3rd Child Hair


I was looking at the kindergarten class one morning during my volunteer session and noticed all of the girl’s at my work station had braids, pony tails or nicely brushed locks. No kidding, these young ladies had immaculate hair–washed clean, brushed ’til shining, parted, sectioned and styled. My own hair felt shamed by it’s curly, frizzy state.

Across the room, there was my lovely, 6 year old daughter. She was wearing red crocs; pink, blue, white and pale green striped tights; a frilly mini skirt; and a super hero, boy’s t-shirt. Her blond locks were pretty good on one side, with the bangs she is growing out, hanging sheepdog in her eyes; but the other side of her head was clearly matted with a living-under-a-rock-bedhead effect. Even at thirty paces I could see traces of the jam she had on her toast for breakfast adorning her cheeks.

Turning my volunteer attention back to my group, I also noticed the coordinating outfits of these fashionable, hip kindergarteners. Everything matched and was crisp and new, down to the cute, little scuff-less designer shoes. Wow! I can barely find two of the same shoes for my kids when I’m bolting out the door three minutes before we’re supposed to be at school. My mom self esteem clicked down a couple of notches.

At that point I began really checking out the class. To my surprise, there were other kids with the same hygiene levels and flare for personal style as my daughter. It hit me…all of these kids were the youngest of three children. The little boy with wild thing locks, the little girl with her sister’s hand me downs and errant cowlicks. Another little boy was wearing flip flops in March and his hair was a tinge past borderline greasy. Could it be that other mother’s were as beaten down and worn out as I?

What is it about that 3rd kid that causes you to surrender? Or make you just happy to be getting out the door and crossing the morning finish line to school? Am I the only mom driving around with dental floss and toothbrushes in my car? I’ve deemed our van a mobile unit: sunscreen, bandaids, tweezers, neosporin, hair gel, pony tail holders, brushes, extra shoes and sweaters. You might even find breakfast in a pinch, if you don’t mind a Luna Bar or goldfish crackers.

There are many mornings where I throw up my arms and let it all be. Consistently, when I started doing some of my own research, I have to say the hair is a dead giveaway for children born low on the totem. Don’t even get me started about the mom’s hair. When you have three kids, you are the last one on the list. I feel like a goalie, many days making bodily and mental sacrifices for my kid’s sake.

Three kids is like another dimension…a Twilight Zone if you will. Weird things are acceptable in this strange land. If your kids have clean clothes on and have attempted to brush their teeth, they are good to go.

As my friend (who I don’t see much of any more, hmmmm) said, “Moms of three, leave them be.” I say, “You can always tell a third child by the hair.”


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