I grew up with red hair and freckles—before red hair and freckles were all the rage. I got teased.
I got called carrot top, ginger, freckle face and even Red Headed Woodpecker (you know who you are). That one came with a song, it went like this: Red Headed Woodpecker pecka pecka peck. Sing it to whatever tune you like, he wasn’t exactly a musical talent, just a pain-in-the-butt boy.
Having red hair and freckles wasn’t enough though, my parents had to saddle me with some irish name no-one had ever heard of—Maureen. It rhymes with boring, kind of and pouring, both things people would say with it to tease me: Maureen Boring and Maureen Pouring. Kids are so uncreative when it comes to teasing.
Maureen also offered up great fodder for my brother, who was older (and a little more clever than the kids in my class). He would say things like “Oh, I think it’s pronounced Moron” or “Hey Morphine.” He was a delight.
Anyway, I grew up. Red hair became trendy, people asked me what product I used to get such a great colour. I stared at them blankly because I was a surly teenager.
That didn’t mean I never got teased again, hardly. I got teased about my boobs, I got teased about pimples, I got teased about what I wore. Pretty much a typical teenage life. Kids are mean; we survive.
So, when does the teasing end?
Here’s the thing though, it’s part of life, and it can be fun. My husband and I tease one another all the time. My delightful brother is as delightful as ever and we love to tease one another. We tease our kids ALL. THE. TIME. and our kids get a kick out of teasing us.
To show you how quickly kids can learn to tease, let me tell you this. I was playing with my two-year old the other day when she started grabbing my hair and pretending to eat it. I said “Why are you eating Mommy’s hair?” and she said “Not hair, mommy...CARROTS!”
I thought it was a fluke, but she did it the next day, and Tom said “What are you doing?” and she said “eating Mommy’s carrots!”
So, I’m back to being Carrot Top...