I am turning into Mister Rogers. Those of you who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s like me will remember the mild-mannered host of the PBS kids’ show featuring puppets and an iconic theme song. You know how he always came home and right away traded his sport jacket for a comfy cardigan and his loafers for a pair of sneakers? I do that now. Except in my case I swap my nice clothes for a hoodie and wool clogs. Also, my hall closet isn’t nearly as organized as Mister Rogers’.
I go through periods where I get sick of my slovenly appearance and decide to actually make an effort. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look, it’s just that I work at home in the morning and take care of small, messy children in the afternoon. Why waste the time and makeup? (BTW, today my 3yo destroyed a $15 Clinique lipstick he found in my purse painting a Joker smile on himself. And the couch.)
But I am not immune to makeovers. You know how they’re always showing them in magazines and on morning shows? The schlumpy soccer mom in her outdated jeans and sneakers is magically transformed into a stylish new woman sporting skinny jeans, a fitted jacket and cute shoes. It doesn’t look that hard, you think to yourself, sitting there in your faded yoga pants. She DOES look good… And before you know it you’re using up precious carpool time to heat up your curling iron and find that belt your kid stole for his Batman costume.
But I can’t sustain it. Not after incidents like The Dentist Appointment. I was taking Riley to the dentist and decided I should look decent. I put on a white shirt and jacket with a jaunty little scarf that took me a good 12 minutes to twist artfully around my neck like those French women. How do they make it look so effortless?! Then I put on some cute but not practical wedge booties. I ordered them online and they turned out to be about 2 inches higher than I thought, but I was too lazy to return them.
So off we go to the dentist. During our lengthy time in the waiting room, Riley unravels my scarf and wraps it around himself like a mummy. My shirt keeps coming untucked and my pants are already wrinkled. In the exam room, my boy decides he’s too scared to sit in the chair alone, so onto my lap he goes. More wrinkles, plus I may have lost an earring.
On the way out, he trips, falls flat on his face, and splits his lip open. Blood and snot everywhere, including on my jacket. The therapeutic popsicle I buy for him on the way home also somehow ends up on me. The minute I get home, a mere hour after this adventure began, I immediately change back into my sweats and clogs, Mister Rogers style. Who am I trying to impress, anyway?
READ O’ THE DAY: Lots of food for thought, and discussion, in Ken Gordon’s post on the NYT parenting blog, Am I a ‘Working Dad’?