There’s a scene in Adam Sandler’s “Big Daddy” when he discovers that he’s allowed his kid to become “the smelly kid in class.” He rants and raves like only Adam Sandler can and takes the necessary steps to ensure it never happens again. Today I had my own “Big Daddy”-esque revelation when I dropped Olivia off at school. In honor of Valentine’s Day and to raise money for the American Heart Association, anyone could wear a red accessory if they donated a $1. All the other girls had these lovely, presentable coifs adorned with a bright candy apple red accessory. Olivia strolls in with two Swiss Miss Girl-like braids – if the Swiss Miss girl had put a little Bailey’s inside her hot cocoa – and two red bows holding on for dear life at the ends. Half of her hair is in her face and the part is so uneven that it looks like I did her hair in the dark. That’s when it hit me: I’ve allowed Olivia to become the disheveled girl in class. I was the conductor of the hot mess express and Olivia was along for the ride.
The blame isn’t entirely on me. There are forces working against us that culminate into the perfect storm of unkempt hairdos. Wild hair don’t care? Except now maybe I need to? First, let’s take a look at the hard facts.
Issue 1: Fine, thin hair. I bequeathed Olivia my hair texture, which is not a good thing. Baby fine, wispy, and while it lays flat and straight without any extensive blow drying or product, it is extremely difficult to do anything but lay flat and straight. During my wedding hair trial even my stylist tried to talk me out of wearing my hair down and curled because my hair felt like that much of a lost cause. Olivia’s is exactly the same way. So right out of the gate, the odds are stacked against us. She may look like her dad, but the genes for thick, luscious Italian hair passed right on by her.
Issue 2: Toddler Defiance. She doesn’t want her hair to be touched. Ever. There are times when I’ve sent her into school with a rat’s nest the size of a golf ball in the back of her head because to try to comb it out while she wails like a Howler Monkey in our echoey bathroom isn’t worth the headache. When I do try, I use an insane amount of detangler on her hair and brush ever so gently but she screams nonetheless. Once as an experiment, I stood behind her in the mirror and pretended to brush her hair and she screamed as soon as she saw my hand moving EVEN THOUGH IT DIDN’T TOUCH A SINGLE HAIR ON THAT ROUND HEAD. You can’t comb the hair of a crazy person. You just can’t. Unless you’re my husband and then she’s more than happy to sit still.
Issue 3: Mom’s own inadequacy in the hair department. I considered putting this as a sub-issue under #1. Due to the difficulties with my hair, I never really learned to do much with it besides curl it. Okay, there were those instances in 7th grade (and again my sophomore year of college…don’t ask) where I was growing my bangs out and had some sweet clips from Claire’s strategically positioned on my noggin that required a little technical skill. But I never learned how to french braid or properly part hair or do anything even remotely close to what you see on Pinterest. So even if Olivia wanted her hair to be done, I don’t even think that I could.
How does one overcome such insurmountable odds? Well, you could work on establishing a basic hair routine and I could spend my free time watching YouTube hair tutorials but instead I’ve decided to make peace with all this. While I was momentarily aghast this morning, I’ve come to terms that for now Olivia’s hair will be a manifestation of her personality: wild, unruly, and giving zero f***s about what people might think. I’ve been trying not to sweat the small stuff and part of the small stuff is this clean, yet tangled, mess that sits atop my daughter’s head. So for now I am going to relish this time when she doesn’t come to me with these elaborate requests for twin french braids, or a fish-tail braid, or a flower crown braid. For now, putting a bow in her uncombed hair is going to be her signature look. Until crazy hair day when we will finally have our chance to shine.