I was reading the boys a bedtime story and my six-year-old starts combing through my hair with his fingers. It reminds me that I haven't checked for nits for a while and I really should. Check the children that is, not me. If I get nits, I am shooting myself. He says: "Mummy, you have blonde bits in your hair like I do." I think this unlikely. I am the dullest and most resolute of brunettes. He pulls my hair closer to his eyes as if he was thinking of buying it. "A sort of grey blonde." I know my hair is now threaded with grey. I just pretend not to.
There is an advantage in having children late in life aside from an impressive number of City Breaks in your thirties; people presume you are younger than you are. I have a baby. That means I could be anything between a clueless 13 and an ambitious 47ish.(Older, if I was desperate or deluded.) Ofcourse, I do not have spots and I do have grey hair, apparent even to juveniles. That rules me out as a teenage mother then. According to a photo, a friend sent me this week, when I smile I also have score marks down from my eyes, stretching diagonally across my cheeks out to my ears. I was not impressed. Who sends their friend a photo of herself looking like her granny? I had noticed the lines criss-crossing my face when I got up in the morning but I hoped they shook themselves out after a few hours. They do not shake themselves out.
I can no longer fool myself. Nobody in their right minds would think I was in my twenties. I am clinging onto the semblance of thirty-something looks and rapidly losing my grip. The last time I went to London, the only men to eye me up were in their sixties. When did that happen? When did I turn into eye-candy for granddads? I am old. My children have started to notice. That is how old I am.
Have an affair!!!
Cherish every one of them--you've earned them!!! I've gone almost completely white--the voice of experience.
No affair--never worth it...
Chill baby - there is nothing wrong with being middle aged.
You are a woman in your prime.
Have an early night and some rumpy pumpy - that'll sort it..
But you women always complain about being 'eyed up' ! Make your mind up..
Bleached by the sea air, I should think!
My fourteen year old daughter on hearing I was contemplating 'adjusting' my food intake ;
"but you're not that fat Dad"
Get yourself out for a wander along the beach... you'll get a pink glow to your cheeks and a sparkle in your eyes which will mask the wrinkles better than botox.
Heard on 5 Live tonight that builders at Wimpey (Wimpy?) have been told not to wolf whistle at women - as that might put them off buying a house. Has the world gone mad?
That will be a Mallen Streak, it will add some gritty reality when you get the TV deal. Of course I would love a walk on part as the local shopkeeper.
Get thee to a hairdresser....but for heaven's sake not up there! I recently had extensions in an effort to out-number the grey hairs and all was well until a local goat started chewing them. No respect those goats.
I had my children in my (very early) 20's. This means that now I'm in my 40's (very early 40's I might add - I'm clinging to that) my kids are grown and leaving school etc. It's so much crueler when they comment on my grey bits and wobbly bits as they know it'll hurt. We are just at the 'european city breaks' on our own, leaving the kids at home - it's great!!!
If you are being eyed up by old men in London, then you probably still look under twenty. If you go to any top restaurant in London (especially at lunchtime)then there is a huge number of - ahem - 'May to December' couples. Either that, or there are lots of very generous uncles out there.
wifey darling, did you change your clothes to visit london after your spell in the cowshed? This could explain your lack of sex appeal down there. These northern pheromones may work wonders up here but don't appeal to the southern nose which prefers something with a bit of lead and sulphur in it to get the juices going. This is surely evidence that you are fitting in up north. I'm sure you are lovely and worrying about your looks will only give you lines. Have a lovely weekend won't you dear
We want it both ways. We are, after all, women.
We only want to be eyed up by those we are ourselves eying up. Worse not to be noticed at all.
There's always the danger though that they will take you for gran, not mum. At 37 I staggered to the newsagents with my week-old son. Admittedly I was very bleary-eyed but I was still shocked when a woman admired my "grandson"!
Better eye-candy for potentially rich older men than not eye-candy at all.
Getting old special on Woman's Hour next Monday, with among others Brian Appleyard contributing... That might help, but I doubt it.
Sahd, of a certain age.
I had blonde hair when I was a child, then it went brown, now it's going a "distinguished" silvery grey.... seriously bad news for glancing at youthful "eye candy"(disapproving looks !) but ladies of a certain age think it looks ok (allegedly) ;)
Helena dear, we have perfectly decent hairdressers up here, they just don't charge rip off London prices for the same work ...
I had my first (and only!) child at nearly 42; some of the other mums in the playground are young enough to be my daughter, but I wouldn't swap places. I enjoyed my 20s and 30s, unencumbered by children. Now I am older and wiser and financially more secure and can enjoy motherhood happy in the knowledge that I have seen much of the world already. Ok it would be nice not to be so tired all the time, but I don't have too many grey hairs and none of the other mums have guessed how old I really am!
Helena, perhaps you ought to revise the criteria by which you associate with "old goats"! (smile)
Bottle of hair dye, bottle of good red,sex. Fixed.
Age is all relative as Einstein said.
Just join the rest of us searching in the chemist for hair dye and miracle creams!
The second part of my post doesn't seem to have got to you...
The point I was trying to make was that life has it's different phases and each has it's good and bad points. We cannot fight the inevitable, but we can go with the flow.
Grecian 2000 would be an anathema to me, I'll just grow old (dis) gracefully
My son once asked his grandmother why she had 'tractor lines' on her her face. I suppose I have the same to come!
Excuse me, per favor. Ohmygod how do I carry on? Right,I can still stop men in the street in their tracks,(and not by tripping them up by my eyelids, O.K. darling?
Just remember,my dear (sorry, don't mean to sound patronising), that the next twenty years will flash past as a dream in retrospect once you've arrived there.
Then you might find that sixty is not as old as you might have thought. (O.K. that's a v. hard concept right now.) It certainly is for me sometimes, too. Most times actually.
Grow old(er) as disgracefully as possible (with some grace, if you can). And perhaps utilise your contacts in London that you mentioned in your 'high maintenance' life, if you feel the need. Gosh, WITN, I certainly would, if I could. Maybe.
I remember the little fingers through the hair, though.
Oh, no can't go there tonight.
Today two people asked me if I'm going to retire yet, this evening my husband mentioned "down-sizing". Our daughter has only just got married and left home properly and we still have a son at university so I felt this was all a bit "care-home" and a tad upsetting.
So what happened all of a sudden - one minute we've got a houseful of kids and music, I was youngish/middle-aged but thought I looked OK. In a blink of an eye, the kids have gone, we're too big for the house and it's time to shut up shop, apparently.
Now that's what I call a big sign that I am OLD OLD OLD. I can cope with the odd grey hair (disguised them for twenty years anyway), regular facials and good make still successfully deal with the wrinkles (almost), but other people - well they age you quicker than you can say "Zimmer".
I would absolutely love to be in the situation when my little child noticed for the first time that I had the odd "blonde highlight". Instead they are checking up that we've done something about inheritance tax evasion.
You're only young yet, in ten years time you'll look at photos of how you are now and realise how lovely you were (are!).
Of course your children think you are old....they are incredibly young and think 20 is old, let alone 30 or 40 and more!
My children take great enjoyment in estimating the percentage of grey in my hair when I let the whatever is flavour of the month colour wise fade and die, as I do a couple of times a year. I'm lucky that they cannot count wrinkles as I am blessed with my mother's young looking skin but even if they could I would happy; I would have earned them living life to the full, you have to have lived to have wrinkles and to me, that is a wonderful gift.
You are as old as you feel and bringing the old chestnut out again, I feel a man 15 years younger than me and have done for the last 9 years. It does my confidence a power of good because people generally estimate my age as 8/9 years younger than I am and him 5/6 years older than he is! He's not quite so enthusiastic about this state of affairs as I am. Can't think why.
We get old. So what? It's fun to have lived and to have that life experience.
Remember: a gray head is a "crown of glory," biblically speaking.
That said, small children are notoriously bad judges of age.
Last week I asked one of my 6-year-old daycare students how old he thought I was. He said, "Forty?"
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