#3 Never - and I repeat, never - pick up a pair of scissors and impulsively start hacking away at your hair while you are home alone with a little one. I don’t know, but there’s something about having a baby that makes you want to cut your hair. Call it the “Steel Magnolias syndrome”. Well, one day when Kody was a baby, I looked in the mirror and realized that I hated my hair and wanted it cut shorter. I’m one of those that won’t think or care about something for so long, but then as soon as I decide that I don’t like it and want a change, I have to do it NOW! And that’s what happened with my hair.
I couldn’t wait for an appointment. And so despite the fussy baby at my feet, I picked up a pair of scissors and began to cut. Well, I don’t know exactly how it happened, but somewhere in my tunnel-vision-frenzy to make sure my hair was even (and because of the feverish anxiety that comes with letting a child whine at your feet), I began to lose all perspective of what I was doing.
And when I finally put the scissors down and stepped back, my eyes were opened . . . and I gasped in horror. My hair, which had been about shoulder-length, had now mysteriously been shortened to about an inch long. No joke! I went from a bob to a crew cut. And I seriously didn’t see it happening as I tried to even out “this little piece, and that quarter-inch, and hurry because Kody is getting more upset.”
Well, when the shock wore off, there was nothing left to do but grab the hair gel and spike it up into a sassy, little style. And then I waited for my husband to come home from work. And when he walked in the door, I was waiting there to meet him, giggling in embarrassment. The “Who is this young man and what have you done with my wife?” look on his face was priceless.
If I could have hidden for months, I would have. But a few days later, we had to go to my nephew’s birthday party. As I walked around the corner and came into view of Jason’s relatives, his sister let out a shocked “yelp” at the sight of my hair.
But you know the funny part? I had actually forgotten that I now looked like an adolescent boy. And I began to look all around me, like, “What is it? What are looking at? What made you gasp?” And then I realized that it was me! And so I say once again: Never, ever, cut your own hair on impulse while you’re home alone with a baby.
#4 After you have kids, real conversations will become a thing of the past. Get used to it. Now you will find that you can’t complete a perfectly constructed sentence to save your life. There is only so much room in your brain. Your speaking ability has to move over to make room for the Barney theme song.
After I had kids, I went from being an eloquent orator (see!) to a blathering space-cadet that stops in mid-sentence because I heard a noise from one of the kids, and then I can’t remember what I was just talking about, and then I can’t - for the life of me - find the word that I want to use. All of my previous knowledge has atrophied in my head. Thank you, Barney and Teletubbies!
But don’t worry, the other mothers of young children will all be in that boat with you. So, oddly enough, the conversations work out alright. And sadly enough, you will find yourself wanting to talk about (and defend) Barney and the Teletubbies. (Okay, maybe not the Teletubbies, but definitely Barney . . . and the Wiggles.) They will become personal friends that take center stage in your conversations with other mothers of young children. It’s sick, I know! You never thought that day would ever come, but it does! Oh, yes, it does!
#5 Phone conversations with other moms who have kids underfoot all day will be different, too. But these are amusing, if you pay attention. They usually go something like this:
“Hey, Jen, how are you doing? I was just (Hey, put that down!) calling to say ‘Hi.’ I wanted to (I said stop hitting him . . . and put your pants back on) remind you . . . (Where are your pants anyway? Why did you take them off?) Sorry, Jen, hold on a second. I’m putting Ryder’s pants back on. Okay, there! Anyway, do you think that you could . . . (Don’t pull on the phone cord! Get out of here please, and go watch TV for two minutes so I can talk. No! I am not giving you a snack right now. When I am OFF THE PHONE!) What was I saying? Oh, yeah, this weekend, I was thinking, (No, NO SNACK! Hey, where’d you get that from? Fine, just go eat it in the other room.) did you want to visit with all of us and the families sometime where we may get to. . . what’s the word . . . visit without the kids invading us . . . I mean, interrupting us all the time? (WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? Hey, you, Ko . . . Hun . . . Ry . . . you know who I’m talking to! You in the blue, get over here!) You know, dinner this weekend?”
See! Your ability to speak does go. But it’s especially fun when it’s happening to the other person and you get to listen to it.