Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Big To "Do" About Hair

I want the world to love my daughter. I want them to see her and know that she is loved. I want them to know she has value and is priceless. I want them to know that she is worth the time it takes to fix her hair, create a nest for her in a shopping cart, and pluck a flower so she can smell its fragrant bloom. She is worth all of that and more. Sometimes my need to make sure the world knows she is loved, valued, and worth the effort creates a power struggle between us.

This struggle usually rears its ugly head when I'm trying to tame her wavy, champagne, mane. I was not a child that enjoyed giving my dolly an "up-do" and I most certainly did NOT cut their hair…EVER!!! Just the mere mention of such a naughty action would make me anxious and, if pushed, I would cry for my mom to come back me up. Hair is not my thing. Then I had a daughter….

My little mohawk baby!!
When she was born the first thing I said was, "Aww, you have hair!" (yes, that was the first thing I noticed) I didn't want her to be a bald baby. I wanted to put headbands, flowers, and bows on top of her tiny tendrils of hair. I was not disappointed…she had hair…but it looked more like a mini mohawk for quite sometime. Add in a double crown/cowlick and there was no baby hair bow that could tame those locks. So I waited…

Christmas 2011, her curls were really starting to show.
I was sure they would straighten out.
By the time she was about 18 months, I had to start pulling her hair out of her face, but it was a struggle. She hated her hair being brushed. Her low tone and poor head control turned her into a bobble head doll and made "doing" her hair an olympic event (I often employed wrestling holds while "doing" her hair). We thought some of her behavior could be because she had some sensory processing issues, but since she is non-verbal we could never be sure. Most of the time she won the battles. If I could get the top part pulled back and in a clip in under a minute that was a real feat with minimal fuss. Anything more complex and I risked releasing the Kracken.

Oct 2012: The curls I thought would straighten out stayed.
Little did I know that I actually birthed Rapunzel! Her hair is ridiculous…gorgeous, but ridiculous! It is so long and wavy. I swear it has a mind of its own and goes every which way conceivable. When wet, the longest strands are below the top of her tiny butt. Rae has Farrah Fawcett hair! But she still hates having it brushed or pulled up. I started resorting to bribery, "Here Rae, have a bite of chocolate. Don't mind what I'm doing behind you. Just eat your chocolate and watch Little Einsteins." But usually she'd catch on and the Kracken was released…again.

(what a difference a year makes!)

Imagine my surprise when she allowed me to do her hair every day for the first two weeks of school (not the full two weeks, but close enough). I was stoked! I took pictures!  (disclaimer: I am not very adept at hair so these do's below made me quite proud of myself) I was on fire! Then it back fired and blew up in my face. We started battling again. I released the Kracken and proceeded to loose my mind. We had to have a cooling off period for about 10 minutes (7 of those were spent calming the Kracken). Our solution to these battles is to no longer fight over hair. If I get it up before school so be it. If not, they will take care of it when she arrives (they graciously offered). Works for me!

So what does her hair have to do with people loving her and placing value on her?

I feel that if I am not willing to invest the time to make her presentable (do her hair), show she is well cared for and loved greatly then the world will perceive that I place less value on her. I feel this would give them permission to view her as less than a "typical" child instead of who she is…a little girl (with a fierce lion mane and striking blue eyes). A little girl that thinks crying is amusing and physical comedy is deserving of belly laughs. A little girl that likes the color pink and loves watching Princess Sofia learn how to be a compassionate princess. A little girl that says more with one look than some children can actually say. A little girl that LOVES chocolate and hates her medicine. A little girl….period.

If you value someone they are worth the effort. If you love someone they are worth the extra hassle. Every day we have to overcome little (or big) battles like this one. Sometimes it is between the two of us. Sometimes it is between me and a third party. Sometimes I am battling myself (always a lose lose situation). I want the world to love my daughter. I want them to see her value. I want them to know she is worth it and she deserves every frustrating (and rewarding) moment that life gives us. Why? Because I love her and she IS worth it.

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