i’ve been noticing, lately, that a certain metamorphosis seems to have settled on me like a permanent new skin…much as i’ve tried to ward it off with incantations and denial. it sneaks up on me in mirrors and other reflective objects, announcing itself to my unwilling eyes, breaking through the bravado of my self-delusion.

i think i’m starting to look like a mom.

i mean, i know i am a mom, and i consider this a Very Good Thing, and an honour and a privilege, and all that. seriously. and i’m not interested in buying into the chic notion of the Hipster parent, particularly…though i do think that our cultural stereotypes of mom-hood are bound to change with the times, and just because i prefer my old Che Guevara tee to an acrylic sweater with Christmas trees prancing upon it doesn’t necessarily mean i’m confused about my role in society or refusing to grow up.

(mind you, i have recently purchased – and kept, out of sheer attrition – a pair of jeans whose waistband is just a little too high for comfort or coolness. but they don’t have pleats, man, or anything like that. i swear to god. i am not turning into my mom.)

i just look a little blurred around the edges, and i know it, and i can’t quite put my finger on it. this is a “more than the sum of its parts” kind of issue, folks. i need some help, here.

first part, without doubt, is my hair. i need a haircut. i’ve needed a haircut for months…and i know i’ve lamented this before, but i’ve done absolutely sweet fuck all about it, so here i go again. i had my last haircut in July, friends. i have an overgrown shrubbery of varying textures crowning my head. to say it is without style would be a kindness of exaggerated proportion. and i do not seem to have the wherewithal to deal with this issue. i don’t really have a regular babysitter…nor a hairdresser, for that matter, though there is a nice local drag queen who occasionally manages not to give me a mullet, avoidance of which is really all i ask of this life. Danny, however, closes shop at four everyday and isn’t all too keen on the rugrat set, so dragging O along or leaving him with his father (who works ’til five) seem like insurmountable hurdles to me. thus i have let the tresses grow. and grow. and grow.

the hair alone could leave me looking simply like a middle-aged student, though. there’s something more to this image reshaping that’s happened to me.

and the wardrobe of gray-flecked sweater and jeans mixed up with blue-flecked sweater and jeans isn’t getting me on any best-dressed lists, true, but i notice the change in me more when i dress up than i do in my regular mom uniform.

i stoop. i look drawn and tired, even on those rare morns when i’ve slept for seven luxurious hours straight. i sag. my eyes are slower to focus. i’m rumpled, even if my clothes – by some act of god – are ironed.

i don’t know what to make of this, or to do about it. i’ve been trying to get in shape, getting on that wild horse of an exercise bicycle almost every day, whipping a little shape back into my behind. the stripey little pooch that my belly, in all its stretch-marked glory, seems to have become doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but i’m cool with that. it’s not like the pre-baby incarnation of my belly was much to write home about, anyway…i don’t mind being a little round, and soft. i don’t feel the need to erase the marks Oscar & Finn have left on me entirely. i don’t mind looking like O’s mom…i just don’t want to look like i’ve been stuck in the Walmart checkout aisle with my twelve shrieking offspring for the last ten hours all the time, know what i mean?

i’d just like to look as though all the vitality hasn’t been sucked from me by my baby’s little Hoover lips.

i’d like to look in the mirror and see someone who felt good about looking back at me.

(and if anyone thinks more chocolate is the answer to my bedraggled state, you should tell me. it’s wrong to horde that kind of wisdom. ;))

if anyone else has tips…i’m open. i’m asking.