When my daughter, Miss E., was just a tiny thing of two months old, the top portion of her hair fell out. Every morning when I would
stumble bounce into her room, I would find more pieces of dark brown hair strewn all over her crib sheets.
For a mama who had visions of thick hair and large bows (and who happened to be just a tiny bit sleep deprived), such discoveries in the morning were a bit much.
The husband and I contemplated shaving her sweet little head because she was starting to resemble a balding man with hair only growing on the sides. Fortunately we held off on that decision and were pleasantly surprised when hair began filling in on Miss E.’s crown once again.
Two years later and Miss E. is still attempting to grow that hair. Although her baldy days are far behind us, we are still waiting for patches of her hair to catch up with their fellow follicles.
Even in her toddler state, Miss E. has a bit of a love/hate relationship with her hair. She comes by it naturally as her mother has found herself in the same boat many a day. Upon waking, one of the first commands out of E.’s mouth are “I need my bow” as she uses a pudgy hand to push the stray hair from her eyes. Her bedhead is a sight to behold, with long strands of it masking her face while the back portion sticks straight up.
I can pretty much guarantee her that she will never be a “wash and go” type gal, with easily manageable hair that can simply be combed and look fabulous for the day (Her father just groaned over that sentiment, as it means one day he will be sitting around waiting on two people to fix their hair before anyone can leave the house).
Often times, I will grab E.’s hair into a bunch, slap a bow in it, and let her find her spot at the breakfast table. After the standard whole wheat waffle and yogurt have been consumed (yes, she has eaten the same breakfast every morning since the beginning of time. Yes, we keep Stonyfield Farms in business), she gets dressed and enters the bathroom to have THE HAIR tamed.
The hair styling process is relatively simple. I ask E. if she would like one bow or two and occasionally let her choose the color. Then I hand her an empty medicine cup, turn the sink on low and get to work.
I begin the process by wetting the hair and then attempting to undo the bird’s nest that she apparently works so hard on for eight hours a night to achieve on the back of her head. Then I pull out a little product (she likely is the only kid at preschool sporting name brand product in her hair…but it works, people) and the torture brush.
I then get to work attempting to coax surly hair strands into some sort of order while trying to convince E. that this is the MOST. Fun. Ever. I silently groan over the fact that the left side of her hair wants to flip out (just like her mama’s) while the right side obediently goes in the correct direction. After a brief session with the brush of torture, I fix the bows and send a bouncy little girl out the door.
Tuesday morning as we were nearing the end of this process, E. looked up and examined herself in the mirror. I watched her study her own reflection carefully, eyeing the girl that stared back. As I was putting the finishing touches on the requested hairstyle of pigtails that morning, I watched that studious expression turn positively gleeful as my little girl exclaimed, “Oh Mommy, I have long hair now!”
Welcome to the maddening world of hair, little girl. There will be days when it looks so radiant (such as Tuesday as it was held back in perky red bows) that it will cause you to smile every time you glimpse your reflection in a passing mirror. There will be other days when you will wonder why it is not straight or curly or long or short or blonder or darker. Then there will be those dark days when I most likely will convince you to take on some hairstyle, claiming it suites your face shape. Those will likely be very dark days, as you silently curse the hairstyle your mother forced upon you.
For now, simply enjoy those pigtails, baby girl. You wear them so well.