My kid is perfect.
Is anyone else ever surprised by how utterly perfect your own kids seem? As babies, they really are perfect. They don't have 'tudes yet, they have no wrinkes or other imperfections, they are appropriately needy and soft and cuddly so that our love for them can intensify and ensure their survival.

For me, this idealism has continued throughout Charlie's young childhood. If someone so much as suggested their child reached a verbal milestone before mine did, I would chime in that mine was walking early -- therefore, he was focused on the equally-important physical skills. When someone else's kid seems more athletic, mine is sweeter. My kid is perfect.

As he gets older, I am surprised to find that this superiority complex still exists. I mean, I watch other peoples' kids for a living, and I am very fond of all of them. But, although I try to surpress it, I secretly feel protective (and shocked by) any clue that my child might not be perfect.

Take his red hair. Yes, I know, it is pretty and vibrant. But boys don't want to be pretty or vibrant. Heck, I was the girliest of all girly girls, and I despised my red hair and fair skin. I was called Strawberry Shortcake, eraser head, Annie, an unmentionable, and for my fair skin, milk legs. That last one hurt.

Adults always tell him that he has beautiful hair, and I say thank you but cringe inside. Adults love red hair; kids point and laugh at it.

And then there's his height. At first I thought his growth spurt just hadn't come yet. But after three or four visits with his height lingering in the lower percentiles, I have accepted it. He will be short. And my protective, perfectionist side kicks in: he will be short; but husky. He will be redheaded; but cute. He might be the creative (as opposed to athletic) type; but also outgoing and friendly and interesting. He is still my perfect child.

The internal argument intensified today after Charlie returned with his dad from his first dentist appointment. Let me preface this by saying that this kid (bias rapidly approaching) has the pearliest, whitest, straightest kid teeth I've ever seen. He has 22 of these pearly whites, and, according to Mr. Dentist, 13 of them have cavities. Thirteen. I am in my early thirties and have had maybe 5 cavities my entire life. I am a bit shocked considering we are not big on juice or candy or sweets, and he never went to bed with baby bottles. All right, I know we have not been terribly consistent with teeth brushing, but the dentist insists his "soft teeth" are genetic. But anyway, not my point.

This just serves as another reminder that my perfect child - the one whose Birthday was the happiest day of my life and who has made me smile every day since - will someday be teased and become aware of his imperfections. He will deal with it fine, I'm sure (cuz, um, he's perfect). But I, for one, will have to accept that my child is also human.

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Blogger Kyla said...

Your Charlie is perfect...and I am completely in love with his hair! All of our children are perfect. Even my dear KayTar who doesn't fit the typical mold of "perfect", is perfect to me.

13 cavities? Poor little bugger! I hope they don't hurt him. :(

12:49 PM  
Blogger dodo said...

nothing to do with the post, but P just asked me very specifically asked me to print off 6 of those snoopy pictures so she could colour them in. You are the goddess of daycare - entertaining my child from the other side of the planet!!!

4:59 AM  

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