)

Wendi said...

Just get a Budweiser bikini. I hear those are popular at the lake.

The Kretzings said...

This is both hilarious and tragic. ;) Thanks once again for warning me about what awaits me as my daughters get older. Great blog entry!

Ann Imig said...

Truly. Seriously?

People look way better naked than in a swimsuit. That may be your only option.


The pear comment would give me nightmares, too.

Shelly said...

I only have one child and I rarely shower without an audience. He is almost five. I definitely need to figure out how to keep him out of my bathroom!

I don't think there is a person in the world I would want with me while bathing suit shopping!