In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day and my Irish heritage let’s talk redheads and more specifically what it’s like to raise a redhead child.
Redheads run in our family. My brother has red hair, my cousin has red hair and my husband’s sister too. But we were still surprised when our first born’s hair began to grow out and it was a beautiful red color. Molly looks exactly like my husband…there is no mistaking that they share DNA, and with that comes very intense dark brown eyes and a medium skin tone adorned with cute little freckles. And then that long, pretty, wild red hair. We get comments on it all the time, everywhere we go. I absolutely love it and can not imagine her without it. But with a redhead child comes great responsibility. And a lot of patience. Redheads are not for the faint of heart.
Having red hair is a rare occurrence, only happening in around 1 to 2 percent of the population and it’s actually a chromosome mutation that causes it. Mutation is a key word here and should set off some alarm bells. I am here to tell you all, the fiery and loud personality and temperament are not a joke. It is real people. But we are surviving (most days). Here are a few things that might be happening in my house on any given day.
- Socks. Our socks do not feel right on our feet- this happens almost every single morning. Molly cannot handle the way her socks feel when she puts shoes on. We take them off and put them back on about 10 million times and I say a little prayer each time that this time they feel right and we can go on about our day. Oh! And don’t forget the extra sass exchange as she boldly declares that she will fix her socks herself, my help is not needed!
- Options. Life is all about options these days. From the outfit we pick out to the shade of crayon that is perfect for My Little Pony’s hair in her coloring book. No decision can be made unless at least three options are presented. And then half the time she just says, “you decide Mom, I don’t know what to pick.” Just grab a shirt and pick up that pink crayon!
- Drama. Everything is SO dramatic. The tiny little speck on her hand? Oh that’s a boo-boo and it must be treated by the triage team because it’s a serious injury. That small marker stain on her shirt that you can only see when you squint your eyes and look extra hard? Outfit ruined! We must get a new shirt, after reviewing our 3 options of course. Nothing in my house is a simple exchange…the drama just seeps out of her everywhere she goes and everything she does.
- The Tantrum. Oh my, the tantrum. This is where I am surprised that I still have my sanity at all. I find myself being very strategic about what I say and do around her for fear of a total meltdown. And when I say meltdown I mean world is ending, drop to the floor flopping like a fish out of water and screeching in the highest pitch you have ever heard. Redheads don’t play around y’all. So if we are hanging out, just prepare yourself…the tantrum will happen and it won’t be pretty.
- Love. This girl loves so hard. In between the options and the tantrums and the drama are the sweetest moments. She has a natural desire to take care of people (and by people I mean all of her baby dolls and barbies) and she will sprint across the room to tackle you in kisses and hugs. She says hi to everyone she sees and will most likely compliment them on their outfit and shoes. If a friend is sad, she is the first one to try and cheer them up. She says “honey” as a term of endearment to her sister and friends. And she is the best couch cuddler around.
Redheads are a different breed. I should have known what was coming when she was a colicky baby, and I am terrified of the teenage years, but with all its struggles and pure exhaustion I wouldn’t have her any other way. I will take that beautiful bright red hair and the crazy personality that comes along with it any day. She is strong, confident and smart and I know her future is very bright! I just might need an extra glass of wine after bedtime.
Pro tip – if you have one of these so called redheads, sneak in to their room after they are asleep and get a good look. It’s the only time she is calm and still and peaceful.
Any other redhead Mommas out there? Anybody else share in my daily adventures? Let’s swap war stories!
**This post was originally published on March 15, 2016.