I know there's lots of people who have gray hair and no kids so I know it's not just the kids that brings that saintly dusting to one's head. But, I believe we all age in different ways and for me there's something about that third kid that just makes me feel old and well settled on the road to aging. Kinda like a downhill-from-here-on-out feeling.
Periodically through out my day, I check the mirror to look for those proverbial gray hairs. Like the other night when one of my dear children tried to "help" by cleaning up a mess and used a generous portion of the roll of toilet paper. The toilet was freshly heaped with a plush pile of white Charmin when I walked in on the scene. What bothered me the most wasn't the wasted toilet paper; rather, it was that the said child was attempting to push the heap down into the seeping water. Oh, the germs.
Then, that same dear child happened on another gray-hair-experience for his mother. While fixing supper one evening, I looked outside to see the child dangling a live puppy from a leash while he (the child) glibly sat up at the top of a slide. The squeals and yelps from the dog matched the squeals of delight coming from the giggling boy. I think he thought the dog was having as much fun as he was.
(Before you think my child is a mass murderer of innocent animals, I happened to see him affectionately petting and bonding with the puppy both before and after the leash dangling incident. So, at this point I'm not sending him for counseling.)
And then there was the time my two able bodied children found some cleaner in our garage and used it to "dust" the side walk. I'm sure cleaners aren't toxic for cement walkways but they sure aren't the most environmentally friendly components for two "hands-on-in-the-mouth" toddlers.
(We checked their breaths and could detect no foul play there. Whew.)
You will be alarmed to know that the charming little girl that lives with us, also holds gray hair potential for this mother. About a week or two before I had my third child, I was spending some quality time with this dear child and only little girl -- kind of a mother/daughter bonding time. We were outside working on flowers and just enjoying the day. Suddenly without warning, my thoughtful and considerate daughter, took off down the side walk like a race horse. Hoping to catch up to her before she reached the street, I took off behind her like a big fat cow.
With the birth of the third child, I no longer am a big fat cow. Instead, my sweet little bundle is evolving me into a creature of nocturnal existence. If I sleep in the day, he is sure to not interrupt me. But, move the clock twelve hours and he makes every attempt to keep my sleep short, not sweet and definitely hardly worth the point I make to try to sleep. Just last night, he was awake more than he was asleep. And just so you know, he only got up once.
So, by observing disturbing incidences (like the almost-strangled dog), pushing myself to extremes (running full speed at 9 months pregnant), stomaching disgusting images (little boy hands immersed in toilet water) and living life "normally" on short hours of sleep, I am expecting those gray hairs any day now.
It scares me though: since I have not found gray hairs yet, I wonder what incident it will take to actually get them.