Real Slim PJ please stand up?


I WATCHED myself today. In the mirror, handing out milk-teeth-toothpaste-laden brushes to my two children.

They were standing on two chairs made decades ago by their great-grandfather, grinning madly at the images of Elmo and Abby Cadabby grinning back from their toothbrush handles. While they brushed (or in the case of the 14-month old, sucked), I set about dousing them with anti-tangle and wrangling their knotty tresses into shiny perfection. (Mummy note: I do brush their teeth for them, but like to let them have a crack at it first.)

Beside them I was in an apricot shirt – the first thing I grabbed after one child’s poo was left all over my nightie – and my pair of “fat pants” which is ridiculous since I’ve lost enough weight that they hang dangerously low and can be southbound at the slightest grab by little fingers.

We were in the lovely, big, white bathroom of our lovely, big, white house.

I felt like a complete fraud.

I grew up gritty and dirty in the canefields and was so convinced of my own inferiority that I seldom spoke to others. I didn’t stay quite so shy, I was a teenager after all.  But while it’s amazing to think I’ve come this far – not just a mum and wife, but a person that can actually open her mouth and talk to complete strangers and not want to wet myself with fear – some things are still quite intimidating.

Sometimes I think the person who really belongs in this life will reveal me for the uneducated pleb that I am and oust me from this comfortable life.

I think this new house (that we moved into on the weekend) in all its shiny glory has brought out the intimidated young girl in me. I am not a shiny white person, nor (given the weight loss) big… nor am I “lovely” (recipients of my exhaustion-induced tirades on the weekend will be firmly agreeing!).

Why is it that, no matter my years as a subeditor which outnumber my years as a small child, I still identify with her so powerfully? Why do I find myself in her vulnerable state when I can competently guide and care for my own two children?

And why am I convinced that I’ll need to work extra hard to keep this shiny, white life from turning into the gritty, threadbare environment I grew up in?

My husband loves this house – he’s all for white minimalism. But to me, there’s “little” minimalism about it – it’s going to take some effort on my part to keep up these appearances.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trish
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 07:19:09

    I am the polar (not as in white) opposite surrounded by red dirt & mud ….
    I prefer shiny & white ;).
    I hope you can strike a happy balance between comfortable & white.


    • petajo
      Nov 13, 2010 @ 10:58:23

      I miss the mud and dirt from my childhood, though I guess if it was being tracked in over floors that I had to clean, I might feel differently!


  2. Being Me at Sunny Side Up
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 09:34:54

    Good heavens, that sounds like a bit of work. I don’t think that inner little girl is too far from any of us (oh… except blokes of course!). I’d like to think I’ll always stay in touch with mine 😉 Keeps me humble and real.


    • petajo
      Nov 13, 2010 @ 10:57:01

      I suppose that’s true. “Keepin’ it real”… I’ll try to remember that next time I want to curl up in the foetal position 😉


  3. Trackback: Foto Finish Friday « PetaJo

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