Thanks to my beautiful, adoring children, my stomach has a name. It’s “Squishy.” When my kids were younger, they would actually talk to it in the first person.
“Hi Squishy,” my son would say, patting my mid-section lovingly. Or, when snuggling and watching TV: “Can I lay my head on you, Squishy?”
I never really minded the nickname, considering Squishy’s existence is largely the result of the two pregnancies that resulted in my kiddos' existence. And these days, as tweens, their “observations” about my physical imperfections are far less endearing: “Mom, is that a CHIN hair?!” or “Wow, you have more gray hair than dad does.”
Apparently having little resident beauty inspectors is just another perk of the Mommy job.
Some estheticians say that eagle-eyed toddlers are their best source of client referrals. After all, when a kid is THISCLOSE to your face when they wake you up in the morning, or when you are hugging and kissing them, they can see things better than your magnifying mirror.
May Pederson, owner of Blackbird, a waxing and skincare salon in Bellevue, Wash., tells the story of one client who came in for her regularly scheduled brow waxing, and handed her a picture. It was a family portrait drawn by the client’s young daughter .
“Each person is drawn with all of the painstaking detail that her kindergarten age girl could muster,” says Pederson. “My client marvels to her little one about what a great job she has done depicting their family but asks, ‘What is this on all of our faces?’ Dear daughter replies, ‘LOOK! I gave me a mustache too! Just like you and daddy have!’”
The client, Pederson says, “now has standing appointments for both brow AND lip.”
It doesn't end with the toddler years, either.
When Tamara Wright, a mom of three in Bellevue, Wash., asked if she could chaperone a school field trip, her 12-year-old daughter Hailey said yes, with a caveat: “Sure, Mom, but can you at least take a shower, wash your hair and put some make-up on, and, oh yeah, wear long pants if you’re not going to shave your legs.”
Wright’s 3-year-old son Jax recently asked her: “Mom, why are you mad at me? I am being good.” When Wright said she wasn’t mad, Jax replied, “Why is your forehead grumpy?” pointing to the wrinkles between her eyebrows.
Esthetician Kasie Harvey says she gave a facial to one client "who wanted help with her enlarged pores after her daughter asked why she had so many holes on her face."
"We got her set up on a skincare regimen to help minimize her pores and save her some embarrassment from her daughter's innocent observation," Harvey says.
From wrinkles to pimples to stretch marks to bad hair, kids are sure to catch it and tell you about it. If you’re lucky, it’s in the privacy of your home. Or in the car.
My neighbor told me she was driving her young son to school early one morning and he started a full commentary from the back seat. “Mom, I don’t like your hair in a ponytail…. I really like it better when your hair is down... I don’t like the little hairs on your neck... I don't like the loose hairs that fall out of your ponytail… it looks messy.”
A poster on Baby Center.com relayed how her 6 year old asked how she got the “owies” (stretchmarks) on her tummy. The child said: “Did the doggie scratch you?”
If you’re not so lucky, kids announce their discoveries in public.
One TODAY Moms fan on our Facebook page related the question her daughter asked while they were getting changed after swimming: "'Mommy, when I am as old as you, are my boobies going to be as LONG as yours?' -- and then I hear the giggling a few lockers down. Good thing they are so darn cute, eh?"
One mom on Cafemom.com related how her 3-year-old informed the grocery store cashier: “My mommy has tiger stripes, silver ones, on her thighs!”
I don’t recall my kids ever talking about my "Squishy" tummy in public. If they did, I’d just distract them by pointing to that hair on my chin.
Kavita Varma-White and her squishy tummy are contributing editors to TODAY Moms.
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