The votes in Elliot's contest are so close, I'm afraid I'm going to give myself an ulcer from all the refresh page-ing I'm doing. I'm not sure why I care so much. OK, I have a few thoughts, but I don't want to share until the contest is over. Instead, I'll fill you in on another one of my (many) neuroses, inspired by Puffer's comment about how she feels when she's out without the twins.
I was totally fascinated (in a good way) by it because my own experience is exactly the opposite. When I'm out without Elliot, I too have a conscious awareness that people looking at me don't know I have a toddler at home, but 9 times out of 10, I hate it. If I'm in Tar.get or a grocery store without him, I'll sometimes go out of my way to buy something baby-related, even if we don't need it yet, just because I want people who see me to know. I'm not sure where this need to identify myself stems from - maybe it's some post-infertility brain damage or perhaps just standard-issue insecurity - but it makes me feel more comfortable in my skin, like my outsides match my insides. I think what has happened is that my identity as a mother has become so deeply rooted that I feel naked and self-conscious without my standard marker (the kiddo) on my hip. For the record, I totally think Puffer's take on all this is healthier. ;-)