Monday, March 31, 2008

The Look

If you're ever in the mood to do a little Frumpwatching, head to a CPK at about 6:00 on a Sunday night. I was there last night, and I felt like I was at a frazzled mom convention. It is like a little toddler petting zoo. While I normally fixate on the more outfit-and-hair-related aspects of frump, this time I noticed something else. A look. It was a cross between "How did I get here?" and "Please let this be over soon." Usually it accompanied a melting down child, a spilled glass of water or a number of other child-related mishaps. I know this look well. I've worn it myself a number of times - on the airplane, at the mall, in restaurants, I could go on. It adds a whole new layer to frump fashion. You know how models have a look that makes their outfits look better? (I think Tyra calls it "fierceness".) Well, this is a look that moms get that make us look even frumpier. Maybe we should call it momness. We could be wearing our sleekest designer jeans (over Spanx, of course), a cashmere sweater and heels, but the minute we get that look in our eyes, we might as well be sporting wrestling pants and tevas. (A look I saw at the park on a mom this past Easter.) I don't have any advice on how to combat this expression. I'm not sure it's possible. I can't imagine smiling and acting like nothing's wrong while your child throws a back-arching, food-throwing fit at a restaurant. Maybe this is what Xanax is for.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Unfrump My Daughter

After a nail-bitingly long period during which I thought she would permanently look like one of those oil paintings of Henry VIII, my 18-month old has finally reached a point in her hair development where I simply must intervene. I'm just not exactly sure what to do. It seems she has inherited my insubstantial fluff-like substance that disguises itself as hair. That, combined with her tendency to sleep deeply wedged into the corners of her crib, leaves her looking like an urchin child the majority of the time. Even when I wet it down with water, it starts to rise slowly as it dries like a fluffy hair souffle. I've even gone so far as to use "product" on it, which either does nothing, or makes her hair so greasy, she looks like a tiny, pale Sopranos character. I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what to do with my own hairdo, now I have to worry about my daughter's?

Maybe I've discovered an untapped niche. I was at the drugstore earlier today and was wandering the hair product aisle, looking for inspiration to strike. There's plenty of products for adults that promise "more body", "waves", "thickener", "extra shine". Maybe I should start a line of hair care for babies that offers things like "fluff reducer" and "mullet manager".

Does she need a cut? New hair products? Baby Rogaine? The Hair Club for Babies? Somebody help!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Unfrumpy vs. Fabulous

I feel the need to draw a line in the sand between being an Unfrumpy Mom and being a Fabulous Mom. Unfrumpy is really not that high of a bar. It involves near-daily showers, low-waisted jeans, non-frightening footwear and a vague attempt at makeup. Fabulous, however, is a whole different stratosphere. We're talking weekly mani/pedis, regular blow-outs, non-stretchy clothing and maybe even a little Botox. Fabulous Momness requires a whole lot of time and money of which I have neither. This is no judgement on Fabulous Moms - believe me, I'd love to join their ranks. But in the face of working four days a week and running after a toddler, I simply don't foresee that happening anytime soon. This is not to slight being Unfrumpy, either. Unfrumpy Momness is not just a look, but also an attitude. It's a way to say, "I'm proud of being a mom, I just don't want to forget that I'm also a me." And we Unfrumpy Moms can dabble in Fabulous territory, when we have a little extra time or for special occasions... it's just not an everyday thing. Capiche?