Dear Annie: Is mom being overprotective or reasonably cautious?
Dear Annie: I am a single mom with two boys, ages 4 and 7. We recently took a trip out to Chicago to visit my parents. Our flight was delayed by over an hour. My 7-year-old asked whether he could go into the men’s bathroom alone. I said no and decided that the three of us should stay together while at a busy airport. I took him into the ladies’ room with me. As I directed him to go into a stall and I held my 4-year-old’s hand, a woman said, “You know, he really is too old to be in a ladies’ room.” I explained that I didn’t want him to be alone in a large public place; all it takes is one creep. Afterward, though, I began doubting myself. Was she right? Did I do the right thing? When is a child old enough to go to the bathroom alone in a public place? — Cautious Mom
Dear Mom: You made the best decision for your family. And frankly, I would have done the same thing. If anything had happened to your son while he was unattended in the men’s room, you never would have forgiven yourself. We must look out for and support our fellow mothers, not make them doubt themselves or feel uncomfortable about their decisions. You did the right thing.
Dear Annie: I have read your column for a long time but have never written to you before. I had to respond both to “Crybaby” and to the advice you gave her. Until recently, I was just like “Crybaby.” I thought that crying for a positive or negative reason was just how I responded and it was just who I was. My parents said I was a very sensitive and compassionate child, and I thought it “normal” to cry about many circumstances.
I lived with these emotions until I was thoroughly checked out with bloodwork. The cause was hormonal, and once the hormones were balanced, the emotions were also balanced. I could actually see people crying and listen to what they were saying without crying myself. It was freedom I never thought I could have.
“Crybaby” should make sure her vitamins, supplements and hormones are balanced. Lack of sleep and stress deplete many important nutrients in our system. Also, behavior modification will not help “Crybaby” if it is hormonal or nutrient deprivation. A thorough blood analysis will show whatever deficiency she may have.
It is nice to know that there is a “Crybaby” out there who would understand what I faced for about 40 years. — Drier My Eyes
Dear Drier: For anyone experiencing possible nutrient deficiencies or hormonal imbalance, bloodwork is a wise step, and I appreciate your raising the point. I’m sure “Crybaby” will be happy to hear she’s not alone, too.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.