sometimes parenting can make you feel just a little crazy

bearded ladies

"Mom, look!" yelled Frank bounding into the room, "I have small hairs on my mustache...just like you!"

A few weeks ago, Frank discovered light, soft hairs on his upper lip. Dear Hubby must have capitalized on it by feeding his son's ego, because Frank's chest was puffed out as he showed off his baby-stache. I had seen him glance at my upper lip after part one of his statement and in that split second knew what was coming next. Children's bluntness can be refreshing at times and irritating at others. This case was neither. It just was what it was.

"Yes, yes that's right," I replied. And away he bounded. 

Ten minutes later at the dinner table, as he stroked his manifestation of impending adulthood and pondered the art of shaving, which he was surely going to have to learn any day now, Frank asked me how I shaved.

"I don't."

"You don't shave??"

"No, I don't shave, honey. Most women don't shave. Not like Daddy anyway. The hair on our face doesn't usually grow like men's."  He made a few more queries just to make sure he correctly understood the hair differences between men and women and then left it alone. I haven't heard a word about it since, but it's only a matter of time before it comes up again.

Bearded Lady

Image courtesy Sean via Flickr

At this stage in the game, things like this don't bother me that much. I like to be honest with the kids and am genuinely trying to be less self-conscious about minor flaws. In fact, dealing with body hair is one of the rare things that is easier now than when I was younger. In the past, I have waxed, shaved, epilated, buffed and applied acid-like creams to various parts of my body. Now, I don't bother partly out of necessity (who has the time?) and somewhat out of apathy.  I have noticed, however, a handful of dark hairs appearing more frequently and in areas less sexy than those normally flaunted in a rendition of Hair.

It's a trade-off. The limp, straight hair of my youth transformed into full, luscious locks during my pregnancies and I now enjoy its light wave, which can be quickly curled, straightened (intentionally)* or pulled up and out of the way. Stinging razor burn haunts my pale legs no longer.  I bought an electric shaver so I don't have to practice my Cirque du Soleil act in the shower trying to remove shaving cream, and with any luck some hair, from my legs with the razor before the water does. And, thanks to a laser hair removal Groupon, my bikini area is much more manageable these days. My pale skin produces pale hairs for the most part and the handful of dark rogue threads that pop up are quickly dispensed of with a good pair of tweezers.

As my kids grow, they will go through puberty. Their budding systems (and our household) will surely sustain many shocks. I have to feel perfectly fine with my own changes, because their crises will be more than enough for one household and there would be absolutely no hope for my husband's survival if I can't keep my shit together and neither can the kids.

Besides...there's still, perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause to come.

"All my bearded ladies, all my bearded ladies! All my bearded ladies, all my bearded ladies!"

*A note of thanks to my hairdresser, who's guidance I treasure and without whom my hair would not be so easily adaptable between mom-mode and date-night-mode.