Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Gray Factor

My family has a history of aging gracefully. People have always mistaken members of my family to be younger than they truly are. This used to bother me, especially when I was 23 and would not be allowed to do things that an 18 year old could do unless I produced an ID. I was told then that I would appreciate looking younger when I reached a certain age. That probably would have been true, if it still applied.

You see, those people in my family that have looked so young throughout their lives were not living in male-dominated households (MDH). They were living in female-dominated or equal gender households. I live in a MDH, and because of this I suffer from a condition known as The Gray Factor. The Gray Factor is a male-dominated household ailment (MDHA) known to attack the age defying genes that exist in my body causing gray hairs to sprout on my head. It also causes wrinkles, lines, furrows, age spots, and bags under my eyes. I know that these are the facts of life and everyone is faced with these changes when growing older. But, I have the age-defying gene! I looked like a 10 year old boy until I was 16 and was promised I would appreciate this gene when I was older.

My first gray hair came soon after Jack was born. He had colic and vomited copious amounts of fluid 6 times a day. Then, when he became mobile and began colluding with his father to see how hard they could push the envelope without giving me a heart attack, the one gray hair turned into a little village of grays. That’s about the time I decided my boys were turning me gray.

I have assigned the following Gray Factor points as a measure of how many gray hairs a day’s activities may cause to sprout on my head. This is in no way a complete list, but you’ll get the idea.

  1. Boys losing an item = 1 gray hair
  2. Boys losing an item for the third straight day in a row = 3 gray hairs
  3. Boys not cleaning up after themselves = 2 gray hairs
  4. Trying to clean up after themselves and spilling drinks and food all over the floor in the process = 4 gray hairs
  5. Not eating a good lunch at school = 2 gray hairs
  6. Pouring water out of the bathtub, flooding the bathroom floor = 5 gray hairs
  7. Peeing on the floor = 10 gray hairs
  8. Hiding from me in public places and not coming out, even when I threaten the worst possible punishment (e.g., throwing the Gameboy in the trash) = 25 gray hairs
  9. Ganging up on me to get to do something I don’t want them to do and telling me, “Daddy is the boss of you.” = 7 gray hairs
  10. When we are running really late for school, and the boys suddenly forget how to dress themselves, brush their teeth, or walk = 10 gray hairs
  11. Making me repeat myself 3 300 times = 1 gray hair for each repeat
  12. Playing any of the dangerous wrestling, chasing, tossing, jumping, climbing games that I talk about on this blog = varies based on the intensity of the game, but usually 5 to 10 gray hairs, plus 10 more for each injury
  13. Asking for a puppy, ferret, guinea pig, etc. = 3 gray hairs
  14. Asking for a baby brother = 100 gray hairs

Based on this, you’d expect me to be complete gray-headed. As you can see from my picture, I am not (yes, that is my natural color). I have assigned the following points to show how the Gray Factor can be counteracted:

  1. When Jack says, “Ladies first,” and holds the door for me even when my hands aren’t full = -3 gray hairs
  2. Agreeing on what show to watch or what game to play without a fight = -5 gray hairs
  3. Sharing a new toy = -3 gray hairs
  4. Eating vegetables at dinner = -3 gray hairs
  5. Helping with chores they don’t normally have to do, like the laundry = -5 gray hairs
  6. Playing something they don’t really want to at school when their other friends are doing something else so a class mate is not sad or lonely = -15 gray hairs
  7. Telling me that I drive better than daddy = -5 gray hairs
  8. Getting out of bed, getting dressed, and brushing their teeth in the morning without me even asking = -10 gray hairs
  9. Telling me a funny story or singing a new song learned at school = -5 gray hairs
  10. Sitting at the kitchen table quietly doing a puzzle or drawing while I cook dinner = -15 gray hairs
  11. Saying “I love you,” or, “You’re the best mommy in the world.” = -50 gray hairs
  12. Giving me a hug and a kiss, even at school in front of friends = -100 gray hairs per hug or kiss

It doesn’t take much to keep me from going completely gray. An “I love you” here and there and some hugs and kisses does the trick nicely.

1 comment:

Dallas Meow said...