I don't know if the rest of you would agree with me or not, but in my own personal experience, when it comes to being the "baby" of the family, you're never really allowed to grow up. I think it's quite strange, actually. Here I am, a week shy of turning 45-years-old, and my mom and my five siblings still treat me like I'm only 10-years-old sometimes. It's completely frustrating, to say the least. The only justification I can figure out for this strange behavior is that if they admit that I'M getting older, they'll have to admit that THEY are too (and maybe face their own mortality?).
The only thing I'm sure of is that it can be extremely exasperating sometimes, especially when my mother INSISTS that she knows what's okay for my kids to eat and what isn't. That's why, on the mornings when she comes up to sit with my youngest so I can run my oldest daughter off to school, she does things like coming up armed with POCKETS FULL of candy for my little one. Yeah... just what I wanted her to have... 25 gazillion Tootsie Rolls at 8:00 in the morning! Yep, that's a well-balanced, nutritious breakfast, isn't it? I know it makes the Cheerios and grapes I've given her look like swill!
I keep telling this woman (who, mind you, has developed a completely different set of values as a grandmother than she had as a mom, that's for sure!) that I DO NOT want her giving my little one gum. Ever since I can remember, my mother has always had a never-ending supply of Wrigley's Doublemint in her purse. And, she thinks nothing of freely handing my 3-year-old a piece whenever she asks for it. Problem is, my 3-year-old doesn't understand that gum is to be chewed, NOT swallowed! I keep trying to explain to my mother that there's research that supports the fact that gum takes up to SEVEN years to fully digest once it's swallowed. But, I neglect to remember the fact that to her, I'm still only 10, and I couldn't POSSIBLY know what I'm talking about. Ugh.
This morning, however, my distain towards my little one having gum rose to a MUCH higher level. She crawled into bed between my husband and me, and gave my husband a hug and a kiss good morning. When it was my turn to get my morning squishes and smooches, I reached up and stroked her hair as she was pulling away from me, only to find my hand completely caught in an enormous snarl as she continued to back away. I skooched up to see what could possibly be causing this huge knot, and.... you guessed it... it was a hunk of GUM!!!
So, there I was, half asleep, my eyes barely focused, and I had to face the less-than-pleasant task of trying to free my daughter's beautiful, LONG hair from the snare of the Doublemint gum that had balled itself up in there. The worst part is, there were sections I just could not free without causing her excruciating pain. So... I had to cut some. CUT SOME!!!! I don't know who was sobbing more over this terrible act, my daughter or me. I've done nothing but give her teeny tiny trims on the bottom of her hair since she was born, and here I was, putting a pair of scissors to her hair about three inches from the bottom!!! Not only was I crying; I was fuming!!
The good news is, I only had to cut a tiny little portion out, and as of right now, you can barely notice it missing from her hair. I don't know what it's going to look like after her bath, though. I pray that it doesn't look so horrible that I have to have it all cut to even it out.
The BAD news is, I'm willing to bet you anything you have that's valuable that even this won't stop my mother from giving my daughter what she wants. After all, what do I know? I'm barely out of diapers myself!