Yo, Pizza Face!

Posted: April 22nd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop | No Comments »

In your elementary school, did your local version of Les Dunbar and Danny Palumbo run around the playground one day stirring up a frenzy of confusion and embarrassment by cattily informing each kid that their “epidermis is showing?”

Oh, well maybe it was just a Rockwell School thing.

At any rate, without knowing what your epidermis is, this can instill in a young’un a fair amount of insecurity and shame.

Well, it’s all I can do to not whisper into Paige’s ear that’s hers is showing. In fact, since her second day of life her epidermis seems to have been doing absolutely everything it could to make its existence known. Well, short of spelling out “bitch” on her stomach.

The poor lass has been plagued with baby acne the likes of which has caused a woman in the Safeway parking lot to exclaim, “That baby has hives!” and our house cleaner to ask, “Have you taken her to the doctor for that?”

Her cradle cap is like some Zen life challenge that has been presented to Mark and I. We scour, scrub, pick and peel at her head. We apply salves, ointments, oils and tinctures. And yet every morning it’s returned without fail. Sometimes it evens doubles its strength.

And then, though it’s hard to notice when you’re taking in all the other maladies, I recently discovered that her shoulders and arms are covered with a thin scaly rough rash. Nothing that jumps out at you with the look-at-me drama of the whiteheads or head crust, mind you. But it’s there. Just something lurking there un-seen by most–another secret dermatological war that’s raging.

A few days ago when the acne outbreak was taking a temporary break in intensity, I got her from her crib after a nap and saw she’d gouged a small hole out of the corner of her nose with a hand she freed from her swaddle. Despite the sea of vitamin E I’ve applied to it, the dark red scab is still there today, doing its part to mar whatever Gerber-like baby qualities she might ever dream of possessing.

But really, all this is superficial. The fact is, I did talk to her pediatrician about it and he promises it’s normal, it’ll be short-lived, and won’t affect her chances of getting into Yale. But still, my inner pageant mom wants my sweet baby to look better. 

My dearest friends peek in at her in the Moby Wrap and encourage me with strength-seeking sayings like, “This too shall pass” and “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Some even look past the scales and coo over Paige’s cuteness. God bless them.

I can only hope that Paige is paying out a lifetime of dermatological penance right now, and that in her teen years, when all these other peaches and cream babies are considering derm-abrasion, she’ll glow with a perfect, radiant complexion. She’ll be able to walk around the dance floor on prom night kindly informing everyone that their epidermis is showing.

No Comments »

Leave a Reply