Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hair Battles

The three-year-old is more afraid of the hair brush than the monster living beneath her bed.  Without fail, she will run screaming from the room once she spies the round bristle brush.  One might assume that it was used as an instrument of torture, rather than a styling device.

As a result I dutifully keep her hair well trimmed, in a style I like to call "Mission Hipster meets Toddler".  Her fine hair is as straight as the persona Tom Cruise would like the public to believe, yet still manages to tangle itself into a mess every night.  The front is kept slightly longer than the back, which gets shaved with the electric razor each time the duck tail grows back, and her bangs waiver between one and two inches long.
The black eye adorning her round face is courtesy of her sister and a board book.
When she is properly groomed her hair needs nothing more than twice weekly washings and a gentle comb through with my fingers while reading bedtime stories.  During the "in-between cuts" times, she awakens each morning with her hair sticking up like the mane of a lion.  On those days you will find me chasing her around the hallway with a spray bottle of leave in conditioner in one hand and a boar bristle brush in the other. The pursuit usually ends in a head of half-brushed hair and the three-year-old wailing, "No Mommy! You are not my favorite!"

The five-year-old is only moderately less terrified of the styling tool.  However, her tresses are much more problematic.  She is now of the age where she demands strict control over the length and cut of her hair. 
On the bright side, she is now old enough to occasionally reason with.  After years of her waging war against me and the hairbrush, we can come to a compromise- if she wants to keep her long locks, she must let me brush them at least once a day.  Unfortunately, this doesn't prevent her from whining the entire three minutes it takes me to do so.  While I have tried many magic solutions suggested to be by friends over the years (is it just me, or does the Hair Genie look like a female sex toy?), nothing has really proven to be the miracle cure for mothers of daughters with messy hair. 

Before my own children began howling every time a comb or brush appeared, I always assumed that the high rate of sex-selection in China was due to a male-dominated, chauvinistic society that values penises over vaginas.  Now, however, I have a different theory: the Chinese just don't want to deal with the hair battles.

2 comments:

  1. "You are not my favorite!" Classic. As my toddler has a big afro that elicits many tears as we battle it, I feel you, Mama.

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