What this?

We’re getting a lot of “What this?” questions from K lately. I think it’s great, because for so long we were just getting statements and responses. It’s like she suddenly discovered that you can put a little lilt on the end of these statements and find out something new. Yeah!

But then I find myself explaining things that I wouldn’t normally explain. And it makes me start wondering a little. Like the following:

K: What this?
Me: These are earrings. Sometimes people like to poke holes in their bodies and put jewelry in them.

The guy at the bike store (Why yes, we were buying bikes at the time. With two children in tow. We’re nothing if not ambitious) laughed out loud, adding, “That does make you sort of wonder, when you put it like that.”

Yes, it does. Or how about this one:

K: What this?
Me: This is eyeliner. You put it along your lashes like this, and see how it makes them a little darker.
K: Yeah. What this?
Me: It’s eyeshadow. See, you brush a little on and your eyelids are all sparkly.
K: Uh-huh. What this?
Me: This is mascara. I’m going to brush a little on one eye, and look–the lashes are very light on one side and on the other side the mascara has made them dark.

All of which makes me realize that make-up is a bit idiotic. I’m suddenly shamed to be training my child at the tender age of two that somehow dark and sparkly is the way to go. When K turns out to be a stripper, I’ll only have myself to blame.

The trouble for me is that I hear myself sounding idiotic, and yet I continue to wear earrings (on occasion) and make-up (okay, regularly). Have I been programmed? Have we all been programmed? And is there any way to not program her, preferably without me having to feel all plain Jane for the rest of my life? Or maybe I want to embrace plain Jane because she’s so much less, well, ridiculous. Or maybe, as I tried to explain when she (of course) asked to use the eyeliner and shadow and mascara, it’s just something she’ll decide to use or not when she gets older. But did I mess up her free choice? Or do we ever have a choice?

I know! Maybe I should just put on my make-up without her in the room. Oh wait–managing to get ready without a small child watching my every move? Now that’s ridiculous.

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