“Mommy, your skin is so soft right here.” It was bedtime and I was lying down next to Maddie, one of my eight-year old twins. She was rubbing the skin between my collarbones with her forefinger. “It’s all wrinkly.” She moved her finger up to my face. “And there are wrinkles here.. and here…”
Eight is an interesting age. They’re savvy enough to “get” much of what the older kids and Dave and I say, but they have very little sophistication about what to say–or not say–themselves. The other day Jake told Maddie that her face was “chubby.” It took Judy, Kelly, and Emily to explain to him why Maddie didn’t like that. “Don’t ever say anything negative to a girl about how she looks,” Judy told him. “You could scar her for life,” Kelly added. And I told him that my face was chubby when I was eight, too.
Emily just punched him.
“Ow,” Jake said and then defended his comments.”But I like her face. I wasn’t trying to be mean.”
“And it is chubby,” he added.
Jake is our early riser. On school mornings he comes down to the basement, where I am working out, and he curls up on the couch and reads. Every once in awhile he glances up to see what I’m doing. Last week he told me, “Mom, you’re not lifting your knees nearly as high as the people on the video.”
“Do you want to get out here and show me how it’s done?” I immediately regretted my sarcasm, but it was okay because it was lost on Jake. He paused and then said, “No,” before looking back at his book.
Doggone it, I was trying my hardest NOT to lift my knees higher after that, but I must have caved into the pressure because, a few minutes later, when I was back into the high knee part of the cycle, he looked up again and said, “That’s more like it, Mom.”