Seems I missed the memo that notified all parents that six years of age is now the new teenage. I was pretty sure I had at least half a dozen years left before the troublesome teens hit my firstborn. Yet the oh-so-lovely phase she is going through right now, clearly is telling me to wake up and smell the tears and whines over an outfit or look gone all wrong!
Six-year-old K’s latest obsession is growing her tresses long … so long that they reach her shoulders one day, touch her back the next and by day three, voila!, there are at her hips. So she will repeatedly check the length as she passes any mirror and also keep comparing her beautiful locks with every style she sees in magazines and on television. I must consider myself lucky that till about age five I managed to keep my maintenance woes low by regularly ensuring she had a ‘cute summer cut’. So whether it was summer or winter, it was also just a quick brush and out the door.
Initially I would just quietly watch as she combed and brushed and measured. The trouble began when she decided on one occasion after another that her hair was a mess and she just couldn’t leave home with us for an outing. It would start with a simple discussion on how she wanted to tie her hair – a pigtail, two pigtails, just a hairband, etc etc.Slowly this would deteriorate into some whining from her side, yelling from my side, tears from her side and finally both sides just giving up and walking away in different directions!
Then one day I came home from work to hear that she bunked her favourite dance class and she confessed that her hair just wasnt good enough. Enough is enough, I thought. I am not ready for this. Why are all those precious years before her teens being stolen from me?! I demand that my innocent six-year-old with no sense of self-identity and self-esteem back!
So I sat her down and gently explained that there will be days once in a while and more often as she grows up where her beautiful face and beautiful tresses will just be at loggerheads with each other. And each time we can’t run away from what we really want to do. So… we just need to declare it a ‘Bad Hair Day’ and move on. Tell people you are having a bad hair day, I suggested. They will understand. She stared at me grimly as tough my peace offering was sounding way too easy. Almost sounded as though Momma hadn’t put any effort into this one. But she politely nodded in agreement.
Couple of days later, as I walking in through the door, she came running to me.
“Momma, today ALSO I had a bad hair day! It just wouldn’t listen to me so I let it be.”
Atta girl! Give it back to that teen inside trying to fast forward life.