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9to5to9: No polka dots tonight, dear, I have a head ache

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published Feb. 14, 2008, thehive.modbee.com

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about trying to get two octopuses – or is that octopi? – dressed in the morning, the Swedes have come up with another complication.

First, I learned to avoid solid red or blue – gang colors.

Then I learned to make sure their clothes were comparable, if not identical, because heaven help me if one is wearing a Lightning McQueen shirt and the other isn’t.

But now, apparently, I need to shun stripes and polka dots, too. It seems those patterns could give their teachers migraines – as if the guys’ presence alone weren’t enough to trigger massive headaches.

That’s the latest word from Sweden, where a preschool has banned children from wearing stripes and dots after a teacher said such clothing was making her sick. Hey, I don’t blame her. I felt a little ill the other day when Big Guy walked out the door in burgundy pants and an orange shirt.

And now I’m feeling guilty. The guys both wore striped shirts this morning – red and blue, because I wanted to hedge my bets. I had no idea the cruelty I was inflicting on a day when I’m sure their teachers had their hands full with kids jacked up on Valentine cookies and candy.

I think I’ll have to drown my sorrows in the guys’ confiscated Reese’s. There are times when having a peanut-allergic kid comes in handy.

Apparently there’s medical evidence supporting the stripes ban.

According to an article in “The Local,” the Swedish Web site that first reported the story, migraine specialist Professor Carl Dahlöf said it’s possible for stripes to cause migraines.

“It’s true that certain people are very sensitive to different visual patterns. Some are so sensitive that even striped shirts and paving stones set in patterns can cause a migraine,” he said.

He’s never heard of a problem with polka dots, though.

And while Swedish preschools might be drab when it comes to apparel, at least they teach the tots activism.

The Local reported last spring that kids in another part of the country took to the streets to protest dog poo, placing tiny cards in the middle of every pile they found in their city.

A teacher who took a tumble after stepping in a pile inspired their marches. “An old woman could slip on a piece of dog poo and break her leg,” one card lectured.

Let’s see: Kids sticking hands in piles of poop, good. Kids wearing polka dots, bad.

And other countries think Americans are strange?

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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