Sunday, March 9, 2014

Barbie Needs a Hairbrush

(Bam! Bam! Bam!)
(Bam! Bam! Bam!)
(Bam! Bam! Bam!)

My three-year-old was clearly having a crisis as she was beating on my bedroom door while I was changing clothes. My adrenaline and cortisol surged as my mind raced through the awful possibilities.  

Did she spill a gallon of milk? Did the dog barf on her favorite blanket? Was she hurt? Was one of her siblings hit by a car? 

My worst case scenarios came to a screeching halt with her next statement, even though the pitch and fervor of her cries did not.

(Bam! Bam! Bam!)
(Bam! Bam! Bam!)

My heart starting to slow down even as my ire is rising, "Just a minute, KJ."


And that's when it hits me. 

All my recent anxiety and emotional lability can be explained by this one common, insignificant event. 

When you encounter a perceived threat, your body floods itself with hormones that allow you to deal with the threat more efficiently. But when you are constantly in a state of stress, when mini-"threats" bark at you all day long, those hormones stay in your system all the time and can reek havoc on your body...and your mind. 

Every parent knows that everything is an emergency to a child. An empty juice cup, dead batteries in the tv remote, losing Barbie's hairbrush - all can send a child running to you in a panic. 

Multiply that times eight. 

Doctors say that constant amounts of coritsol in your blood is not good for you. Apparently, it's the root of all kinds of health issues. 

So when I jokingly tell my kids, "You're killing me," I'm not that far off. 

I'm only in my early forties. Sometimes, I learn of the death of someone my age. Usually, they died doing something cool. Sky diving or motorcycling through British Colombia.

Not me. 

My obituary will read:

Tara Lakes, 44, mother of eight. Cause of Death: Barbie needed a hairbrush. 

Or maybe I should cultivate better coping skills than carb loading. 


Something to think about. 

No comments:

Post a Comment