Today, we were out shopping, trying to find gifts for the girls. We had some success here and there, me picking up items after Maya had spotted them and then was lured away by Chris to another display somewhere else. But at one point, the inevitable happened.
As most of you know, Nadia gets gobs of attention here in Korea because of her big eyes. She literally gets Mobbed! Today was no exception. At one point, a saleslady couldn't help herself with Nadia. She followed us down the aisle just to be with Nadia! Her stall was one of accessories - hair clips, hair bands, necklaces and the like. We were about to leave when she disappeared behind her counter and starts rummaging feverishly through some drawers. She finally finds a really cute clip, one of a black crown with jewels on it. She runs over to Nadia, who stands at attention, and puts the clip in Nadia's hair. Then she pulls Nadia over to the mirror to see, and Nadia totally starts admiring herself in the mirror.
Maya was devastated. The saleslady barely saw her and gave her nothing. Maya grabs my hand and is perilously close to tears. "What about me? How come she isn't giving me something? I want a pretty clip too."
And then the line that just tears at my heart and makes me want to club that saleslady to a pulp:
"She didn't even see me. It's like I'm not even here!"
My heart hurt for my little girl, my beautiful sweet child who only wanted a pretty clip in her hair just like her little sister. And the really sad part is that this happens a lot here. 99% of the time, Maya is quite happy to not have attention on her, to not be Mobbed and have her hair stroked and her cheeks patted or pinched. But I knew this would happen sometime. Most people are very good about giving things to both of them, even if they pay more attention to Nadia. But this time, it really was like the saleslady didn't even see Maya at all.
And I didn't know how to tell Maya to stand up for herself. Should I have told her to ask the saleslady for a clip too? The hairclip for Nadia was a present, she even said, "A present for baby." to us when she put it in Nadia's hair. How do I say, "Well, do you have another present for my older daughter too?" I tried to tell Maya that things aren't going to be equal for them all the time. Like at birthdays - at Maya's birthday, Nadia doesn't get presents and vice-versa.
But this time, she got the fact that Nadia got the attention because the salelady thought she was pretty. And the fact that Maya felt like she wasn't even seen must have made her think that she wasn't pretty enough.
My heart hurts again.
I spent some time alone with Maya before bedtime, just cuddling on my bed and talking and tickling each other. I must have told her 20 times that she was so pretty, so beautiful. Must have kissed her 100 times. Gave her dozens of Squeeze Hugs.
I hope she knows that she's my favorite Maya in the whole wide world and that I love her as big as the outer space. Cause that's even bigger than a planet.