by MIA FREEDMAN
From the moment I gave birth to a daughter, I knew this day would come. The conversation was crucial and it would have been negligent of me to avoid it. I just didn’t expect to be having it so soon; she’s only five!
“Darling,” I began gently one day, crouching down to her level to make eye contact as I held her hands tenderly in mine. “Leggings are not pants.”
As her face registered confusion, I seized the opportunity to continue. “You see, leggings are more like tights,” I explained carefully. “That means they’re different to jeans or pants. We don’t wear them the same way.” She regarded me defiantly. “But I like these leggings!” she protested. I remained calm, maintained eye contact, and spoke kindly yet firmly. “So do I darling, your leggings are lovely. They just need a skirt over the top of them. Or a dress. Heck, even a longer t-shirt.”
Reluctantly, she complied and I felt some small satisfaction in the same way I do on the rare occasion any child of mine eats a green vegetable. Mother Of The Year.
Afterwards though, I thought about our conversation and wondered if I’d made a mistake. Parenting is made up of a million doubtful moments like this and mostly, only your child’s future therapist will be able to say how badly you screwed up.