Laura on Life

Dangerous jewelry, A-Z          Send a link to a friend

By Laura Snyder

[October 16, 2007]  To all the women who can wear gorgeous jewelry that hangs down to your navel and dangles, sparkling, from your ears: I hate you.

All right, I don't hate you. I'm just so jealous. I love all that dangly, sparkly stuff, but I had to stop wearing it at some point between cooking my first meal and having children.

If my memory serves me correctly, and that is always questionable, I knew I would have issues with my jewelry while cooking my first meal. I leaned over to taste my spaghetti sauce, and my necklace dropped into a pot of boiling noodles, changed colors and melted. I couldn't get it off without burning my bellybutton.

After that, although I resisted common sense and continued to wear dangly stuff, there were many instances when I knew I shouldn't have.

A particular hazard was reaching into the washing machine to pull out some clothes. My necklace would catch on the inside of the drum, and I nearly choked to death trying to free myself. Thank goodness some woman engineer foresaw this possibility and thought to make the drum stop spinning when the lid was up. Otherwise my husband would've come home to a grisly scene. Just think, my gravestone would have read: "Here lies Laura. She should have kept her head out of the washing machine."

Babies, of course, were another hazard. Especially with the dangly, sparkly earrings I loved to wear. I never thought of it then, but now, being a veteran mom, I know that no baby can resist reaching for something dangling and sparkling when it's so close to their face. They not only reach for the object, but then, when their tiny hand finally makes contact with it, they have a reflex action that makes them grab hold as tight as their little fist can manage and yank said object into their little mouth. Babies are generally not cognizant of the fact that said object is attached to someone's ear.

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As you contort your neck into a position it has never been in before, your hand reaches up to loosen the baby's grip. This, you find, is impossible. A baby is wired to succeed at any cost. She will not let go until the object reaches her grubby little mouth and her baby brain has determined that your earring is not food.

The only thing you can do to relieve your own pain is to hoist the baby and her mouth closer to your ear. Not to fear, this situation happens only once in a lifetime. Never again will you wear dangly earrings in the presence of a baby.

My necklaces got shorter after the spaghetti dinner incident, but my choice of jewelry was trendier in a "new mommy" sort of way. I used to wear baby rattle necklaces to distract my baby while I was carrying her. If you simply hand a rattle to a baby, she will drop it on the floor 400 times in the span of a half-hour. As a result you have to bend over 400 times with baby in arms to retrieve it. However the bending-over part isn't that bad; it's the standing-back-up part that's the killer.

So, it was not unusual to see me walking through a grocery store wearing a baby, a diaper bag and a very not-fashionable baby rattle necklace with a chic set of multicolored plastic keys on it.

I am one of those moms I swore I'd never be when I was a teenager. But I didn't know how dangerous that lovely, dangly, sparkly jewelry could be. I just didn't know.

[Text from file received from Laura Snyder]

You can reach the writer at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com. Or visit www.lauraonlife.com for more columns and info about her new book.

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