I love my kid. I love her for reasons beyond the fact that she is my child and that's just what mothers do. I love her because she's the funniest person I know. I love her because she's kind and smart. I love her because she has amazing rhythm and can bust a move to Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" to rival, well, Lady Gaga.
And I love her because she reminds me I need to shave my legs.
Yeah, I admit it. I don't shave my legs every day. In the winter time, maybe not even every other day. I take a 5.3-minute shower most mornings. Between getting her dressed, myself dressed, dropping her at preschool and getting my tush to work, that's all the time I get in the shower.
But I know it's gotten bad when she spies some areas on my leg that haven't seen a razor in awhile and says, "Mama, your leg is prickly!" Yes, it leads to a whole discussion of body hair and grooming and puberty I don't want to tackle at that moment, but it's also a big neon sign blinking "Mom Who Let Self Go" with an arrow pointing right at my head.
What's worse is when it happens in public. Like on the subway. When she looks at me and says in that perfectly pitched voice so everyone in the immediate 50-yard radius can hear her over the hustle and bustle, "Mama, it looks like you have a mustache!"
Okay, I was overdue for a wax. I had to cancel that appointment because the fridge broke and I had to wait for the repair guy. I didn't think it was that noticeable. I was wrong, and she told me.
Yes, there are so many perks to having a child -- the no-words-can-really-describe-it joy that waves over me every time I see her, the amazing way she can shift my whole mood with one smile, the pride I get when she writes her own name.
Add to that list the fact that she tells me when I've let myself go.
What does your toddler do that helps you?
Image via DaveBleasdale/Flickr