Motherhood and its mishaps

No. There is not a baby in my belly.

posted by Katherine Wintsch March 3, 2014 3 Comments

I get the same question from Layla all the time: “Mommy, are you having another baby?” While this might seem like an innocent (even adorable) question coming from a six-year-old little girl,  it’s not.

Trust me.

You see, Layla doesn’t constantly ask me if I’m having another baby because she has acute maternal instincts and can’t wait to push a more realistic doll baby around in her plastic Walmart stroller. Nope. She’s asking because she’s convinced there’s a baby in my stomach because my stomach is so big.

Nice. Right?

At first, the questions appeared to come from a genuine place of curiosity.

Layla: Mommy, it looks like you have a baby in your tummy.

Me: Well, I don’t.

Layla: But how do you know you don’t?

Me: Because I know.

Layla: Well, it looks like it to me.

But then they got kinda mean.

Layla: It still looks like you have a baby in your tummy.

Me: Well, it’s because you and Alex made my tummy look like this.

Layla: I think it’s because you ate all the Pirate’s Booty.

 

Now, the girl had a point about the Pirate’s Booty. But, come on! My addiction to Pirate’s Booty can’t possibly compare to the fact that I had two—count ‘em: two—nine-pound babies in my stomach at one point. No respect.

And then the questions got downright personal.

Layla: Why does daddy go to the gym and you don’t?

Me: Because daddy enjoys it.

Layla: Why doesn’t daddy stay home one time and let you go?

Me: Because I don’t want to go to the gym.

Layla: Because you want to be bigger than daddy?

Lord, have mercy.

At this point, I had to say something.  I decided to sit down with my overly demanding, overly inquisitive daughter and talk to her like a grown-up.

  1. Layla, there is not a baby in my tummy.
  2. There will not be another baby in my tummy.
  3. When you ask me if there’s a baby in my tummy, it hurts my feelings.
  4. Your question makes me feel bad about myself, and I really wish you wouldn’t ask me again.

Silence. Sunken shoulders and a muffled, “Sorry, Mommy.” Whew. It worked. She never asked again. I was officially free from kid ridicule forever.

Until her younger brother started asking.

 

Alex: Mommy, why is your stomach so big?

Me: It’s not that big.

Alex: (Poking me in the stomach) Then who’s that guy?

Before I could say anything, Layla’s eyes grew three times their size, she tapped him on the shoulder and shook her head swiftly back and forth as if to say, “If you know what’s good for you, boy, you’ll stop talking right now.”

Whew. I was safe. Layla was on my side, fighting bad guys and negative comments on my behalf. Boom.

Until later that night when we were cuddling in Layla’s bed and this happened.

Layla: Mommy, I know I’m not supposed to ask about your stomach but I’m just sooooo curious.

Me: (Taking a deep breath to avoid exploding) What is it you’re curious about, pumpkin?

Layla: I mean, why is your stomach so much bigger than mine?  Is it because you’re a grown-up and I’m a kid?

Me:  No.  My tummy is bigger because I grew two babies inside of it and it never went back to the way it was before.

Layla:  And because you eat so much more than me.

Mother of Pearl.

I wallowed in my self pity for a couple days, contemplating my comeback. She was going to get a really grown-up talking to this time.

But then the internet gods (also known as YouTube) interrupted my plan by serving up this piece of goodness.  Here’s Erin Keaney, not only embracing but also rapping about her post-baby belly.

My favorite line: “Today is the day that I pronounce: here is my muffin top, so watch it bounce.”

Amen, mama. Today’s my day, too.

After watching this video, I made a decision. I’m not fighting it anymore. My muffin top is what it is and I’m going to embrace it.

So, bring on your questions, kiddos. I’m ready for them. Just be warned: the next time you ask me why my stomach is so big, I’m going to reenact this video like a bad Beyonce spoof.

And, in all honesty, I kinda hope it’s in public.

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3 Comments

Alexia Nye Jackson May 28, 2014 at 9:05 pm

lol this is hysterical!! I read it twice and am forwarding to others!!

Meanwhile, I must say I feel a new freedom in my muffin top-ness…and I LOVE that video and Erin Keaney for steppin’ up!! Yay, Erin!…and Katherine, for that matter! I have to say that I absolutely hate that expression – “muffin top”. I would like others thoughts on this. I wouldn’t want to be too harsh… just checkin’ in here!..but I’ve decided – perhaps unfairly – that a man came up with that phrase. Yep -I can’t imagine ANY woman I know coining that phrase. And although we all use it from time to time (I don’t…except in the above sentence), I think it’s just gender acculturation…yet another inadvertent use of yet another crappy body reference for a woman’s imperfections. Basically, a “body call” to address at once….and fix – ship shape!! (I hear teen girls use this too for their gen…hmm).

As a “Millennial Mom- Plus”, at age 54, while I totally recall the humor, the stress and sacrifice and that balancing act of raising my three terrific little kids – they are teens now and one is graduating college!- their questions are just as personally daunting now! So believe me when I tell you that the first time you can’t answer a question (since kids, in their early years of life believe their moms to be the know-all-end-all-world-reference-to-all-puzzling-worldly-things), you’re doomed..that’s IT! My son, our oldest, now 21, taught me this hard truth of which I speak. Yes- in third grade he asked me about cirrus nimbus clouds and why they are different than cumulus nimbus clouds. Ah, yes…my vast knowledge of CLOUD TYPES hung me up! And on and on through the years it goes…my consistent, albeit cheery, answer of “hmmm…let’s look that one up” did not bode well as the years progressed until I finally realized that my answers like, “I know one thing, you’re not taking the car tonight if your laundry isn’t completely done- and folded- and your room isn’t clean. I know THAT!”

So – as a final note here girls, I will ask you this…if we women have a muffin top (and I rarely hear that used towards men) as part of aging and weight gain, birthing, etc…A) What excuse do guys have for weight gain but for the pseudo-joke “sympathy weight gain”? and B) What is their “body tag” (that they would just as “lovingly” give themselves – NOT)?…uumm, perhaps “Bread Loaf”?? (Just thinking visually here now). I surely don’t know. And I don’t know why there is no reference to their aging bodies either- especially if it’s not about name calling – and I hope its not!- but more about a soft social reference. OK, I can’t even pretend any more…that’s what I think any way. Thanks for the awesome blog and honesty!! Loved it!! Signed, That’s More Like It – Alexia 😉

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Katherine Wintsch July 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Love the idea of thinking of a new/better term for muffin top! It needs to sound as positive as love handles!

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