To Hat or Not to Hat

by cindy

If you were to listen to my father—and I’m not real sure that is generally a good idea these days—you would know that wearing hats is the Primary Method for the Prevention of Illness. I learned that not as a youngster (though I am sure many a hat was shoved onto my head as I tried to bolt outside), no, I was given that tidbit of information as a young, unsuspecting parent.

In those early years of motherhood, when I was stumbling along, desperately trying not to raise serial murderers or the like, Son Number One was conscientiously bundled up, securely and completely, before his little nose even poked outside the door. Son Number Two was harder to catch and was generally running outside half-naked before I realized he had escaped. Son Number One suffered from constant colds and ear infections. Son Number Two was healthier than a horse.

At the time, I had not yet figured out that I didn’t need to report each and every snotty nose or gooey cough to my parents. Less was more, particularly when talking to my dad.

Inevitably, I would mention Son Number One’s most recent illness and Dad’s response would be:

“Cindy, if you would just put a DAMN HAT ON HIM he would be FINE. You NEVER DRESS THAT CHILD RIGHT!”

Oh, yes. Enter the curse of motherhood: guilt.

In defense I would stammer that Son Number One was the one always wearing a hat and usually the one who was sick while Son Number Two managed to escape both hats and illnesses. No matter. It was still my fault. I was delinquent, deficient, and generally unfit for the task at hand.

Later, when my younger siblings had children of their own, I was somewhat relieved to learn that they, too, were totally inept parents for precisely the same reason. Hats. Who knew?

Son Number One and Son Number Two grew up just fine in spite of me. Healthy. Happy. Great parents, both. The Rooster, son of Son Number Two, has had his share of colds and bugs over the past three years, particularly once he began attending that petri dish called Daycare. It’s inevitable.

And the Peanut, daughter of Son Number One, has had the same misfortune now that she is also in daycare. Frustrating, it is. Preventable, it is not. But…

My dad would be proud. The Peanut wears a hat!

See? What, you say? Who ever in their delusional mind gave her that God-awful hat?

Guilty as charged.

Yep. ‘Twas I.

Ain’t she sweet?