As I've mentioned a zillion times before, Caroline's neighborhood playmates of choice are sisters, Rachel and Sarah. They are really nice, polite girls and I'm very happy that they get along so well with Caroline. To me and Craig, seeing Caroline play with girls is really quite bizarre; previously she solely played with boys. Lots of boys. We'd have to drag her out of neighborhood football games, kicking and screaming, with a dirty face and scratches up and down her legs. She'd get right in the mix, even though the other participants were older, bigger and stronger. She simply did not care, believing she had every right to be there.
Thankfully Rachel and Sarah aren't "girly" or TOO girly, which suits Caroline just fine.
Caroline is out right now with the girls, having lunch at McDonalds and accompanying them to Toys R Us so they can get their own Lego sets. We currently supply the majority of the Legos to the neighborhood, but Sarah and Rachel are eager to have a set of their own. When I spoke with their mom, Cindy, on the phone about lunch, she was hesitant to admit that she was taking the girls to McDonalds. She's not a huge fan of cooking so their family eats out quite a bit and from what I gather, they eat a lot of quick fix meals when they are home. Nothing wrong with that. I'm not judging. When I'm perfect, I'll judge. That's what I tell Caroline when she and her friends are feeling morally superior to the other kids in the neighborhood.
I just find it slightly amusing that Cindy thinks we're so health minded that we wouldn't dream of feeding our child McDonalds. Au contraire. It's our overall goal to eat a healthful diet and I do make sure that Caroline eats a serving or two of fruits and/or veggies with each meal. Thankfully she's compliant and enjoys them, however, I've yet to drill into her head that fruity flavored yogurt does not constitute a fresh fruit serving.
I'd like for Caroline to eat fewer Happy Meals, but we don't shun them. I'm not sure how in the world I've managed to deceive my neighbor into thinking *I* am the epitome of healthy living. Sure I exercise and drink green smoothies. I also eat handfuls of chocolate chips with scoops of peanut butter straight from the jar. I'm not perfect and I don't have any desire to try and sell myself that way; that would take way too much effort. Besides, I'm a terrible liar. I'd like to pretend my faults away, but that wouldn't be very real, would it? Everyday is a struggle to avoid stuffing my face with snacks in an effort to eat away my problems. Mindless, unsatisfying boredom induced snacking.
A few months ago I stumbled on a whole web of healthy living blogs. I read them daily, gleaning lots of information and inspiration, but I find a few to be heavy on the condescension. Sure high fructose corn syrup isn't the ideal sweetener, but you know, a little bit now and then won't completely defile your body. People who eat JIF peanut butter aren't bad because their peanut butter has added salt and sugar and "fully" hydrogenated oil, which is NOT the same as "partially" hydrogenated oil, AKA trans fat.
I would hate to come off as that kind of person; on this blog or in real life.
I find comfort in reading about the struggles other people face. Misery loves company.
The further along I go in this life, I've committed myself to the fact that I am only responsible for me and my family. What I do, what I say, how I live my life, what I feed my family. I haven't a right in this world to tell people how they should live, how many kids they should have, what kind of car they should drive, what they should feed their families. As this country moves closer and closer to that "big brother" mentality, the idea of libertarianism really appeals to me. It's your life....live it how you see fit (being mindful of those around you and within the parameters of the law, of course).
With that being said, it's hard not to feel insecure and pathetic when reading the self righteous words of a blogger I don't even know. I'm not a confident enough person to keep other's words from bothering me. By the end of the day I'm usually defeated and pretty annoyed with myself for the poor food choices I've made. Especially when I've read the blog entry of a thin beautiful woman with immaculate self control. I excel at self loathing, in case you were wondering.
That's the thing about the blogosphere. While I find the act of blogging cathartic, reading some other blogs leave me feeling like a big dumb chump. Expressing my thoughts with spoken words is difficult for me; I think better with my fingers. Heck, sometimes my fingers even do a hack job of my thoughts, but it's still far better than anything that could possibly come out of my mouth. Sitting here blabbing my inner most thoughts to the internet at large seems completely normal and acceptable. Even though I remain on the outside, writing, reading faithfully, but not getting truly involved, I'm thankful for the blog community.
After Caroline left for her outing, I got to thinking about my conversation with Cindy and let out a good chuckle. I'm an unintentional fraud. Somehow, through no effort of my own, I've managed to dupe my neighbor. I keep telling her otherwise, in my charming self deprecating manner, but it's yet to register. I think all moms have a sore spot where they feel most vulnerable in their mothering ability. Discipline, food, sleep habits, health, behavior. I'm such a truly exceptional mother that I can't even think of one area where I'd most like to improve!
Ha, just kidding.
That's not very real now, is it?
As you know, as well as I do self loathing, I do mom guilt even better.