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Why Mothers Get Gray Hairs

March 5, 2009

I’m quite sure it has nothing to do with my age.  [Legal Disclaimer:  The previous statement falls under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. Federal Government; please do not attempt to ascertain the chronological maturation period of  the producer of the content of this blog based on any direct or indirect information stated or implied in this or any other post.]  Indiana Jones once said, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”  And as any parent knows, once you have a child, the mileage starts piling up quicker than platforms in Imelda Marcos’ closet. 

Suddenly you’re consumed by potentially life-altering questions and terribly important choices upon which the successful future of your bundle of joy rests:   Is he eating to much?  Too little?  Sleeping enough/in the right position/with the correct room temperature?  Pooping too much?  Too little?  Thumb or binkie?  Did I find the perfect pediatrician?  Is that diaper rash or the first sign of leprosy?  Do any of these toys contain harmful chemicals?  Baby Bjorn or hippie sling?  Co-sleeping, bassinet or crib?

The dirty little secret is, you’re just getting warmed up!  Once they’re able to move around on their own, all bets are off and your potential for stressful or worrisome moments hits the exponential fan. 

Thank goodness kids are actually pretty well made.  Think of all of the hairy moments of your own childhood that you managed to survive (admit it…you’ve caused a few gray hairs yourself).  I’ll never forget being carried by my father through the middle of the formal cocktail party he and mom had planned for months, screaming bloody murder because I’d sliced through my bottom lip after falling off of the bathroom counter (which I wasn’t supposed to be standing on – duh) while trying to prove myself a big girl by brushing my own teeth.  A quick trip to the emergency room for some stitches was all it took to fix me up, but I guarantee both mom and dad had more than a few color-challenged follicular spots after that.

I try to keep that in mind when my kids head out the door to play.  Into every childhood an emergency room visit (or two, or four, if you’re a boy) must fall.  But generally kids recover pretty quickly, are none the worse for wear, and hopefully learn a thing or two.  So I’ll try to save my stress for the stuff that is really worth worrying about…and keep myself as informed as possible so that I can make good decisions and help my kids to do the same.

 Note:  In a cruel twist of irony, one of the two reasons for at least some of my gray hair takes great pleasure in teasing me about the “superior gray coverage” touted on the front of my hair color box.  Her day will come…

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