Monday, January 30, 2012


I always wanted to be the type of mother who didn't obsess or fret about her daughter (or son's) hair. I wanted to be free and open and accepting. I wanted my theoretical wild children to feel loved and appreciated no matter what kind of hair they had.

Is there a daughter alive that escaped having hair power struggles with her mother? If so, I would like to meet you and your mother. I have, so far, been able to live up to my high ideals of not forcing Sadie to sit while I put her hair in bows or try to straighten her hair or make it look "perfect." I won't do that to her. Ever.

But, the fact is that Sadie has a lot of hair and it's curly. It's curly like Sarah Jessica Parker curly and in the morning it's sort of more like Richard Simmons.

Frankly, I don't always know what to do with it so that she can see out from behind her mane.
She didn't really enjoy the headband I tried to get her curly bangs out of her face. That lasted just long enough to snap the picture, then she threw it down the stairs with a satisfied guffaw.

Sometimes, I just follow her (ok, I chase) her as she moves around the house and try to get some of it up and out of the way. A little bun. What could be cuter?
Today we had a new development: when I was not willing to share my lipstick with Sadie, she decided she would use a glue stick instead. (How does she always outsmart me?) While she was engrossed in gluing pages of my lesson plan together, I tried a little pig tail number on her. I gotta say I thought it was pretty cute. Had she protested, I would have stopped, but she didn't and I got two rather symmetrical pigs tails on her head. The bigger problem is now I am drunk with power and possibilities. I think about what type of glue it would take to distract her long enough to let me French braid her hair. What about paste? Could that buy me enough time to diffuse her hair and put product in. It's really less about not liking her hair (at this point) than it is about playing. It was only 35 years ago that I was busy playing with dolls on a constant basis. And for me, "playing with dolls," meant brushing their hair and then brushing it some more.

Mostly, I try to remember that she's 2 and she has the rest of her life to fret about her hair and buy products and special brushes and tonics and gels. She has the rest of her life to have a relationship with her hair and I want to do my part to be sure it's a good one. She comes from a long line of hair haters: one of her grandmothers travels with a suitcase that carries ONLY hairbrushes. Granted, her hair is impeccable, but that's a lot of baggage. Literally and figuratively. One of her great grandmothers only used a very severe and sharp metal pick to coif her hair. She also had one of those old fashioned chairs with the hair dyer attached that we used to love to sit in when we went to her house. We thought it was a toy. Upon reflection, owning your own chair/hair dryer seems to suggest that there was a lot of energy, space and expense that went into hair. I don't want to contribute to Sadie going down that road.

But then again, is it really proper and loving for me to send her out into the world with her bed head?
Yes, there's the bed head in all it's glory. We haven't yet figured out a schedule where we wash her hair every morning. I am not sure we'll ever be able to pull that off. Until then, I am ambivalently unleashing the unruly, aggressive, and adorable tendrils.

They are sure to be a National Treasure.

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