You almost won, moss.  You almost won.  You managed to stall the gas-powered lawn mower twice and, for that, you have my respect.  We are still at war, however, and it is autumn: the ideal time for scarification.

You have been warned.

In Scotland, lawns grow moss.  If unchecked, it creeps in just under the grass, making your lawn look lush and green.  Never before did I see this as a problem.  Moss?  It’s green.  It’s springy.  Bugs like it.

But then I tried mowing my lawn.

Moss is the devil.

Moss will stop the mower blades of a small, electric mower.  Moss will not be cut by the German-made hand mower (with the fuck-off hardened steel blades) that was recommended by the American push mower crazy person enthusiast whose review I watched on YouTube.

Moss laughs at me.

Well ha!ha! to you, moss: tomorrow, I borrow my neighbour’s gas-powered mower.  Tomorrow we see who has the last laugh.

Three days ago, I sent the girls to school in dresses and tights.  Dresses that a) didn’t clash with the tights, and b) didn’t clash with each other.  Not only that, their hair elastics matched their dresses.  They wore these outfits because — I’ll be honest — these were the only clean clothes in their wardrobe.

The butter side up bit?  Three days ago also just happened to be school picture day.

We’re pretty casual about nudity in our household when it’s just us and I hope it remains that way.  I want my girls to feel unselfconscious about their bodies for as long as possible, and seeing mommy and daddy comfortable in their bodies is part of that.  If we wrapped up as soon as they entered the room, or kicked them out of the room if we were naked, telling them they couldn’t see us unclothed…I believe that those actions would tell my girls that a person’s body is something one should be uncomfortable with.

And teaching them that certain parts of their bodies are only for them?  We do that, too, but not yet overtly and not by covering up.  For instance, when they tell me they have a sore labia, I always ask if it is okay that I look at it.  After said inspection, if it needs cleaned with a wipe, I’ll ask them, “Is it okay if I wipe your labia?”  Most of the time they say, yes, and then I go ahead.  Sometimes, they say no and then I’ll grit my teeth and give them the wipe so that they can do the job themselves, albeit ineptly.  Also, when we tickle them, we stop as soon as they say, “stop!”  I’m banking on actions such as these being internalised by my children so that it is deemed a gross imposition should someone disrespect their wishes when it comes to their body.

And the anatomically correct terms?  Do we truly use them?  Yes.  We do: Labia.  Breasts.  Nipples.  Areola.  Penis.  (We haven’t had to use the word testicles, yet, but that’s probably because we have girls, not boys.)   I’m hoping that internalising the actual names of the sexual organs* means that saying these names will become as scandalous or giggle-worthy as saying head, knees, heart, esophagus, and clavicle. (*Yes, technically breasts are not sexual organs, though try telling that to a horny teenager or mainstream media.)

But I digress.

This morning, Freya watched as I put on my blue bra, telling me how pretty and shiny it was.  (She LOVES pretty and shiny.  And “golden”.  Also, she wants a chihuahua.  I have nightmares that I’m somehow raising a second Paris Hilton.  Please help.) Then she asked me why I wore it.  I was stumped.  I know why I wear a bra: I wear it so that when I am outside my home and around other people, my breasts don’t jiggle when I walk and my nipples don’t show through my shirt.  But there was no way in hell I was telling her that.  (See paragraph one.)

Yes, I’m pissed off that I feel this way, knowing my reaction is a social construct, but I am more uncomfortable feeling that friends and strangers are probably deliberately making a conscious decision to not look at my chest, when, if I had worn a bra, my chest would not have been on anyone’s radar.  (The only time I truly felt comfortable not wearing a bra was at the hight of Friends.  Don’t know what I mean?  Google it.)

So, I told her it was to support my breasts and make them feel more comfortable.  A lie?  Well, yes.  I wear a bra not to make my breasts more physically comfortable, but to make me more socially comfortable.  But that’s a discussion that can probably wait another five or six years.

Also, they’d never seen one before, so there was much fun? to be had.

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And a little bit of contemplation, as well

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2015.04.04 - Paddington


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