Thursday, October 27, 2011

Red-Headed Kids...Please Ask Stupid Questions

So, we got a lot of comments recently about kids who don't look like their parents...and you parents of redheads seem to get more questions than any parent should have about how their little Ginger came to be. So, Kate enlisted the help of Guru Louise, because her little man has the most awesomest head of hair in the history of ever. It's totally en fuego. Kate tried to write this post, as Happy is a slightly reddish little kid, but he insists that his hair is the same color as daddy's. And that is...grey.

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One of the shocks of my life is that I birthed a redhead. My son’s hair is not auburn or strawberry blonde—it is straight-up flaming orange with twinges of red.  Are true redheads fairly rare? Sure, but what’s crazy about P’s hair is the utter lack of red hair in the rest of our family. I am a brunette, as are my daughter and husband so whenever I see our family photos I can’t help but hum that old Sesame Street song “One of these things is not like the other…”

P’s red hair has always received attention from strangers. I swear there is something about the fluorescent lights in stores that make P’s head light up like a freakin’ inferno…so I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I get stopped a minimum of three times per supermarket/Target/liquor store trip by fellow shoppers who glance at him, glance at me, glance at his sister and then say “Oh my! Where did he get that red hair??” This stranger is probably a very nice person asking an innocuous question but she doesn’t know that the attention P’s hair color has gotten in the last 18 months has given me issues. (And lately I’ve been feeling unreasonably stabby as a result of said issues.) Instead of being friendly to the nice person in front of me I’m thinking: You’re putting me on the spot, in front of my kid. You’re making a big deal about how he has a different physical trait that none of us can control. And I know somewhere in my brain these nice people simply admiring his gorgeous noggin but I’m the one left pushing my shopping cart away as my son grasps his head and looks at me questioningly, “Mommy? Hair? Mommy? Hair?” I assume he’ll only be more aware of this scrutiny as he gets older.

Don’t get me wrong—I love collecting compliments about my kids—what parent doesn’t? But can we leave it at, “What lovely hair color!” and just skip the diatribe about how unusual red hair is or the inquiry into its origin? It feels invasive for a perfect stranger to ask “Does his Dad have red hair?” What kind of response would I give if I didn’t know his dad? What if P was adopted? Whose business is it where he got his hair color??? Gah! Mind your own dang business, lady, and go back to squeezing your cantaloupes!  

Can you tell this hair color thing has driven me a bit cuckoo?!

So when you’re asked the same question enough times you start to daydream about possible answers you can give the innocently curious person standing before you. I’m toying with some of these possible comebacks for my next supermarket trip when I’m asked, “Where did he get that red hair?”
  • “Well, when a man and a woman really love each other one night they create so much love that they make a baby inside the woman’s belly!”
  • “I’m not sure! I finally narrowed it down to three guys. Conclusive DNA tests come back next week. Let’s hope it’s the philanthropist and not the convicted  murderer!” 
  • “This kid? Not mine. I took him from a nice Irish family. I’m a baby-stealer.” 
  • “Oh, I’m glad you like it. It’s the new Garnier Nutrisse #67—Ginger Spice! Last week I tried #76--Hot Tamale--but that one did nothing for his complexion.” 
  • “Well, see, there are dominant genes and recessive genes. This phenotype likely occurred due to a rare combination of alleles. Gotta love those homozygotes, right? Right??” (Keep spewing nonsensical tidbits of high school biology until the person runs away or falls asleep.) 

Bottom line: People in the same family look different. Period. If you feel you must comment the next time you see a redhead child, please just give the parent a simple, “Wow, what gorgeous hair!” and move along.

xoxo Guru Louise

p.s. Do NOT touch my child’s hair. Touching it will not give you any actual, magical powers. You may, however, draw back a stump if you touch him again.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

158 comments:

  1. I'm personally in favor of the questionable father scenario. Purely classic. And WHY on Gods green earth would someone feel the need to reach out and put their hands on your child? Weird.Just.Plain.Weird.

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  2. As a red head, I say, right on! I'm sure this is going to be an issue for me, my son is also ginger what little hair he has that is, however my parents both have pitch black hair.

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  3. Ha, my stepmother used to dye her hair red so people would stop asking where the heck my brother's red hair came from.

    On an even more perplexing note, people often look at my daughter's stunning blue eyes, then at my brilliant blue eyes and my husband's slightly darker blue eyes and then remark "My! Where did she get those blue eyes?" Honestly? Genetics, how do they work?!

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  4. My boys have wonderful curly red hair, my favorite was a lovely old lady who said "what a waste on a boy" or the other lady who asked my son "wouldn't you rather be a girl with hair like that?" I totally agree with keeping your hands to yourself, how would you like it if I ran my fingers through your hair complete stranger?

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  5. My aunt has flaming red hair. My grandparents were on the receiving end of that question for years until my mom and uncle taught my aunt how to answer the questions. When asked where the red hair came from, my aunt replied with "It grew outta my head!"

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  6. I relate to this not as the mother of a redhead but as the mother of a baby with an inordinate amount of hair period. The child was BORN with a full head of whispy dark longish hair that sticks STRIAGHT UP all the time. I too get stopped anywhere I go with, "Where did he get all that hair?" usually followed by, "Did your oldest have that much hair?" or "Did your husband or you have that much hair as a baby?" No, lady, I mated with sasquatch this time. Needless to say, I too, prefer if strangers leave it to the "Look at all that hair!" comments and don't interrogate me. (Why is the origin of his hair any of your business anyway?)

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  7. I'm Caucasian, my wife is Chinese. We live in China. Our son is a cutie-pie (check my blog if you don't believe me), but I swear to all the powers of the universe; if one more nose-picking, ass-scratching, disease ridden grannie tries to touch him in my presence, I'm going to jail.

    And let's not get into all the racist comments I overhear about what kind of girl doesn't marry a nice Chinese boy and has to go "shopping out of town, if you know what I mean..." You want to talk about felling stabby? I relate.

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  8. All this talk about black/brown haired parents birthing red-headed babies is giving me ALOT of hope for my soon to be born child. I lurve red hair. love it love it love.

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  9. I have to say I know a family wear the dad has blond, the mom brunette and all 3 little girls have red hair and I did ask where they got their red hair. Is it Ok because we've known the family for years (since she was pregnant with the youngest girls) and I was just genuinely curious as to how the recessive gene thing works?

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  10. My hubby has nearly black hair and I have medium to dark brown hair, and 3 of our 4 kids have blond hair. I have to say I find it rude when people ask where they got their blond hair, and I have even had a person say "wow, she must be the milkman's kid, she looks NOTHING like your husband". In reality I don't actually think that is true, but my hubby has changed a lot since he was a kid, he was blond with no freckles and is now nearly black haired with lots of freckles. In any case people should see her toes, they are JUST like his:) I also find it very odd that people ask where they got the blond from, it is very common for caucasian children to have blond hair when a child that turns to brown as an adult (both me and my hubby, my dad and brother had blond as a child and brown or black as adults). Of course people also ask me if my 6 year old girl/boy twins are identical, and I hear about 1 billion times a day when I'm out with my 4 kids "wow you must be busy". I guess people are just dumb/rude.

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  11. I have red hair myself and I get the "tut tut! too bad they don't have red hair like you!" comments about my brunette and blond daughters. Meh. Saves them a lifetime of asinine comments from strangers. (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)

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  12. My husband's sister and her husband have a son with neon orange hair, too. They are blond and brunette. My daughter is 6 months younger then her cousin and is strawberry blonde, with ringlettes that are adorable when they aren't frizzy and tangled (so, one day a week or so!). I've considered dying my hair to stop the questions, so I can only imagine how my sil feels.
    Oddly, no one has tried to touch my daughter's hair. Maybe I just give off 8itch vibes? Likewise, I enjoy the compliments, and have contemplated some of these same answers when asked where the colour came from. I think it's to freaking funny that both kids will tell people that their hair is Orange NOT red when people comment!

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  13. My in-laws ran into this a lot when my husband and brother-in-law were younger; my mother-in-law has blonde hair and my father-in-law has black hair. When asked where her boys got their red hair, my MIL would always reply, "The mailman." So much so, that now my husband sometimes jokes about it. Then, of course, there is the speculations that one of my kids' hair (one blonde and one light brown) will someday turn red. Probably not, people! My husband was born with red hair and neither kid has had a strand of it ... EVER. No, not in that light either! Get over it. What, does red hair have some sort of magical power?

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  14. Oh, and nothing tops my grandma who said to me, after my second date with my now husband (when we were HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS!!!) that she would love to have redheaded great-grandchildren! I just love how awesomely inappropriate grandmas can be. :o)

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  15. No redheads here but I can relate. I have four kids. The first 4 years of my daughter's life, she was blond but now her hair is dark brown like mine. My oldest and youngest sons were both born with dark brown hair. My middle son had blond hair until the age of 6. It has darkened considerably. My husband has brown hair. I have gotten questions about the blonde hair even though everyone we know is well aware that my brother has platinum blonde hair and my mom is blonde. The most infuriating question came from one of my hubby's friends. When my youngest was just a few months old, I had all 4 kids with me in Walmart when I ran into her. After a few minutes of chat, she pointed to my blonde 2 year old and asked, "are you sure he's your husband's?" She laughed so I tried to laugh it off too. However, I wanted to punch her and the only thing that stopped me was the immediate thought that if I punched her in public, I would be arrested at Walmart and there would have been noone to watch my kids.

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  16. Please or please use the retort about dominant genes and recessive genes! And open your eyes real wide and smile big and nod when you're done. Then come back and tell us about it!

    Also, I am going to have to break the news to my African American daughter that marrying a red head guy won't give her red-head children. Can you send me a dominant and recessive gene chart for her?

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  17. If that photo is of him, he has, possibly, the most gorgeous hair I've ever seen. And my personal favorite is the biology 101 answer. Would love to watch their eyes glaze over :)

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  18. Just so you all know it has nothing to do with the parent's hair color either. I HAVE RED HAIR and people STILL ask me where my son got his hair color!!!???!!! I look them straight in the face and tell them he got it from his dad! People are crazy...

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  19. About the touching - we used to frequent a mexican restaurant (run by actual mexicans - not taco bell) in town when my eldest was born. They used to always touch his head. Made me nuts till my friend, whose husband is mexican said that it is believed that touching a beautiful child will give you good luck.
    You must have the buddah of the child world!!

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  20. I LOVE this post! My husband is mostly Native American and looks it, I'm a blond, so I was quite surprised when my first came out with a head of that perfect red hair that hasn't changed a bit since birth. I'm really, really sick of people asking where she got the hair from, or giving me that 'Does her husband know she had an affair' look. I've taken to just saying 'L'Oreal, because she's worth it' when strangers ask. I don't mind the 'Her hair is so beautiful/what a beautiful girl' comments. That's a 'thank you very much' moment. But please stop before the question comes out! My daughter has a big enough ego without every conversation I have in public being centered on her and her beautiful locks.

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  21. I would always say 'I love his hair!!' instead of 'where'd he get that hair'. That's just a stupid thing to say, full stop.

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  22. My son got sick of this at a young age and just started telling people he ate pennies for the copper. That shut them up and left them puzzled especially coming from someone so young.

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  23. Both of my boys have bright red hair. My husband had bright red hair when he was younger, but it is now more of a strawberry blonde. I have a history of red heads in my family, and no matter what I try to color it, it turns a little bit red (which is absolutely lovely). People STILL ask me where the red hair came from. However, the comments that ANNOY ME THE MOST are the old ladies that inform me that red heads are going extinct....yatta yatta yatta.

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  24. I feel your pain. Our first four are redheaded. My husband and I? Both brunettes. Our fifth child is blonde, with olive skin and dark eyes. I get asked all the flippin' time, "Where'd they get that red hair??" then it's followed by, "So he's not yours??" as they point to the baby. WHO on God's green earth would take an extra child, an 18 month old at that, grocery shopping, when you already have four others to drag along?? People just don't think.

    And I have actually said before, when I was in a particularly snarky mood, (which is a lot here lately, as I'm pregnant with #6) "Clairol #84. it's about time I touch up their roots though."

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  25. My youngest nephew is plat blonde and the rest of the family all have dark brown hair. and my sister gets comments all the time about the blue eyed blond boy in the midst of brown/brown family.

    I know I'll get all kinds of comments in the future with my two boys sense both are (to be) adopted. I already tell people I stole DS1 sense we got him at 16 months as a foster son.

    I do get a lot of comments about how much DS1 looks like us from those that know he's a foster. I dont mind those cause its in the "Whats the odds of that happening, its amazing" type of comment.

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  26. As a red head who's birthed a little cherub who STILL doesn't have (much) hair at 5.5 months, I'm starting to get the urge to be a bit stabby when I get asked:

    You think he'll have red hair????

    *headdesk*

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  27. My daughter's hair is the same exact color as your son and yes, we can not make a trip anywhere without millions of comments. I finally got sick of the questions, mostly being" where did she get that red hair?" and died my own hair the same color. Now I get - "Oh she looks just like you." Or "Oh what beautiful red hair you both have"

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  28. My son doesn't have red hair, but it is incredibly white-blonde. Both me and my husband have brown hair (my husband is quite dark) and I get the same thing all the time. I often find myself standing there justifying: oh, well my uncle has blonde hair and I was blonde until I was 4...it's weird being put on the spot like that! I love your possible responses and am quite tempted to use them myself! Love it! And yeah, who in the world thinks it's okay for them to just reach out and touch my kid in the public bathroom at the mall!? Seriously, this happened...she hadn't even washed her hands yet!

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  29. I have 2 red headed step children, you can just imagine what I hear ugh people

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  30. Yeah, I get the questions, too, my girls are both blondies. I'm a brunette now, but was blonde as a girl. My husband is blonde and was a total toe head as a kid. The girls are actually both my type of blonde but I always answer that it came from dad. Just easier.

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  31. I'm a redhead but my 10 month old daughter has gingery-brown hair with blond highlights...she was born with a TON of hair (think Suri Cruise). I've had people ask me 1) is it a wig and b) do we highlight it and I answer "yes" to both. Clearly what new mom, who wouldn't even color her own greys whilest pregnant, wouldn't drink a diet coke for fear of the chemicals, won't feed her child anything out of a plastic container for fear of BPAs doesn't put hair color on her 10 month old baby girl...

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  32. I have two red headed girls and no reds on either side of the family. When the first one was born my ob (who happened to be a red) said "She has a cute head of red hair." I looked at her like she was crazy. My baby minutes old had red hair. Impossible, I thought it was a baby switch. 2 years later #2 comes and she's an exact replica of the first. The new OB makes similar comment and I reply "I know so was the first one." 7 years I have had the hair comments. There are times I feel a bit stabby but... I have to realize that's life. I lived in Japan as a child and all three of us were tow-headed blondes so I spent a childhood being petted and adored for our hair. It's just my kids turn. It's true though, when they are little they think their hair color is orange and strangers are crazy to call them red heads.

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  33. People are just weird about redheads in general. My husband is a redhead and a woman at his old job told him that people with red hair smell "weird." Glad it wasn't me that she said that to because I would have had some choice words for her.

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

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  34. I'm a natural red head, and when I was little I resembled the picture of the little boy. Here's the kicker, both my parents were Air Force and were stationed in...Japan, when I was born. With Red Hair.
    Red is a sacred color in Japanese culture. And Personal space is not so big over there (as in instead of a personal bubble of a foot it's more like 2 inches). My mom being a new mom got to deal with LOTS of things, like my 1st hair cut..when they picked my hair up and put it in packets to keep! For good Luck! Yep.
    Also none of my kids have red hair, I've got 2 blonde blue eyed kids & one Brunette dark brown eyed kid.

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  35. I am a redhead. I COMPLETELY relate... lol... my mom has dark brown hair, my father was blonde. I'm the oldest of 5 kids, and ALL of my siblings have straight black hair, while I got the slightly wavey flaming orange/red. Fast forward 20 years, I met and married my highschool sweetheart, also a redhead, also the ONLY redhead in his family. same story, he has flaming red hair, that is insanely curly (like 3 inches of curl would straighten out to about 10 inches of hair). his siblings both have brown, as do his parents. we did a baby pool for ppl to guess the gender/weight/date/etc, including the hair colour, and most ppl thought our baby would have dark hair like our siblings instead of the double recesive gene that we gave him, lol... our red-headed son turns a lot of heads. which is odd... mommy and daddy both have red hair, GUESS WHAT! not a freaking long shot that he has it too! so please stop asking me if he's the milklmans or the mailmans or the delivery guys child, when you see our little family all out together and can clearly see that WE ALL HAVE RED HAIR. thank you for the compliment, but if you try to touch my child, I won't discipline him for biting you...

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  36. My husband and I were both blonde as kids and darkened to brown as we got older. My son has blonde hair that's darkened a bit. My daughter is PLATINUM blonde. Really, it must be capitalized it's that blonde. All the time people ask us where she got her blonde hair. My grandfather actually was a milkman, so I think that's my new response!

    And the Asian students at our church are fascinated with my daughter's blonde hair. They love to take pictures with her and touch her hair. Yeah, that'll keep her humble.

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  37. I never had a problem with people asking me from whom I got my red hair. My mom's a blond and my dad's a brunette, but the red comes allll the way from my great-grandmother's side. For years, though, I thought that redheads were born of blonde and brunette parents (which didn't make sense since my other siblings were ALL brunettes). Fact of the matter is, you can't predict the gene pool. If people want to ask, I'm happy to share, and always have been, but I guess I'm in the minority on that.

    But for the record, I hate being called "Carrots."

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  38. I am a ginger. My son is a ginger. Yet people always ask me if my hair color is natural. Even when we are together. Emmm?

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  39. If we get to vote I want the Garnier Nutrisse #67—Ginger Spice comment. Please also take a picture of the offenders face too...I'm really trying hard to work on a Ron Weasley comment for your repetiore as well. As a brunette who is constantly trying to add red highlights and more fire to her hair, sometimes with crayola red results, I love red hair and red heads are a very special kind of beautiful. Glad he was given a mom with razor sharp wit and a great sense of humor.

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  40. awe.some. I DO have red hair. And not one of my 3 kids got even a hint of it. So I get these questions directed at me. Since they were also directed at me as a child . . . well. Yeah. Stabby!

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  41. Good grief! I'm a redhead, as is my brother, our parents are both brunettes. We ALWAYS got those questions growing up. It's uber annoying. At least we were able to say that three of our four grandparents are red heads, so we know where it came from. Oh, by the way, Ginger is a derogatory term. We don't like it. It makes us stabby.
    Now people ask me why my daughter doesn't have red hair. Um, did anyone pay attention in biology? It's a doubly recessive gene, it must be carried by both parents. Even then you still have a small chance of having a red head.

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  42. I'm a fan of the hair dye retort...use that!!

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  43. Hair is strange. You think you're a brunette, but you may be a red head. My whole family has what everyone thinks is brown hair, but whenever we are under bright lights or left out in the sun too long, that bright red hair shines through. Like it matters though. Many of the family also started out blonde as kids and then their hair turned brown later on. It changes color on its own. Maybe we were abducted by aliens.

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  44. lol in my culture, "petting" someone's head is a way of showing love. I also find myself commenting to strangers about their redheads. I don't mess with their children's hair... lol but I do say something... lol I wouldn't have imagined it being offensive but now I think I'll stop that. lol People used to ask all the time "where did your daughter get those curls?" lol I always considered it friendly. ha

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  45. I completely relate to this post. I have 2 boys with bright red hair. Their father has a slightly darker shade of red hair but he's not always with me when we're out. So it's usually me, pushing 1 boy in a cart and holding the hand of 1 when people comment. They always give me that same comment of "where did they get their hair color from?"
    I love my boys and I wouldn't trade their hair for anything, but on occasion I want to smack people when they comment!

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  46. I understand your frustrations. I have identical twin daughters. They are 3. Since the day we left the hospital with them, people want to touch them and ask THE STUPIDEST questions. I had a lady ask me how much my cost of living had increased since I had the twins, another lady asked me if they were twins, once I said yes, she then asks me if I had both of them!!!

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    Replies
    1. i have boy girl twins, almost 6yrs old now. when they were babies, i constantly got the "are they identical?" question. he is blond/blue and she is brown/brown. then we got the "oh he's yours and she's his from a previous relationship". now everyone thinks that he's a year older than her, she's looks like a pixie and he looks like a tank. people are crazy sometimes

      Delete
  47. We have the opposite problem where DH has red hair (was pretty flaming as a kid, has faded now) and the grandparents would go on about how my babies might have red hair. "Oh, look at that...I see a tinge of strawberry there..." They both have blonde curls now.

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  48. I'm a red head and mommy of a beautiful blonde baby girl. I get questions like, "Why isn't her hair red?" or (my favorite from my MIL) "When will her hair turn red?" Isn't she enough of a beautiful miracle, even with blonde hair?!?

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  49. All redheads or parents of redheads MUST watch this!! (fyi, there's some naughty words, though)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hR2FePUVKI&list=PL0E2BBDFDA72375EA&index=9&feature=plpp_video

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  50. My kids are both red heads. My husband is a red head, but his hair darkened to a deep auburn over the years, and with his job, he keeps it in a very short buzz. My kids are 3 and 5, and are 1 inch and 2 lbs off from eachother.
    Everyone thinks they're TWINS. Here's the usual converstaion:
    Person: "Oh, look at the red hair! How old are your kids?"
    Me: "He's 5, she's 3"
    P: "*gasp* Are they TWINS?"
    M: "Yeah, she just baked a little extra"
    P: "*slightly confused look* Where did they get the beautiful red hair?"
    M: "The Milk Man." *Walk away*

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  51. I'm a redhead who has a lovely beautiful girl who is now 15, and barely a hint of red hair! Maybe if I squint really hard I can imagine it in her very mousy-but-used-to-be-white blonde hair!! My siblings, who are both redheads got the redheaded children. At least is seems mine is the level headed cousin in this family!!

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  52. I'm for sure using the biology answer! My son is also a red head and I'm half hispanic so needless to say I get lots of comments if I'm out w/o dad (dad is a red head, so it's obvious when he's out with us).

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  53. Your responses are effin perfect. DS#1 is a towhead with blue eyes, contrary to brown-haired, brown-eyed mother, father and DS#2. Sooooo sick of hearing "where did he get that blond hair"? And seriously, don't come near my child's head with your hand lest I bite it off in a protective mama bear moment.

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  54. *LOVE* it!! I have friends I grew up with who had 6 kids...2 with brown hair, 2 with black hair, and 2 with red hair. Each set of kids (and they were NOT twins) looked similar, and NOTHING like the rest of their siblings. It was the oddest thing...but fun for them, because they had fun harassing people who dared..

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  55. I get the same comments about my blonde son; my daughter is dark brown, hubs and I were both very blonde as little kids but I'm dark brunette (I think, it's been a while since I've seen my *actual* hair color) and hubs has so little that he shaves his head. :)

    I personally blame it on the UPS driver when anyone asks, which STILL happens even though he's 12 now.

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  56. About the touching thing, my adorable middle child has the softest, wispiest, curly locks on his head. His hair is normally brown, but for about 9 months his hair turned red due to a health condition. Did I mention that we are black. Imagine a "petite" seven year old black boy with red curls. Everyone wanted to touch it and commmented on it all the time. Eventually I just got used to it. He ate it up! Even now that his hair is back to the normal color people still pat his head a lot. He's quite used to it at this point.

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  57. My best friend has four kids and only one has the same red hair as her aunt. I think its adorable and I love her hair. I like the last two replies on the blog. Its like when my sister was asked if her baby was twins she would say no I left the third one in the car lol

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  58. vovens, I'm with ya. As a ginger myself, I had to hear all of these comments made to my mother growing up. My mom and dad are both brown haired, brown eyed. I'm strawberry blonde and blue eyed. I remember feeling bad for her even as a kid. But now, I'm getting really sick of the comments I hear about my 5 month old who was born with brown hair that is now growing in blonde. "Do you think she'll have your red hair?" and "Oh, that's not blonde, that's red for sure!" are the most common. Even people we see once a week make a comment EVERY friggin' time we see them. If her hair turns red, I'll be sure to let you know. Seriously, I'm about to get very stabby.

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  59. My son has hair that is auburn, but it's still more on the "actually red" side, as opposed to being vaguely reddish in the sun. These are all things I've heard that became annoying after the thousandth time. And the touching...oh, lord, the touching.

    And you know what? Even all that is not as annoying as my mother-in-law telling me (and other people) it must be because her father had a reddish tint to his blonde hair instead of...oh, I don't know, maybe the fact that auburn hair is something that consistently runs in my family (me, my dad, my paternal grandmother...).

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  60. I have 4 children and 2 of the have red hair (one girl and one boy) and we get this question ALL the time!
    When asked, my daughter(8)says "God gave it to me".
    I used to add color to my hair to my hair but that became annoying. I LOVE your answers for rude strangers/family and laughed out loud a few times as I read your blog (for the first time ever...recomended by a friend). I am totally adopting these and can't wait to use them! You made my day:) Thanks.

    Side note: We are often asked..."FOUR KIDS!! don't you know what causes that?!?!" and I have a few responses I've come up with over the years.
    #1 "I do and we're really good at it"!
    #2 "Yeah *pause with a confused look on my face* I've stopped washing our underwear together but they still keep coming"!!!
    #3 "Yes, I do. Are there any other questions about my sex life you would like to ask because I'm very open to talking about them too"?!?

    Thanks again for making me laugh!

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  61. Husband had flaming red hair (exactly like the child in those photos) until he was in his 40s. Love his childhood photos. Absolutely adorable. He, however, HATED every minute of it. When we found out that I was pregnant with a son, I'm pretty sure that he sought the help of a dark arts master to ensure that our child would NOT have red hair. He swore up and down that he would dye our son's hair from day one should he be born a ginger. The boy was born bald and now has boring old brown hair. Darn it :-(

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  62. My daughter came out with pitch-black hair - four inches long and with SIDEBURNS!!, it turned auburn by about 18 months and was halfway down her back, at 3 it was light blonde, now at 7 it's settled into a honey blond color. Who knows what's next? My response to people who would ask "How did she get such long hair?" A look at my bald husband and a shrug - the lord giveth and he taketh away...

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  63. I love the Bio 101 response!(heck, that would be what I would say...or it's none of you D**M business...)
    I was not the one blessed with red hair in my family, that would be the older of my two brothers. He came out with beautiful red red hair that curls into perfect spirals when he grows his hair out(and green eyes). I got my mom's brunette hair (and her blue eyes), and our baby brother came out with blond hair (and blue eyes). My dad has black hair and grey eyes-talk about a lesson in recessive genes.
    If you ask my grandmother, my brother's red hair is clearly from her, just go to her house and check out which child's portrait is in color in a gold frame. She's that proud. I have a hunch it's from a combination of Nordic/Viking ancestry from her, lots of German from both my maternal and paternal grandfathers, Native American from my Dad's dad, and Irish from my Dad's mom. I'm crossing my fingers that these strong recessives pull through to my kids as my husband is blond with blue eyes.
    As for the touching, it is beyond annoying. As a children growing up in South Texas which has a large Mexican population, my brothers and I all had our heads/faces touched for one reason or another. The tradition is that if you admire a child's their hair/eyes/dimples, touching the hair or face will ward off evil and bring good luck. I know that it happens in other traditions as well, but even knowing this, I would still growl at people who's unwashed-I-don't-want-to-think-about-where-they've-been hands came within an inch of my baby's head.

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  64. I've always had dark brown hair but i have some vibrant red highlight type streaks in my hair during the summer. Assuming i get to actually get some sun. And one year I had some weird old lady ask me how I got bright hellfire red in my hair when the rest of it was so dark. So I told her it was because God was mad at me and threw me into Hell where I beat the shit out of the Devil and clawed my way back up through the Earth to reclaim my spot amongst humanity. Sad thing is she believed me. >.>'

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  65. This is great, the wife and I have a redhead that came from a generation or so back on my side, and we are stopped allllllll the time. I think I will take your advice and the next time someone says something I will say to my wife "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF HEARING OF YOUR INFIDELITY, I WANT A DIVORCE" and storm off.

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  66. He has beautiful hair! I am a very, very dark brunette Italian married to a blonde haired, blue eyed man. I ended up with two (darkish) blonde haired, brown eyed children. I don't get quite as many stupid questions as you do but I do get plenty. Shaddap people!!

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  67. You have to go with Katy's response: 'L'Oreal--because he's worth it', or the one where you narrow it down to 3 guys--love it!

    I was snow white blond, my mom dyed red, and my dad's hair was black. People used to ask my mom if she dyed MY hair. Um, no, she's 4 years old.

    People just don't think. BTW, Your son's hair is gorgeous!

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  68. I absolutely love this being the mother of a redhead. It is impossible to go anywhere without someone commenting on her hair color and then it leaves my brunette child standing there feeling bad about herself. Sometimes they will add in "You're cute too!". Umm, OK? The question I hate the most is, "Does she act like a redhead?" I probably hate it the most because she does: feisty, ornery, and a bit wild. Yup, that's her. I would say the worst part, though, is that my redheaded daughter is quite shy and actually dislikes all the attention her hair gets her. I sadly foresee her dying it black someday just to thwart some of that attention.

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  69. My oldest son is a redhead, and my little girl is a strawberry blonde (leaning more red than blonde, but next to her brother it's no contest) my middle boy has blonde hair. It is to the point now that my son (who is 6) has told me he wants to dye his hair so people will stop looking at him all the time. He is, currently, the only redhead in his entire school and it gets a ton of attention for it. I now intuitively budget extra time for hair comments if we are going out. Most of the comments we get are positive. We do, however, get a significant minority of people asking if he has "the temper to match that red hair." Which pisses me off. What am I supposed to say? "Yeah, he's a real asshole. Thanks for asking." And, while we're at it, thanks for implying--in front of my extremely well behaved child--that he has an anger problem. At least no one asks me where the kids get the red hair, though. In our case, they take one look at me and it's quite evident. :)

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  70. I LOVE this! I have three boys. One is a brunette, one is a redhead and the newest addition, at 3 weeks old has blonde hair. Now, I'm not sure his hair will stay blonde but at the moment I think all our family's recessive genes are coming out in my children! :) People have started pointing out that "now you have one of each!" as if I didn't know that. ::insert eyeroll here:: I have gotten the rehead comments though. Since my oldest son, my husband and I are all brunettes.

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  71. I have two girls who are 18 mo. apart. One is brunette and the other blonde, but most people assume they are twins because at 9 & 8, you can't tell they aren't the same age by looking. This year when we went to meet the older one's new teacher he said, "Oh, who's your friend?" Miss A says, "She's my sister." He says, "OH! A sister from a different mother?" WTF? "Oh, that one? She just followed me home. I'm gonna hold her and love her and call her George."

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  72. My husband and I (both with dark brown hair) have 2 girls who both have long thick gorgeous sunshine blonde hair. From the time the oldest learned to speak, my husband trained them to answer that question:
    "Where do they get their blonde hair from?"
    "The mail man"

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  73. I see your point, but I might even go a step further and say "There is absolutely no need to comment on a child's physical attributes." First because I have a four year old with gorgeous golden ringlets that go halfway down her back who is complimented so often she now tosses her hair and flutters her eyelashes at anyone she thinks might compliment her hair. And second? Because I have an 8 year old daughter with gorgeous straight dark gold hair halfway down her back who never, ever gets a compliment. Strangers and their compliments are going to give my children complexes.

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  74. I happen to have two red headed children who have always told people that they got their red hair from Santa Claus. Lol. What else is there to say?

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  75. I had my first son at 18 and he came out blonde and bright blue eyes which neither me nor his fathers family has in the recent generations of our familys. I don't know how many times I got the look from people after looking from me to daddy that implied he wasn't his real father! Talk about feeling stabby! Luckily my second ended up with even bluer eyes. But my third (who has a diffrent father of whom actually has blue eyes) ended up with hazel! Go figure....

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  76. I am a redhead, with two children (also redheads). My favorite comments include:

    1. "Where did they get that hair?" (From me, you idiot.)

    2. "Ooooh, I bet your house has all kinds of temper tantrums!" (Yes, because personality is directly tied to a physical trait. Those kind of stereotypes have worked out so well in the past. Ask people of color.)

    *sigh*

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  77. I have 5 kids. My oldest is a a bright, coppery redhead and the 6 month old has some tints of red but will probably turn blonde like the remaining three. I'm dark blonde and my husband is dark brown. I'm sooooo sick of comments about the oldest's hair and last year he asked me why so many people make a big deal about it. We just tell him that red hair is beautiful and people love it. I'm definitely stealing some of your comments though. Oh, and the readhead is also a twin and I don't know how many times I was asked if he and his sister were identical.I would try and give them a mini high school biology lesson. *sigh* People are dumb!

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  78. My MIL trained my husband, as a young boy, to respond, "From the mailman!" For years he thought his hair must have come in the mail.
    I have a red-haired daughter (no big mystery, given said husband), and I can't believe some of the comments I have gotten about this ONE-year-old from creepy older guys...things like, "I'm such a sucker for a redhead!"

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  79. I. Totally. Get. This. I also have a fiery redhead and people would try to rub her infant head all the time. Now, I do have red hair but people still ask me where she got it. She's now 7 with waist length red hair. Kids make fun of her and it breaks my heart....but I know they'll be wishing for it when they are older.

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  80. my son has red hair, and i did start dying my hair just to halt some of the questions. i don't know which is my favourite comment though. the lady who critically looked all three (husband, me and thing one) up and down and announced loudly that thing one didn't look a thing like either of us. or the lady who when my mom was bragging on thing one's hair said, "oh, well at least he can dye it when he's older" sometimes you just have to laugh.
    oh, and then there was one lady who cooed all over his hair in the store one day and then handed me a dollar cause he was cute. lol

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  81. I JUST wrote a blog about my beautiful redhead this week talking about some of the things people say to us. Crazy! We get SO MANY comments. She happens to have very curly, very red hair, and the rest of us are brown/blonde, straight hair. It is so awkward when people ask, "does her daddy have red hair?" Then when you say no you feel like you have to explain yourself and how genetics work. Most people love it and compliment her, but a few people have said, "I bet one day she's gonna hate her hair." What does that mean? Does that mean YOU hate it? Please don't say that to my 3-year-old! They also make sure to tell her she must have a temper. Oh, and thanks to people at the grocery store, I know every stat ever speculated about red heads!
    Thanks for this post - mommies of redheads unite!!

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  82. Love this! We have a similar problem, only my daughter has cork-screw curly hair. My favorite is when people don't believe me that she got her hair from me! I've actually had people challenge me on that fact when I tell them!

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  83. The odd thing is that people really seem to care. My daughter has reddish blond/sort of honey colored hair and people really want to pin down the exact person to connect it to. My bro. in law has sort of auburn hair, but not enough that I ever noticed until I had a child with slightly red hair and someone pointed out that Dave did, too. A VERY distant relative that I just met was determined upon meeting me on Sunday that I should give credit to her side of the family. It just seems that most people in America have enough of a mutt background that somewhere, somehow, red hair can be found. It's not that unusual, people!!

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  84. I, like your son, am the only red head in my family. I always found it embarrassing when people said "where'd you get all that red hair?" as a child and now as an adult every single time I go to get my hair cut someone inevitably asks me who my colorist is and I'm like "Um....God?" And I would not hold your breath on the people not touching his head anytime soon. I'm 26 years old and it still happens to be occasionally. Also, I'm 8.5 months pregnant and people will ask me without fail, first the gender of the child, and then ask me if she has red hair. I don't know, let me get out my hi-def 3d technicolor ultrasound machine and find out. Now when people ask about my hair I just tell them I'm a mutant and leave them scratching their heads :P

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  85. It's so comforting to hear other people have this issue too. We just had a little boy and he was born with and still has strawberry blond hair. His dad and I both have very dark brown hair. We get the comments out, but anyone who has seen his grandma or cousins knows red hair runs in the family. I take my mother-in-law shopping with us sometimes just to avoid the lame and offensive "what color was the mailman's hair, heh heh" comments."

    My husband thought he was being so funny while I was pregnant and kept joking about how he hoped his son didn't get his mom's red hair.
    (In a purely joking manner, I didn't marry a jerk, I swear! lol)
    I like to tease him that now he knows not to tempt God because God has a sense of humor.

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  86. About 13 years ago, my father was holding my then-infant cousin, who has bright red hair, at a concert. Some woman walked up and asked where his hair came from; my father responded, "From his father." And walked away. My aunt, who had been dealing with that question constantly, was impressed.

    I have green eyes. I love my green eyes and would love to have a green-eyed child, but both of my children have big, beautiful, chocolate-brown eyes (the only brown-eyed kids in the family) and people are constantly making comments like, "Too bad you didn't get your mommy's/grandma's/uncle's eyes." Really? So you're basically telling my 4-year-old that she's deficient in some way? Stuff like makes my husband WISH I was stabby; I lack the self-edit gene and tend to be a bit vocal...

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  87. People just love making stupid comments. My favorite so far for my baby? "Your baby has gorgeous eyes! He sure didn't get them from you, did he?"

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  88. I had auburn hair when I was younger and, upon learning our first born was to be a girl, I prayed that she would have red hair. She was born with very little hair but as it came in it was dark brown and *curly*! She gets compliments on it all the time and, though I am biased, with her olive skin and blue eyes she really is a pretty girl. She tans very easily and during the summer actually begins to look Hispanic. (Her hair does get pretty auburn highlights in the summer.)

    Our second child was a boy and I jokingly told DH that the worst thing that could happen would be that he would have red, curly hair. He was born with a strawberry blonde mullet. No curls. :) His skin is paler than mine - if he gets in the sun he might burst into flames.

    Ironically enough both kids take after my side of the family - DD takes after my mother's side and DS takes after my dad's. They look like complete opposites.

    I've actually had more than one person ask if they have the same father! This usually happens during the summer when DD was at her darkest. People need to keep their mouths shut.

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  89. My daughter (6) has beautiful auburn hair. I like to call it rich cinnamon! However, my boys have blonde and light brown hair. Ever since she was a baby people have been commenting on her hair and/or trying to touch it. I have been asked if I dye her hair, if I curl it (that was when she was 18 months old and still had ringlets), along with the usual "where'd she get the red hair?" There really is an obsession with redheads that seems to be passed on through the generations. Annoying!

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  90. My little guy has that beautiful red hair too (love it!) and we get that same question ALL. THE. TIME.

    "Where did he get the red hair?"

    What's really weird is that I'm also a natural redhead. When he was a baby/toddler, I could literally flop my ponytail on top of his head and it was the exact same colour.

    And still, people would ask!

    In the past few years, my hair got all dull and dark (I've been ill) and we heard "the question" even more so I've taken to dying it in frustration! I said I never would... I'm not even going gray (I'm only 31!).

    Ironically, in our blended family, my daughter has reddish-blond hair (got the blond from my ex, who is blondish-brunette) and my *new* spouse has black hair going gray. And we have heard "you look so alike!" from people who don't know they aren't one speck genetically related to each other.

    People are just weird.

    I vote for answer #1, by the way! although they are all hillarious! :) thanks for the great post!

    ~krismom

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  91. Great post :) Now where's the domestic enemy of the mom with the bald baby (especially if it's a girl) post? Cause' let me tell ya, I got very stabby about that when my dd was younger. Actually, I still do because she's turning 4 in 3 months and her 17 month old brother (who's had several haircuts) has more hair than she does. The irony just slays me. As do the rather insensitive comments from family (my younger sister nicknamed my daughter "Cueball"), friends, and of course, the random strangers who, despite my daughter wearing either pink, purple, or a dress her whole life, and sometimes all 3 at once, still occasionally assume that she's a boy. Gah!!

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  92. My parents and older sister are very dark-haired brunettes (well, my parents WERE brunettes and now have gray hair), and I have bright flaming red hair. People used to stare at us when I was little and we went out as a family, and my father would simply look at them and say, "Mailman." Most people had the decency to blush and mind their own damn business after that.

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  93. A friend of mine recently gave birth to a beautiful little Ginger baby :) The most common comment she receives from people (strangers AND family) "Ohhhh don't worry, maybe his hair won't stay red.." How freakin RUDE!

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  94. The saddest thing was when an old lady made a sad face when she saw my newborn daughters red hair and said "aww don't worry honey, that red will probably change". I was all hormonal and told her we LOVED it and hoped it would stay red. I knew my whole pregnancy she had red hair, I just knew it. Anyway, sadly it did change, she's 3 now and been platinum blond for about 2 years.

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  95. My brother and I are both redhead...not one other person in my entire family has a history of red hair. We lived around the corner from a cuban family whose 3 kids were all redhead...no prior redheads at all in their family...but our mailman had red hair...so that was the ongoing joke for our collective families growing up.

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  96. OMG! I have a super ginger too. The rest of us have brown hair too. I get those "Where did he get his hair from?" questions everyday. I also get compliments on his hair no matter where we go. When I tell them "I don't know where he got his hair from" they give me ackward looks. I get asked when my husband is not with me "So his Dad must have red hair?" Umm no. So are you wondering if I am cheating on him?

    Then I have a twin for the ginger. They will go on and on about Ginger's hair and not make ONE comment about my other child who just sits there being ignored. It has given my ginger a complex. He now goes on about how awesome his hair is. Which I want him to think his hair is awesome because it is, but my other son has pretty blondey brown hair too and they should not ignore him like he is not there.

    I finally ended up dying my hair just to stop a lot of the comments. I dyed my hair red and about half the "Where does he get his red hair from?" are not asked anymore. So that helped. Sometimes though they comment about both of our hair and I then have to say "Mine is fake". But whatever, I think I prefer my fake red hair because I think it stops a lot of crazy questions about how come he has red hair when no one in our family has it.

    Ours are very recessive genes. I wanted a redhead but never thought it would happen. I was shocked when it did. All the nurses in the delivery room even gasped when they saw his red hair!

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  97. LOL - i had to laugh at the last bit about 'don't touch my child's hair' My daughter was born with a head full of dark hair. I'm natural light blonde, hubby has black hair...so when i'm with her, of course they look at my hair color and then hers and then go 'wow, look at all that hair'...and then proceed to run their fingers through it. Drives me crazy!!!

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  98. I too have a redhead. I actually had a woman ask me if I dyed her hair.... ummm... yeah... I dye my FOUR YEAR OLD'S HAIR! WTF? She is at the age now where she has started asking why everyone talks about her hair- I don't want her to grow up thinking her hair is the only beautiful/special thing about her. And lastly, when someone asked where the red hair came from, my husband ACTUALLY said once, "Her mother had an affair with a leprechaun." Yes, he really did.

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  99. My daughter is a ginger. Her father has more freckles than any human I've ever seen and is auburn haired. My hair is auburn, and I'm freckled. And people still ask me where my daughter got the red hair. I've also been asked if I color her hair, because she has a white streak (birthmark on her scalp). Sigh.

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  100. Love this!! Love your little guy's redlocks! My daughter is a ginger too. We call her the Red Fury. She came out of the oven with a full head of strawberry blonde hair, that touched. her. collar! I was mid-push and the doc yelled, "Look at all this hair!". The entire room turned to look down there. Um, up here people. Focus on the goal.

    We get it all the time. I'm blonde, son is brown and dad is gray. I wouldn't change it for anything.

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  101. My girls have blue eyes and blond hair. I'm brunette and brown eyes. When asked, I tell people my husband must have had an affair with the mail lady.

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  102. Tell them your son suffers from a terrible, contagious disease, and that you are very thankful for the scalp transplant that he got so that he didn't have to live his short life as a bald little child.

    As a side note:
    I and my 2 year old daughter both have big, fat, sausage curls. Hers is a sunny warm blonde, mine auburn. We get the same sort of questions - "where did she get such beautiful hair?" (I usually show them my ponytail), "Does her Daddy have curly hair?" (No, lady, not really), or, and here's the kicker... my baby looks like she's going to inherit my curls and my mother's color (the same as the picture above... Dear gods help me!

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  103. My husband just told me that when he gets asked that question, he replies, "We don't know, we're still waiting for the test results so we can figure out who the mother is."

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  104. WORD. I have dirty blonde hair. My husband is a red head. My two oldest have his hair. It was enough to get all the usual questions you mentioned...but then, enter child #3. Child #3 did NOT get the red head of hair that the first two did, which led to a whole new set of FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC questions and concepts. Most of these have undertones of a different daddy. Yeah. Awesome. People are dumb. I feel the need to carry around cards with the high school bio explanation and hand them out when people ask...lol.

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  105. I have red hair. And I have two gorgeous sons with crazy CURLY ginger. People are always saying "well, we know who THEIR mother is!" To which I frequently respond, "oh do you? Cool! I'm the nanny - how are you? Would you like me to relay a message?"


    Which always gets a sputter and blush, which is awesome.

    But not as much fun as shortly after out first son was born - my husband (who is brunette) told many, many people that the Fed-Ex guy was the father.... And then met the red headed Fed-Ex guy who's route my workplace was on. Brilliant!

    Anyway, the questions dont really bother me - probably because I'm immune after a lifetime of hearing my blonde mother having to answer the same questions.

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  106. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I love this for so many reasons....While my own children have blondish hair, my step-son has the same bright red hair! Yep he's my red-headed step child! =D His biological mother dyes her hair red, presumably so she doesn't get these questions. I totally enjoy the heck out of the looks on peoples' faces when we get these questions and I respond "Nope, he's my red-headed step-child." hehehe!

    I've debated going a bit further and saying something along the lines of "We scalped a Ginger and sewed it on his head, We did a pretty good job - can't even see the scars. Gingers have no soul, ya know..." He's only 8, so he's a little young for that yet, though I'm pretty sure he's find it hysterical as a teenager, he's awesome like that!

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  107. Oh boy, I can relate from the kid's side.

    My mother and all five siblings have gorgeous blond hair. My dad and I have brown hair, so dark it's nearly black. People used to ask ALL THE TIME if I was the neighbor's kid. Mom started saying that I looked like my father, but that she didn't know where the others came from ...

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  108. Oh my good gravy! You have just described my younger brother. My mum and myself are both brunettes with brown eyes; my dad has lighter brown hair and blue eyes. My brother has a shock of CURLY orange (yes I do mean orange) hair and green eyes. (Although, to be fair, he's now 29 and it has darkened, but it took until he was nearly 18 to start turning auburn-ish. In certain lights, especially after some sun-bleaching in summer it still goes the colour of a goldfish)
    His nickname growing up, given that he wore a black school uniform, was Duracell - unfortunately it was the joke that kept going! (Or is that Energiser? Will this tale work on both sides of the pond?)
    Now there is no doubting he is the product of my mum and dad - mum doesn't remember his pregnancy as much as mine, but there's apparently sufficient anecdotal evidence to show she was at least involved. At 29 he is almost the spitting image of my dad on his wedding day (hair colour aside) so the genes are definitely confirmed there too, but he got the whole raft of "He's the milkman's son" jokes growing up and EVERYONE saying how gorgeous his hair was - especially the curls. His self-defence strategy was to develop a wicked sense of humour - well, if anyone's going to make bad hair colour jokes, it may as well be the Ginger Nut!

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  109. I look them straight in the face and say, "The mailman." and walk away. An ignorant question deserves an equally ignorant answer.

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  110. I know this all too well! My youngest son is a ginger. Funny thing is, people ask us all the time where it comes from. Well, that's easy. My husband is a ginger, too. What's so funny about the question is that people who know my husband very well....people who work for my husband and see him daily....ask us where my youngest gets his red hair. What?!?! I'm always like, "Um. From his dad." Really?! Granted, my husband's hair is receding and the very back of his hair is pretty dark, but up top it is red red red and then there's the fact that he's covered head to toe with freckles.

    I got this question all the time as a kid myself. I'm blonde and my parents and two siblings all have hair that is so dark brown, it almost looks black. They're all Black Irish. But then there's me with my blonde hair. At least we all have blue eyes. Anyway, as a kid it was a daily thing to hear people ask where my hair came from. Honestly, it never bothered me much. Kinda made me feel special. Hopefully that'll be the case for your son.

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  111. This is a great post! It made me laugh out loud. I can relate on a couple levels. First I will say that the comments adults make can truly affect a child profoundly. As a kid I had freckled skin and light reddish-brown hair. My grandmother was Irish and a true redhead. I remember my family going crazy over my hair. Of all the grandchildren my hair was the closest to Grandma’s red and it was a topic of conversation. I also remember strangers complimenting me on my long auburn hair. All of this made me feel special until I was teenager. The older I got the darker my hair got. At one family get together I overheard my aunts talking about what a shame it was that my hair was getting darker. It truly made me feel terrible about myself. It also made me believe that having dark hair was a horrible thing. When I was nineteen I started dying my hair closer to the shade it was when I was little. For almost ten years I dyed my hair truly believing it made me a better person to have a certain hair color. When I met my husband he convinced me to go natural. I have finally come to love my natural color. I have dark reddish- brown hair and it suits me perfectly! It’s very sad that I allowed the comments and beliefs of other people to affect how I felt about myself for so long.

    Both of my children have blonde hair and striking blue eyes. I get comments and questions all the time, too. At first I would say “Thank you” and brush it off. Then it started to freak me out because of my childhood experience. I have come to realize I cannot stop people from commenting on my children’s hair and eyes. What I can do is make sure my children know that their hair color and eye color does not matter as much as who they are on the inside. I am determined to raise them knowing that they are just right the way they are!

    Thanks again for the post Guru Louise. Keep your great sense of humor and I wish the best for you and your family.

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  112. I have had pretty much the exact same experience shopping with my kids, only it's not hair color that has all my fellow shoppers ooing and awwwing, it's my two-year-old twin girls. Sometimes my face hurts from keeping on the fake smile for so long while dealing with all the little old ladies and nosy old men. And people really do ask invasive questions. The worst is when they want to stop and chat and tell you about all the twins they had in their life. The absolute worst is when they say something like, "My sister had twins, but one of them died." What do you say to that? Why would you share that with a perfect stranger? I mean, don't get me wrong, I love to talk about my kids... But sometimes I just want to get through the grocery shopping as quickly as possible to get home, get the kids fed, and begin the blessed nap. And besides the fact that people are stopping and staring and sometimes photographing my girls, they have a big brother who went from the kid who always ended up leaving the store with cookies or candy because he was just so darned cute people couldn't help themselves to chopped liver. This kind of thing is just awkward on so many levels. I can totally relate.

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  113. Love your blog!! I have a red head son and I AM adopted, so really, I could say that I don't know where his hair color came from. But, alas, I know my birthmom had red hair, and my father-in-law also had red hair. But, still, I think I will say one day that I was adopted, so who knows where his hair color came from!! :-) ~Jenn G.

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  114. My golden retriever and my kids have the same color hair and daddy is bald. I am blonde. Makes for awesome explaining....

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  115. My kid's hair is almost as red as Louise's kid's, while mine has just a touch of reddishness and my husband's is almost black. If I had a nickel for every person who's asked where he gets it from or if his daddy's hair is red or whose family it comes from, I'd have a lot of nickels. A perfect stranger once said to me, "Where'd he get the red hair...and I don't want to hear it was from the mailman." Um...what?!

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  116. You could always use the retort my mother had me saying by the time I was 2, "It came with the head..."

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  117. Nothing was freakier than the hordes of Mexicans that would approach me and my daughter when we lived in So Cal. Iunderstood Spanish, but they didn't know that, and they would always talk about her huge blue eyes and try to touch her. It gave me a complex that someone would try to steal her and to this day I do not leave her anywhere, even for a second.

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  118. Oh, Guru Louise...I LOVE thee. I too have a red-head who is...wait for it...a quarter ASIAN. Also, I have a semi-blonde, an ASIAN looking brunette, a total-blonde, in addition to the little red baby. Hell if I know where the red came from (apparently my husband's side + my grandma with white hair who originally had red hair), I was just as shocked as everyone else.

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  119. People ask me all the time where my 18 month old got her red hair - while her red haired father is standing right there...

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  120. I'm late to the party...my 19 month old daughter has flaming red hair and brown eyes-which I've had several people inform me is very rare. Never mind that my husband has brown eyes and had flaming red hair in his youth (it's darkened to auburn as he's gotten older, and few things piss him off more quickly than people asking where she got her hair with him standing right there). But yeah, I've had people reach out to rub her hair before, and they're lucky they haven't drawn back bloody stumps. Apparently having a red-headed dad and an Irish American mom makes for red-headed kids.

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  121. Also late to the party...I do not have a red headed child, but I do have a 3 year old with long, beautiful ringlets of golden blond hair and stunning bright blue eyes. We (my dark haired husband with a buzz cut and dark-dark brown eyes and me with my dark straight-ish hair and steel gray eyes) get asked, I would guess, 3 times per shopping trip, where did she get the blonde curls and beautiful blue eyes?" I get it, she is gorgeous, thank you. Just tell her that, do not make her question why she is different from mommy, daddy and her oldest sister who, although she has the same eyes, also has straight-ish dark hair. People should think before speaking...or just not speak at all. I always consider saying, "The mailman" but I chicken out...certain that she will come home and tell daddy that he is not her daddy, the mailman is...even though the 'mailman' is a woman, lol.

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  122. I am THIRTY ONE years old and I still have to field the ridiculous questions of "where did you get your red hair?" Um.. it grew out of my head...seriously. I definitely have to draw the line when they try to pet it (and they do).

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  123. My family is filled with redheaded girls - and even the select few boys marry redheads so there is no getting around it. When I was pregnant, my (now ex) husband had black hair, brown eyes and a very dark complexion and boys ran in his family. When I found out I was having a boy I was like BOOYAH! Finally, the redheaded girl curse stops here! I bought the brightest colored clothes I could find. And of course, he was a redhead. The good news is that he has the most beautiful and unique hair color and the girls LOVE it. We are proud of our ginger-ness and brag about it all of the time! He really does get tired of people (older women) asking about his hair, though. And they always want to touch it - it's not the effing blarney stone, people...

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  124. My fourth child, my 18 month old daughter is my only red head. I get asked every stinking time I go into a store or restaurant, where she gets her red hair & her Daddy has red hair & Since my husband & I are currently separated if my kids have the same father. WHAT? I would NEVER say that to anyone! But the worst was when my (ex) MOTHER in law asked my then 8 mth old in a baby voice "Where'd you get that red hair, little one" That I couldnt resist...I shrugged and said "Im thinking the FedEx man, but I just don't know!" And walked away....

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  125. I have brown hair and brown eyes and the father of my kids have brown hair and blue eyes. My son came out with brown hair brown eyes my daughter came out with bright red hair and brown eyes. People are always asking where the red came from... My grandfather says he had red hair when he was born but i dont know i kinda think he is just telling me that. But anyways yea i have a red headed child that is beautiful we just dont know why she has red hair!

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  126. I feel your pain, on a less intense level. I often go out with my son, who is very social for a one year old and just gives mega-watt smiles to people. They invariably come over to chat and will often say to me 'he must look like his Dad!'. How insulting. And as a matter of fact, he doesn't look like either of us and thanks so much for reminding me of that fact. I also look six months pregnant still - why not ask me when my fat belly is due? The answer to that one is never!

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  127. No redheads in the family, but here's a good comment. Long ago, at a 50th anniversary party for my grandparents, a woman noticed my brother and I (my mom was the only one who moved out of state), and asked my mother whose kids we were. When told "Those are mine," she said, "What beautiful children. They must look just like their father." My mother laughed.

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  128. I have had total strangers say "she must look like her daddy because she looks nothing like you..." Thanks awesome to say to a new mother!

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  129. I have a little girl with blond hair. She also hates being touched. Something called 'tactile defensiveness' whatever, she will scream like you are beating her if you sneak up and pat her hair. One would not think this would not be a problem since those of us who know her keep our hands to ourselves (most of the time even her brother and sister). But it is shocking. SHOCKING. How many perfect strangers grab, paw, pet and otherwise annoy her in a given day. Yes, she's cute. No, she not a poodle. Stop. Touching. My. Kid. The truly amazing part is that people are often un-phased by the ear splitting screams that follow. Go figure.

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  130. I have red hair, and several natural red heads in the family. I work in a store and one day a customer was SCREAMING at her @3y.o daughter 'Stop that or I'll beat you like a red-headed step child!' If I hadn't been AT WORK I would have walked over and offered to let her demonstrate since I AM a redheaded stepchild.

    People dang, red hair is like any other racial trait. If you wouldn't walk over to a black person and comment on her kid's skin, why would you do that to anyone else in regards to their skin, hair or eyes...or their FEATURES?! My daughter is 1/2 Cherokee and a woman who knows our family actually said 'but she has such a dainty nose.' Um, WHUCK? I know a LOT of Indian people and you would be so surprised how not stereotypical they tend to look, but thanks.

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  131. Oh, I feel you! I am the proud owner of a blonde, a brunette, and a ginger. All boys. All 2 years apart. They are 5,7 & 9, and are as white as a sheet of paper - skinny Irish boys. People ALWAYS ask me about their hair! "Oh my goodness, look at their hair! You have one of each! (WHAT?) Where did they get that hair from? Look how pretty (!?!) he is!" This one drives my poor ginger CRAZY! It was cute when he was oh, a baby, but now that he is 7, he gets all stabby when someone calls him PRETTY! (even though he is pretty.)

    The best answer I have come up with, the one that shuts them all down is this ...

    "Oh, yeah, I don't know where their hair came from. We got them in Haiti."

    My boys know it's coming and they just do the poor, wide-eyed orphan stare at whomever has asked about why they all look so different. Then we just walk off and finish destroying Target.

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  132. Hilarious! I have identical twin red-headed boys with a mess of freckles and a winning smile. My husband and I have dishwater brown hair. We cannot go ANYWHERE without someone asking some stupid question either asking about the family history of twins or the family history of red hair. I always say something vague about it being in the family somewhere and running away as fast as I can. I get really tired of people that tell me about their second cousin's third aunt twice removed who had twins, blah, blah blah. I also can't stand those who look at my 3-yr-olds and ask me how I do it. God didn't give me a choice, I got twins, I got energetic red-heads, at least they are healthy and happy right? The mailman comment has crossed my mind but I like the scientific explanation best because it covers both of our attention grabbing traits in one fell swoop. People try to use scientific terms with twins especially and end up being wildly inaccurate on most occasions so maybe it would keep that quiet too! As always, a hilarious and spot on blog post, thanks for sharing!

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  133. Oh my god. I think I love you. You have just said & described my exact situation. Our boy got his red-hair (supposedly) from his great-grandparents on both sides. Insane. I get stopped at the store an average of 3 times with someone going "LOOK AT THAT HAIR!" "I LOVE HIS HAIR!"... etc. Followed by "Does his dad have red hair?" "WHERE'D HE GET THE RED HAIR FROM?!" "Must have been the mailman!" All while stroking his hair... Everyone loves his hair, but can't they cool it for two seconds? He's got a shirt that says "Lock up your daughters." My friend suggested it be changed to "Lock up your Grandmas." .. Seriously. His hair is red, I don't mind your compliments on it.. but 1)It is totally awkward, what do you say.. Thank you? For complementing your baby's hair? 2)I don't really want to get stuck talking to a stranger about his hair for 10 minutes.. then walk two isles and have it happen again 3)Why does it matter "where" his hair came from & didn't you cover genetics in 8th grade? I can just see all this attention giving him a complex when he's older. Pretty much the only time I thought it was precious when some stranger commented on his hair (besides cute little <5year old girls), was when a 7 year old boy with the most gorgeous red hair w/ spiraling curls came up and said happily "He has the same color hair as me!" :)

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  134. I wrote in my pregnancy journal that I wanted a little strawberry blond girl with ringlets all over her head. This is what I had until I was about 5 and then it thickened and darkened to more of a light brown with waves. When she was crowning, the doctor and nurse both exclaimed "a redhead!." As the hair grew out the ringlets appeared - exactly what I ordered. She corrects everyone that tells her what lovely red hair she has and tells them it is not red, it is orange. I do get asked where she got the red hair just like my mom got asked about me (she answered "her Irish grandfather.) They also ask about where she got the curls. I tell them me, sometimes I tell them the genetic stuff. The funniest/most annoying question was directed at my husband in an Irish pub after the St. Patrick's Day parade. "She did not get that red hair from you. That is not your child, is it?" as if I had been an unfaithful wife. My husband told him that he had red hair, but it was in a place he could not see it. The man looked a little embarrassed and walked away. We had a great laugh.

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  135. My second (of 3) sons has that same flaming orange hair. In fact, he corrected people for a long time that his hair was ORANGE not RED. My husband (a DARK brunette) was the one who started telling total strangers that he got it from his "real dad". It. Was. Awesome. Especially with people we didn't know at church. Their reactions ranged from shock and awe to uneasy laughter, but it inevitably stopped the conversation dead in its tracks. Hey - ask a stupid question...

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  136. I have very blonde hair and my husband has black hair. When I was pregnant with my oldest child, we joked that she would probably have red hair....and she did! The most beautiful strawberry blonde I had ever seen. We have also heard all the coments, and we really aren't sure which side of the family it came from. Our next two children, a boy and girl, are both dark blondes. Our 4th child, a boy, is also strawberry blonde. I am now pregnant with our 5th child, and we are very curious to see what this child will look like. I always assuemed our children would have dark hair like their father, but not a one! Maybe the 5th will look like dad!

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  137. My ex-husband and I split up when my daughter was two months old, and she hasn't seen him since she was 3 months. Luckily for both my daughter and me, I later met and married a completely fantabulous man. He and I both have dark brown, almost black, hair and eyes. Darned if my kid doesn't take after her biological father's coloring--with bright blonde hair and green eyes that stop people in their tracks. Most of the time when people say, "where did she get her blonde hair?" I know they are trying to be friendly. However, one woman put it slightly differently: "Where'd you two get a blonde kid?" You know, as though we stole her.

    Naturally, my daughter, who is still only three-and-a-half, hasn't been fully briefed on the fact that her biological father is a deadbeat who left, or that her daddy isn't, strictly speaking, technically, exactly, her dad. We'll tell her everything as she's ready to understand it, but we'd LOVE to do it without the help of strangers.

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  138. I so understand where you are coming from on this one. I have a crazy amount of dark brown hair on my head and my husband has light brown hair. With that said, I have three kids with blonde hair. The youngest has almost white hair. Two of them have blue eyes and the other has brown. When I have all three of them out and about, I get those same questions. "Is their father blonde?"(No he has purple hair), "Are these your kids?"(no I stole them), and of course "Where did they get it from?"(the tooth fairy, lady). So of course I go into explaining mode even if it is none of their business why. I used to be blonde when I was their age and so was their dad. They have a Grandma and an Uncle with blue eyes and I have hazel so do the math. I know people are just complementing their gorgeous hair but you would think with all different kinds of families out there that those questions would be obsolete. Your son has gorgeous red hair. Just remind him of that and he will be fine.

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  139. Well, while I'm not a ginger, I had the annoyance of strangers petting and coooing all over my hair as a kid. I HATED it! People do not allow any children personal space, and can be so rude. I had waist-length, very dark brown, straight and shiny hair as a child. They made me want to cut it off, and I loved my long hair. I do so wish people would think before they speak to, or touch, strangers.

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  140. I peed reading this. No seriously..peed my pants. I am a red head my husband is a real giraffe freckled reddy. Hoping for a bonafide volcano topped little of our own arriving in august. Loving your posts. Thanks for the giggles.

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  141. i am actively dying over the one about hair color... you should top it off with "i always test the color on the kids before it goes anywhere near my hair."

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  142. As a mum of 5 kids, three of whom are redheads, I am constantly bombarded with questions from where did it come from (I'm brunette) and so on. Most people love the hair colour, but my eldest redhead, is now a teenager and he really dislikes his red hair, and I think it is because people make a big deal of it and he does get teased about it. For boys it almost seems unacceptable. On the other hand my two daughters, Misses 5 and 4 are constantly told how gorgeous their red curly hair is, and it is. It's funny how it is so readily accepted for girls to have red hair and not boys.

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  143. I have one redhead, one blonde, and one brunette. Funny sight to see my little Neapolitan family! And then I color my hair a bit warmer now that I am older. When someone comments it makes me angry because I have to admit I am not a redhead naturally that she got it from her dad! It just never gets any better! Loved the story and all the funny comments!

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  144. I had the opposite red hair problem! My hair is auburn and my husband is strawberry blonde. Our daughter's hair is brown with some red now, but when she was born it was Solid Black. I spent days swearing that the next person to ask the exhasted new mommy "What color hair does the mailman have? TeeHee," was going to get shivved!

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  145. I used to have flaming red hair as a child, lots of comments, lots of touching (get your hands off my head). Someone even asked my mother when I was about 6 years old if she dyed my hair... really? really?!

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  146. When my daughter was born with a mop that stood on end, people CONSTANTLY asked if I was putting product in my newborns hair. Countless people have made mention of said very Caucasian daughter commenting on her "almond" eyes, questioning the ethnicity of my also very-Caucasian husband. It perplexes me that every time I'm the one who ends up feeling uncomfortable.

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  147. Ok, this post cracks me up! I run into this issue ALL of the time with my son! My husband is light brown and I am blond. People are always asking where his hair came from and I have had tons of people try to touch it! It is honestly getting a little ridiculous! What's even funnier, is my husband always gives them the technical explanation of how a child gets red hair. It cracks me up every time!

    Here is a pic of my sweet little ginger! :)
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7165/6556906525_f0e67a08b9_b.jpg

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  148. Love, love, love this! We were suprised by a redheaded daughter, 11 yrs after the last kid and only 2nd girl to both sides, NOW make her a redhead! First we didn't find out the baby's sex when preg. My boys are from my 1st marriage & since I had done this 2x already I was willing (initially) to let my 2nd husband call the shots on this preg. Much to my dismay he didn't want to know the gender of our baby. He said I could find out as long as I didn't tell him?!? What the hell kinda schmidt is that? Like I can keep my mouth shut? Q: what are you having? A: a baby. They would get all schmidty like I'm holding out on them! so I'm like "hey, now you know everything I know!" Now let's move on to my blessed redheaded crib midget on crack, yup that's what I call her! The first 100x you are stopped in public, you are soooo very proud of your little bundle of screaming colic riden joy you actually attempt to have a conversation with strangers. After that you keep the hood up on her infant carrier! Once she is too big for that it's either a hat to hide her head or come up with some ingenious responses to a$$hats!!! Now I literally hated science in school, one of my worst subjects, but even I know it's a recessive gene and BOTH sides need to carry it. Q: Which side of the family does she get the red from? A: (squint your eyes-I call this getting the prune face)kinda look at them like they are stupid, this doesn't take much effort, tilt your head A: jeez I really don't know she isn't mine let me ask her father. Now look at your spouse and say "honey, where does your kid get her hair?" A #2: Well we would show you but we would likely get arrested for indecent exposure. (yup it's true we both are red down under-I call that our Australia parts for future reference). When she could walk, we would get comments or questions, she just kept right on going waved her hand and said "thanu" her version of thank you, but she really didn't have time for this schmidt! Now she is four, when there are comments, how lovely, how pretty, she says "I know" and my boys say "it runs in the family" then we keep on walking! They have created a MONSTER! BUT my all time favorite. Time magazine must have recent to her birth ran an article, so we frequently got Q: did you know by the year blah blah blah redheads will be extinct? A: really, well don't look to us to repopulate them we done! Good to know my daughter's expiration date though thanks!

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  149. I don't have red hair. In fact, I'm not even Caucasian. I'm a full-blooded Indian girl with hair that curls in perfect spirals. It's rare to see curly Indian hair that isn't frizzy. Indians women are known worldwide for beautiful straight and shiny hair. My dad's hair is straight, as is my sister's. My mom has curly hair despite my maternal aunts and female cousins having straight hair. My maternal uncles and male cousins having curly hair. What I have always heard is one of the following (even when standing next to my curly-haired mother): 1) Where did she get that hair? ; 2) How much did you pay for that perm? ; 3) How much time did you spend curling your hair today? I started giving responses like these: It's a gift! (insert "from Mom" or "from God" depending on how snarky I was feeling) ; It was free! ; Oh this hairstyle? It's a rinse and wear deal.
    I've even had someone else respond for me: I went to have my hair cut and the stylist's coworker said "O h! I love that perm!" The stylist responded "Do you really like it? It's the new 5 minute perm!" Her coworker stopped sweeping the floor and asked her where she learned that from as the stylist winked at me in the reflection of the mirror. She then handed me a bag full of products for my hair on my way out as payment for a good laugh!

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  150. I can relate...try being 5' tall with a mom who's 5'11", and 2 brothers that are 6'7" I can't tell you how many times I've been asked, in all seriousness, if I was adopted :( I have been known to simply say "yes" and turn around and walk away...hoping they feel like a jackass

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  151. Ha! I can relate. I'm a natural redhead, my dad is a redhead (as are five of his brothers and sisters), and my mom's hair is dark red. I always got "oh, where did you get that hair?!" Seriously? Look at my parents you idiots. Now I'm waiting for my daughter to get the same questions. My husband has black hair and if people are still as observant as they were when I was young, they'll ask where she got her pretty auburn hair. People infuriate me.

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  152. I can relate to this so much. I have red hair; my Mom and everyone else in my family has brown or black hair. When I was little, people would actually ask my mother if I were really her baby. We lived with my grandmother for a while, and the people on her block thought that I was a foster child that she'd taken in. And even as an adult I've had people come up to me and try to maul my hair. They honestly get surprised and insulted when I smack their hands away or yell at them to keep their hands to themselves. I have no idea why people react so stupidly to redheads.

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  153. My daughter has beautiful red hair. Her favorite reply is, "I had blond hair. My mom left me out in the rain and it rusted." lol

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  154. I am a redhead, so therefore I deal with people "petting", "playing", and asking "where oh where did you get that pretty red hair!?" I am 15 years old and I still get this treatment! I have finally came up with some responses for these nosy people. My personal favorite is "I was blonde, but my parents left me out in the rain and my hair rusted." But despite the rude, nosy, questioning people, I love my red hair! Go redheads!

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  155. What is the deal? I'm blond and blue and so was my husband. Somehow, this made us brother and sister. Hie's 7 years older than I am! Oh, well. I just thought it funny.
    I have seen every combo of people. I grew up in different countries and was in the service where mixed-race is becoming more common. But this is strangest: my younger neighbors have had 3 kids in three years. Nope, not giving up until a boy arrives. The woman appears blond, like me sans the greying and the man appears to have brown hair. The two girls have red-auburn-ish hair, which I never mentioned in interacting (great family), but I saw the little boy walking for the first time outside and I asked the man what color his hair as it was getting dark outside, just to make short conversation.."Is his hair auburn?" and he got angry! "No, he's BLOND!." " Oh, oh yeah," (whatever you say.) Well, I saw him several times since then and that little boy's hair is just like his sisters. So, why the anger and denial? Their hair will change even more before they're grown. Like I said, I've seen almost every combo but this is the biggest case of denial I've ever encountered, and normally they are pretty reasonable people. I don't think there's anything wrong with having red/ brown/chestnut curly hair...why are they so upset?

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  156. I have 2 bright redheads and deal with this ALL THE TIME. I recently wrote a post about it too - http://ambertackles.com/motherhood-misconceptions/

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