BABY, LET YOUR HAIR HANG DOWN

Hair 1 Year Ago
Hair 1 Year Ago

Towards the end of this past school year, XBoy announced he wanted to grow his hair long(er). What the hell, we both thought. How long could it really get before he had to go back to school and conform to their appearance requirements of short hair for boys (not covering the ears or past the collar of their uniform)? We agreed with the understanding that once school started, he’d have to get it cut.

Open any catalog or magazine featuring boys XBoy’s age – 6, 7, 8 – and you will most likely see my son’s hairstyle. It’s longish, kind of a skater-dude appearance, and really what I would consider unremarkable in the sense that it doesn’t turn heads. However, he’s had several compliments from his peers on how “cool” his hair is. My kid won’t brush his teeth unless under extreme duress, so to see him take great pride in keeping his hair (relatively) clean and combed is impressive.

I’ll just say it: I like his hair long(er). He stands out amongst the children of Nebraskan conservatives on the playground.

Unfortunately, I find myself thoroughly annoyed with my in-laws, XBoy’s grandparents, who tease and mock him because of his hair. “Sorry to hear your barber died,” he says; “Do you need a little bow ribbon to hold your bangs out of your eyes?” she says.

I’ve told my son to not let their teasing bother him. As his parents, if the hair was a problem, we would let him know. I even told him that he should challenge his grandfather. Tell him that for $100, you’ll go get your hair cut. I tell XBoy that because his grandfather WOULD give him $100 for a stupid haircut, just so he wouldn’t have to be seated across from some hippie child when out in public.

How it must have annoyed my father in-law when in his youth, Mr. DD grew his hair to the middle of his back…

So what’s wrong with a little mild teasing? you might think. Then consider this: how would you feel if you had a little girl XBoy’s age who decided to cut her hair really short and then adults teased her, saying “You need to grow your hair out. You look like a boy!”? That doesn’t happen. Or if it does, it’s because those adults are bigger assholes than I could imagine.

And I can imagine pretty big assholes since the ones I actually know rank right up there.

My hair is short. Currently it’s much shorter than XBoy’s. If someone in my family – including in-laws – implied I should have longer hair so I look like a girl, I would schedule a G.I. Jane cut within 24 hours. I kid you not. I have no emotional attachment to my hair. I’ve never liked it and frankly, whenever I watch What Not to Wear and some chick is sobbing into her locks of freshly cut hair, I want to reach through and smack her. It’s HAIR. If you truly hate the cut, it’ll grow back. Jeezus. Deal with it.

0709vXBoy is developing his own style, and as long as it’s harmless in his experimentation, why shouldn’t we encourage that?

Preemptive Side-note: While someone could construe this post compared to the previous one as hypocritical (getting him to fit in when it comes to his smile, but encouraging his nonconformity when it comes to his hair), it only takes a couple moments of thought to realize that if he really felt uncomfortable with his hair, he could simply change it and the next day he’d be like everyone else. His teeth? Not so much.

HE LEFT ME

He left me Friday afternoon. He finished work early, packed and drove away.

Mr. DD left us to take his dad to Boston to see family, and we sorely miss him.

My phone has gone kaput on me, probably due to an unusually high humidity, especially when surrounded by a teething baby’s mouth.

What is it about phones and babies, anyway? She has a toy one, but NOOOOOOoooo. What do you take me for, she says when I try to perform the ole’switcheroo, a Baby?! Stupid Mommy.

With my phone’s keyboard failing, I’ve had to use the blue tooth in the van. Handy that. Kind of.

I have to go out to the garage and turn over the engine. Talk about a huge cell phone. And no, we don’t have a land-line.

During his absence, I’ve developed an unusual love of the styro-nut chair. You might know it as a “bean bag chair” but since they replaced the beans with those horrible Styrofoam peanut thingies, I can’t call it a bean bag chair.

Anyway, it makes a nice cocoon for ZGirl when I just don’t have time to hold her when it’s time for a bottle. Yes, she can hold her own bottle, but well, I feel a bit guilty laying her down on the granite counter-top and handing her a bottle. Kidding. I don’t let her lie down on the counter; she sits on it – legs dangling over the edge.

Mr. DD returns this weekend. I can’t wait. To all the single-parents out there: We at Budweiser salute you, Ms. (or Mr.) Styro-nut Chairs Are For Amateurs since Real Parents of Genius would place their baby in the kitchen sink filled with last night’s dirty dishes and proceed to feed and bath the baby, and do housework in one fell swoop.

THANKFULLY, STILL NO BROKEN ARM *knock on wood*

A year ago in May is when XBoy had the accident at daycare that resulted in all four front baby teeth being pulled. The link to that post actually will just bring up the comments because at some point I cut and paste the post without actually pasting it anywhere. The words have long been lost.

He was riding a little scooter around on the gym’s floor and for whatever reason, he decided to use his face as a brake on the bleachers. After meeting my husband with a bloody-faced child – being such a big-boy in spite of the pain and fear and blood – at the dentist’s office, we were told that we were fortunate in that the damage was limited to the baby teeth.

Ooooh! An illustration!
Ooooh! An illustration!

The x-rays showed his two permanent middle teeth (central incisors) were just about to emerge (the baby teeth were already loose before the accident) and the teeth on either side (lateral incisors) were still quite high and would come down much later. About six months ago, after the two central incisors were fully emerged, I noticed there was a considerable gap between the two. The space that had been meant for four new teeth appeared to be compromised.

I first saw his dentist, who thought I better see an orthodontist. The ortho poked around, but advised us to wait and see and check back later.

Now it is later and while I had hoped that I would get good news, we didn’t. So typical of those dental types, wouldn’t you agree?

XBoy’s poorly spaced descent of the centrals were not the result of the accident, but due to both of his parents passing on a less than perfect labial frenum. Mr. DD’s sister had a substantial gap (diastema) between her teeth. The gap between my teeth was perfect for holding straws (if you goal was to store a couple of straws between your teeth), so about 20 years ago I had my dentist fill it in. God bless those who revel in their gap-toothed smiles. I just didn’t have the confidence to pull it off.

And I don’t think XBoy will, either. Not to make a snap judgment call about physical beauty, but he already struggles with the stigma over the first few months of behavioral issues last fall in school. If I can prevent future teasing, especially when it comes to his appearance, I’ll do it without hesitation.

That brings me to the ortho’s opinion on XBoy’s current situation. With the two central incisors taking over the space that was meant for four, we now must make a decision to either do a) nothing and check again in 6-8 months and see if the lateral incisors are finally descending; or b) pull the baby canines to create room for the lats.

The concerns we have with either choice are based on pure speculation. The wait-and-see certainly seems more appealing. ANYTHING seems more appealing than having two teeth pulled especially when said child is capable of losing his shit over something as innocuous as a hang nail. The problem is that the waiting usually only puts off what’s inevitable. Worse case is that these teeth, denied the ability to descend, start growing their roots up too high and curling around where they shouldn’t be so when we finally do end up pulling the baby teeth (or they fall out on their own), the lats will be even slower to emerge.

Slower as in, y-e-a-r-s. XBoy could be eleven or twelve years old and have only two top teeth in the front to smile with. We’re talking pre-teen here; middle school. Do YOU remember what it was like in middle school? You’re hormonal, checking for hair where you’ve never had hair; actually washing and combing the hair you’ve had; and no longer able to pretend you’re skeeved out by the opposite sex. We all know kids are insatiable when it comes to picking on other kids (a form of deflection, don’t you know), but when they’re ‘tweens, they can be downright evil in their cruelty.

You can understand why I don’t want to have XBoy’s nickname to be “Gopher” or “Bugs”, right? I can assure you personally, Gopher is a shitty nickname.

And as I said, Option B is to just pull them now and get the ball rolling. Yes, it is a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul since it requires the hole left by two teeth to bring in one and he will probably be playing catch-up when it comes to making room for any upper teeth. This is only the beginning since it’s very probable that he will end up with braces down the road in what the ortho described as a “comprehensive treatment” plan or the ortho’s “down payment on a private jet” plan or our “say goodbye to your university education and heLLOOO to the community college” plan. But I think – I HOPE – it’ll be the right choice for now.

I am just full of angst over the idea of causing XBoy any pain, but I know it’ll be fleeting. He won’t understand until he’s much older that the painful experience of teasing for being different is something he won’t simply outgrow. As his parents, we don’t need to make it easier for the other kids to find something to zero in on. I for one am not part of the camp that believes that kind of bullying builds character.

By the by, why the hell are my posts so long? Really? I want them to be short and sweet but they just get away from me… I was able to boil this all down to my husband via a phone call in like 10 seconds! Sheesh. If I’m going die of boredom, I’m taking y’all with me, Bitches!

SHE MET HER MAKER

It can’t be All Gloom, All the Time here at the happiest place on earth, Punch Drunk World, so I’m going to share a very happy and momentous event that took place a few weeks ago.

I had to take ZGirl to see a dermatologist in The Metro. She had (and still is getting) these little “pimply” bumps on her skin, one at a time, in random locations, and I wasn’t able to get diagnosed by either a family practitioner or her pediatrician. I thought they might be mollescum, but they aren’t. The “specialist” said they are manifestations of ZGirl’s cold virus in her skin…What the hell??

That is all besides the point. I left early in the morning with the intention of getting to The Metro to visit my old RE’s clinic and introduce ZGirl. I had sent a birth announcement a year ago, but in all this time I had been unable to make it down there with her due to 1) their wonky hours of “earlier than hell”; and 2) my fear of traveling by myself with one cranky infant in the back.

Luck would have it that not only was I able to leave at the crack of dawn (get it?? the crack of DAWN???? hoo! – I slay me!) in order to make it there before the RE left for rounds, but I had both XBoy and my mother to help keep the high maintenance princess happy. ZGirl, in case you were wondering.

I will remind you that the RE who we started with, Murdock, left right in the middle of our donor egg cycle. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this until almost six weeks later when I came in for the ultrasound. For those who may have read through archives and kept seeing a reference to my pregnancy and “Murdock”, that was what we nicknamed the baby as ode to the doctor who got us to that point.

It was Doherty who was our RE once we became pregnant, and we are appreciative to her and the staff for what came across as genuine care and excitement.

When I carried ZGirl into the waiting room that morning, I was glad to see it was empty. The receptionist did a double take, recognizing me even though it had been nearly 18 months since my last appointment there. A couple of the nurses and the PA all came out to meet ZGirl and while I thought that I had missed the RE since it was later than I had hoped when I arrived, she was still in the clinic. She rounded the corner and also recognized me (or at least did a great job appearing as she did) and gushed over ZGirl.

This clinic, the most hated place on earth when any one of my nine treatments failed or were in the midst of failing (I mean, come one! This was where I heard Dr. Murdock tell me during my second ultrasound with Wolf, “This is not going to end the way we had hoped.”), is also the place I will be forever emotionally indebted to (even though I feel as if we would be forever financially indebted to as well) and can think of it with fonder thoughts.

Thank you, Dr. Murdock and Dr. Doherty, for believing it could be done when we had stopped believing in ourselves.

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