brushing of the hair

by ck on August 26, 2013

My dearest child,

I love the way you pad down the steps at exactly 7:00a.m. and hug your hellos in that hazy, croaky voice. I love chatting with you over breakfast when it’s just us. And more than any other part of our morning routine, I love doing your hair.

I love the complex designs you dream up and expect me to weave into your tresses like a counted cross-stitch pattern, minus the actual template. I love the way you thrash your head about, trying to avoid the death rays of the hairdryer. I love the challenge of not ripping your bangs out by the roots while attempting to blowdry them into submission.

I love the accusations you and that diva skull of yours sling at me before the brush even makes contact, all the while not doing the one thing I’ve asked of you. Can’t you scream child-like obscenities while keeping your head straight? And FYI? Those are not tangles. Your hair is barely even wavy. Do you see me crying when you barge into what little privacy I ask for and find me attending to my tangles? No…not Tangled the movie. Yes, I still get a little weepy at the end of that one, but her parents hadn’t seen her in 18 years and—HEY. I don’t have to justify myself to you. But no…I don’t cry at all movies. Just the ones with decent scripts and happy endings, and lest we forget, you cried at the end of E.T., too.

I’ve labored over your locks for nigh over six years. I’ve gone from brush to comb and back at your request. I’ve invested in a cornucopia of fruity deganglers and employed their mist at even the hint of discomfort. I’ve adjusted speed, technique, and duration, thus elevating our venture to a whole new level of “gentle.” I have ornamented you at your behest, practically guaranting you admiration and praise wherever we go as long as other women were present. Doesn’t that buy me some trust? Because no, I’m not trying to rip all of your hair out so that you’ll look like E.T., which isn’t even possible, BTW. Even if I succeeded in this alleged evil, your legs are far too long and your fingers don’t glow. If I wanted you bald I’d just say yes the next time you asked me to chew gum in bed.

Most sincerely,





Faith September 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

To this day I am haunted by the thought of my mother brushing my hair. The brush might have well have been a dagger and my hair the victim!!! It’s amazing I still love my mother ;) but my mom wouldn’t cut my 5 foot long hair and she would just pull through the tangles! I could cry thinking of it now….oh the horror!

Babs September 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Faith, I am right there with you. baaad memories. It used to be a sport for my brothers to gather around while my mom brushed out my hair every morning trying to turn my red fro into shirley Temple locks.

Sara September 28, 2011 at 7:41 am

Oh, how I love this! I can relate so much. Daddy has taken over most hair care duties in the evening, including blow drying. He’s gentler.
Sara´s last blog post ..12 in 12: Vampire Diary Protector

Launa September 28, 2011 at 8:25 am

I will be the hardass here and tel you the truth: cut her hair. The preppy handbook said it best: “keep her hair short until she’s 10 and can take care of it herself.”. Very funny piece, but still, cut it. Think “pixie” or “gamine,”

Amber September 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Haha! I was horrible with my own mother and getting my hair done, I would cry before she even put the brush or comb near my sensitive head. I guess that’s why I am compassionate (read: lazy) with my own daughter’s hair.
Amber´s last blog post ..Surviving “Survival Mode”

Kate September 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Oh, I could send this to my six year old. Except she doesn’t care about ornamentation and is terrified of the hair dryer. So I give up. Curls it is. Wild is our middle name. She’ll get all fancy someday. Like I tried to. Until then, we’ll keep those screams for important things, like cutting finger nails.
Kate´s last blog post ..Parenting confessions

Tiffany September 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Olivia is wonderful about getting her hair done, thank God! I was a beast which is why I had a hideous boy haircut until I was 13.
Tiffany´s last blog post ..Cooking Up Some Love

Kelly September 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

And this is why I cut off all of Bella’s hair. When she can brush it herself, she’s more than welcome to grow out her lustrous tresses.
Kelly´s last blog post ..Rising

Gigi September 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Check. Another reason I’m glad I’ve got a boy. I never had to do anyone’s hair but my own!
Gigi´s last blog post ..Flummoxed….or if GMAC is looking for a spokesperson, I’m available…

TheKitchenWitch September 29, 2011 at 11:03 am

The hair ordeal! Argh! It’s so painful!
TheKitchenWitch´s last blog post ..Smoky Creamed Corn with Green Chiles

Naptimewriting September 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Ugh with the hair. The washing and screaming. The combing and screaming. The conditioning and screaming. The brushing and screaming. We’re we’re talking a long-haired boy who gets it washed once a week and brushed twice a week. Big damned deal! My word the drama, the pain, the tears, the obscenities. Lately I’ve just been doing hair while humming an eff-you song I made up for the occasion. Because I’ve tried gentle and slow and understanding and it doesn’t work.

Anyone who doesn’t cry at the end of ET is not human. End. Of. Story.
Naptimewriting´s last blog post ..We now interrupt your regularly scheduled…

MsBurns September 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I would kill for someone to do my hair every morning. So i’m game to come over whenever if you want someone who will sit willingly.

And I rocked some awesome hair styles courtesy of my mom’s imagination, so I can pull off a lot.

jessica September 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I’ve had short hair most of my life and have almost no idea how to do pretty little girl hair. I also have a drama mama who acts as though detangling is actually decapitation. I fantasize about shaving her head in her sleep….
jessica´s last blog post ..Thankful Thursdays

Casey September 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

I’m actually jealous that you get to touch your daughter’s hair. Elliot won’t even let me brush hers, let alone put it up in any way shape or form. We are raising Linda Blair.
Casey´s last blog post ..Splat Mountain

Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri October 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Oh, the hair. So many battles.
Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri´s last blog post ..Revisiting A Classic

Stacia October 7, 2011 at 10:55 am

So how bad is it that I have tried to blow-dry my daughter’s hair exactly one time? … And that was enough for both of us.
Stacia´s last blog post ..Haiku Friday

faemom October 10, 2011 at 2:34 am

Kids today! Remember when your mom brushed her hair as she yelled at your brothers and you were sure you’d lose your hair this time but you don’t say a word because some how having tangled hair is your fault for playing like the kid you are? Oh, wait that might just be me. And my boys complain. You’re boys! You have hardly any hair and not one tangle; get over it.
faemom´s last blog post ..Recap 10/7

amanda October 19, 2011 at 12:20 am

Wow, you blow dry her hair?! That some serious devotion to those tresses!

I was complaining a year ago to the Irish Dad of my daughter’s BFF. He suggested going old skool and braiding the wet hair before bed- works like a (lucky) charm.

amanda October 19, 2011 at 9:34 am

For some reason I was thinking more about this while walking my dog this AM…

The other thing that really helped was changing her shampoo. Because I also have a younger child, I’d still been using kid shampoo on her hair even though she is 7 yr old. When she stayed with my parents for a couple of weeks this summer, my mom used Pantene (shampoo and conditioner) which has made a huge difference. You need the heavy duty conditioner though, not the ‘classic’ formula.

ck October 20, 2011 at 4:47 am

What a great idea, thank you! I’ll definitely try that. (Though the idea of no longer buying kiddie shampoo makes me feel strangely sad…)

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