I’m the first person who will tell you that I am parentally impaired. Like, honestly, there are days when I wonder who in the world thought it would be a good idea to put me in charge of the health and welfare of a very small human. I am one of the world’s most inappropriate people. I have a degree in Writing and yet I love the F-word more than almost any other word in the English language. I still think “Guess what?” “Chicken butt!” is one of the top five jokes in the history of Life. I have spent actual money on FarmVille cash. I honestly believe the four food groups are Sugar, Salt, Caffeine, and Booze.
But none of these are actually why I shouldn’t be allowed to be a parent to a little girl. Most of my parenting failures are related, in one way or another, to my complete and utter inability to do a damn thing with that kid’s hair.
I can’t even do my own hair, honestly, and my hair is about as basic as it comes: usually some shade of blonde, fine, stick-straight, a bit on the flat and greasy side. I don’t “do” my hair so much as tolerate it — like, my hair is strictly wash-and-wear. Shampoo and conditioner in the shower, comb it while I’m packing my lunch, make sure I have a rubber band in my pocket on my way out the door. Maybe twice a year I go in for some kind of color treatment, but it’s never anything fancy, except for that one time that I decided to go fire engine red and I hated it so much that I washed my hair with laundry detergent for a week until the color faded out. I cut it shorter than usual around Thanksgiving, and since then I’ve been chugging Miracle Gro, hoping that it would grow back faster so that I could put it back up into my standard ponytail.
My hair? Is totally boring.
But my daughter’s hair is nothing short of a force of nature. I love her hair, I am completely jealous of her hair, but I’ll be honest: she’s got hair the likes of which I have never seen outside of a Wookkiee. For serious, when she wakes up first thing in the morning, she tends to look like Chewbacca after a bender. It’s very intimidating — super curly and generally dry, and when we brush it out, she’s a good six inches taller. Some days I think her hair should have it’s own ZIP code. I would call it an Afro, sort of, but her hair really defies classification and containment. It’s … the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, really.
And also one of the most frustrating, because after we force her out of bed in the morning, explain to her yet again that her underwear goes inside her pants, find both shoes of the same pair and hey why are there nothing but left shoes in your closet and where did the rest of them go?, distribute the morning vitamins, change outfits again really quick because somehow in the last 30 seconds she managed to get jelly all over her jeans and we didn’t even get the jelly out of the refrigerator, handle a screaming fit because she doesn’t like to wear that shirt without her light up reindeer socks even though it is March, and brush her teeth?
Then we have to wrangle that hair, and that always ends up looking like a crime scene.
I mean, look, I know tangles suck. It hurts to comb them out. I get it, I really do. We do the best we can to make it as easy as possible–spray her hair down with water and leave-in conditioner, use good product on her hair when she gets a bath, get her haircuts regularly, use combs with wide detangling teeth, try not to rush through anything–but sweet cracker sandwiches, the SCREAMING. Every single time. Even before we touch her head. Wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments and good old-fashioned HOLLERING. Like, I am surprised that the cops haven’t been called on us already, because it’s just that bad.
And what am I supposed to do? I can’t be that parent, the one who sends her kid to school looking like a refugee from “Where The Wild Things Are” (more so than usual, anyway). It’s bad enough that I send the only little girl in the class out in public with no barrettes, braids, ribbons, bows, or headbands for at least three out of five days of the week. I know the other parents judge me for that already. They can already tell when I haven’t done laundry because she shows up in a dress.
But my goodness, that HAIR. My poor kid is stuck with me for a mother, and she’s going to end up with a bad hair LIFE.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.40momsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/rachelage2-a1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]About the Author
Rachel Gonzales (aka “rockle”) is a 40MomsClub.com regular Lifestyle contributor. She is the actual child in her profile picture, which was taken in 1976, so it probably goes without saying that mistakes were made. You can read more of her here on 40MomsClub, or on her blog, rockle-riffic. [/author_info][/author]