“Don’t look at my boobs,” the three year old says.
Now, if it had been my oldest, I would have smiled at her modesty and told her that I would honor her request for privacy. Since this is my third, I lie for all I’m worth.
“Close your eyes.”
“They’re closed,” I say, squinting them like I’ve got them closed tightly, while looking out through my lashes.
She lifts up her shirt. She looks at her boobs. They are brown. So is her belly button. She has decorated herself, focusing on the most important parts.
I sigh. Well, they aren’t piercings, so who cares about a little marker around the nipple?
She looks up to make sure my eyes are still closed. “Don’t look at my boobs. Because they’re brown. I colored them.”
“I know,” I say, opening my eyes. After all, she’s still young enough to believe that her mother is all-knowing, all-seeing and all wise.
Except, she’s not. The baby, the third, fooled me good yesterday. She went to bed for her nap. She came downstairs an hour and a half later.
“Did you take a nap?”
“Did you actually sleep?”
“Take your fingers out of your mouth and make eye contact with me. Are you sure you actually closed your eyes and went to sleep without playing?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I went to bed and then woke up and went to the play room and now I’m downstairs.”
But, turns out, she had her timing wrong. She didn’t actually wake up, because she never actually went to sleep. I figured it out when she fell asleep after 5 minutes in the car. Kudos to her, though, for being so sneaky. She left her room, walked across the hall to the playroom, shut the door and stayed in there, totally silent, for an hour and a half. I was exactly one room away making salsa. And I didn’t see, hear or smell her. And she’s my third! I should have been smarter.
The third must have learned from her sisters—don’t confront the Mother Beast, just do what you want only be quiet about it.
And, all-in-all, I think she’s right. I got the salsa made, listened to Talk of the Nation, and had my Mommy Time. And she played whatever it is that three year olds play when they’re supposed to be sleeping. Win-win.