Dear Future Stella,
For about a year now Current Stella has opted to go commando when going to bed. Her typical pajama fashion consists of legging-type bottoms, and a t-shirt or tank top. Her preference to forgo panties during sleep has always been ok with me, and frankly it is how I chose to sleep as a child myself. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when she got a brand new gown-style pajama dress from Disneyland. This nightgown was her one and only purchase she wanted while visiting the park. It is a teal blue color and has some cheesy stupid picture of Elsa on the chest. She has worn it to bed every night since we got home. It’s stained and smelly most nights because there is no way anyone can keep up the necessary laundry schedule it would take for it to remain clean for each and every night. Recently, Current Stella has started changing from her school uniform directly into her sleeping uniform at around 3pm. This not only dramatically reduces the potential cute factor at any given moment, it also means that she is without underwear for a good 4 hours before she actually goes to bed. This has resulted in waaaaay too many graphic up dress moments. Current Stella likes to sit indian style. She has also been really into practicing cartwheels lately. The other day I had a guest over and Current Stella was laying on the couch with her Dad reading a book in preparation for bedtime. She was laying on her side facing him with her top leg draped over his body. My guest and I were on the other side of the room with no choice but to be eye level with Current Stella’s lady parts. My favorite though, was the night she requested that her dad wheelbarrow her to bed. He made a conflicted face and looked at me like, “is this even allowed?” I don’t want to make it weird or shame her in any way but I am seriously so sick of seeing her tiny vagina all night long. I decided to make a new rule that she has to wear underwear until the moment she climbs up into the bunkbed. This has drastically reduced the inappropriate crotch shots. Which is why, on this past Sunday evening, I was caught off guard by a late night impromptu gynecologic exam.
I was sitting on the couch listening to a podcast when Current Stella climbed down from her bunkbed, opened her creaky door, teetered down the hallway and suddenly appeared right next to me. It scared the shit out of me because I had my headphones on so I didn’t hear all the usual sounds of a child aborting the bedtime routine. In her very famous dramatic whiny voice Current Stella says to me, “Mommy, I need to show you something.” She sat next to me and spread her legs apart as wide as they would go and then opened up her vagina equally as far. She then says, “Inside my pee pee I have this little pink thing.” I started sweating because I was certain she was referring to her clitoris and that we would have to have the worlds most awkward conversation. However, she skipped over the pleasure button and instead pointed at some flap of skin inside the vagina that I am pretty sure is totally normal but I don’t know because I am not a gynecologist. I told her that every girl has that and that it’s fine. I told her that I even have that. She seemed shocked and said, “You have that?” I answered that I do but I was wishing to God that she wouldn’t make me show her or something really foul like that. She wasn’t buying it though and said, “But Mommy, when you had a baby didn’t it get smashed?” I wanted to say, “no sweetheart, it got smashed way earlier than that during sexual activity” but I refrained and gave some horse shit of a lie answer about how the female body is amazing and nothing is harmed during childbirth. Now that you are older I can tell you that everything gets so fucked up when you have a kid. Nothing looks the same or feels the same after. Who knows where my flap of skin is anymore, probably up near my throat or down by my knee at this point. Just FYI.
Current Stella’s social calendar was jamming this past week. She had a Father/Daughter Dance at the Olympic Club and 2 unplanned back to back sleepovers. Current Stella’s first sleepover was with a new friend from school named Violet. Current Stella was invited to go to her house after school for a playdate. Violet’s parents told us to pick her up around 6pm and to plan on coming inside for a drink. The night before your Dad and I hit it a little hard at date night and I woke up feeling very hungover. Actually, extremely hungover. Its just weird because I didn’t drink more than normal and we were home by 8pm! I suppressed a vomit all day long at work. I really hate puking at work because it reminds me of being pregnant and I have so much PTSD in that department that I will do anything to avoid it. Instead, I just colored hair feeling seasick and looking green all day. I got home and released the biggest, most satisfying puke of my life. I had been holding it in for 8 hours and I had exactly 20 minutes until we were due to pick Current Stella up from her playdate. I really should have cancelled or just sent your Dad but these are new friends and I would have hated my first impression to be that I am a no-fun flake so I showed up and acted like I had not just emptied the contents of my stomach less than an hour prior. To make a long story short, these new friends had no intentions of us having a drink and then taking Stella home. No, these new friends wanted to party. These new friends have an actual bar inside their house that they failed to mention to us in their casual invite and they planned on us shutting it down. Your mom puked and then rallied that night. We stayed for 6 additional hours!! Needless to say, Current Stella had no choice but to sleep over- shit, we almost all slept over.
The next morning I felt even worse than the day before. I was so nauseous all day long at work to the point where I couldn’t eat a single thing. It was brutal and even though I look pretty lame arguing that it wasn’t the alcohol, it felt very different than a hangover. That night Current Stella and her Dad attended their first ever Father/Daughter dance and I took the night off from drinking. I would love to show you how adorable Current Stella looked at the dance but your Dad took exactly 0 good pictures. They were invited to this dance by her bestie Tyler and her Dad, which means this was more of a Tyler/Stella dance as opposed to a Father/Daughter event. In fact, she didn’t even dance with her Dad once! Here are the only pics he got.
Current Stella ended up strong arming her Dad into letting her stay the night at Tyler’s house after the dance so I never even got to see her that night!
Shockingly, the next day I still felt horrible. The thought of eating disgusted me and I felt like I was on the verge of puking all day. In fact, the next two days after that were not much better. Occasionally, I would actually throw up but mostly I just felt sick and completely uninterested in food. It really felt like I was pregnant but thats not possible due to my absolute hatred of the concept.
Today Current Stella had to get a flu shot. She was really scared and she was being a giant vagina about it. She asked so many questions and begged to not go. I don’t know what I was thinking but I told her that it wasn’t going to be an actual shot and that its just something they put up her nose. I really think I remember hearing that somewhere but I couldn’t be sure, I just knew I needed her to stop freaking out about it. Well, it was not a nasal spray, it was your standard needle in the arm situation. Current Stella didnt even make a peep. She just sat there and took the shot and remained completely stoic. The nurse was like, what the fuck (she didnt actually use profanity). She said most 5 year olds are the worst because they usually freak out. She couldn’t believe it, and neither could we. It was so unbelievable. I told Current Stella that she was so brave and she said that she wasn’t being brave, it just didnt hurt. I was so proud and happy that I decided to take her to get a pedicure with me.
A few minutes into the the pedicure Current Stella turns and looks at me and says, “Look Mommy, I just lost my first tooth.” She was holding it in her hand and she had a fresh gaping hole in her smile. I got sort of emotional because to me, this is the beginning of the end. The next couple of years are going to be filled with strange smiles- especially when they start growing back in and they are all ridgy and giant, long limbs, and hairy legs. There might be a brief pause before puberty but not much of one, especially if braces are in the cards. Puberty is terrifying and even more gross, what with the acne and the tragic fashion. During the rest of my pedicure I mourned the loss of her babyish cuteness and braced myself for the awkwardness up ahead.
Back at the house Current Stella was preparing her tooth for the fairy while I made her dinner. All of a sudden she started whining and bitching about her stomach hurting. I reminded her of how brave she was earlier and that her stomach was probably just hurting because she was hungry. She reminded me that she isn’t brave and that the shot didn’t even hurt and this hurts. She refused to eat and I had to physically put her in the bathtub myself while she was whimpering. While I was drying her off to put her pajamas on she puked all over the both of us and her beloved pajamas. She was pissed about the pajamas. She was also pissed because the shot didn’t even work. The tooth fairy was going to meet her for the very first time and she wouldn’t even be wearing her favorite pajamas. I told her she should be more concerned about the vomit in her hair and also I am sure the tooth fairy would rather meet her with pants on as opposed to this sight.
I am at a total loss about what all this casual vomit is all about in our house. Its so bizarre and so nasty. It needs to stop.
Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, the tooth fairy left you 2 dollars. We have a box of teeth in our house that either belonged to me or your dad but we don’t remember who. I thought about exchanging your tooth for one of our old teeth but at the last minute decided on 2 bucks.