Archive of ‘Life in Girl Land’ category

Wanted: A Professional Stylist for My Toddler.

I have never been particularly good at doing hair. I first discovered my lack while attempting to roll my mall bangs upwards in high school. The grunge period of the early 90s was a relief—all I had to do was let it lie limp—but when I later cut it into a pixie, I realized I wasn’t even particularly good at the art of purposeful mussing.

Then I discovered the bob and my life in the hairstyling lane became smooth sailing. Wash it, blow dry with a round brush, flat iron the heck out of it and you’re done. Even I can manage that.

But now I’ve got a daughter. A daughter whose hair is at a length where it needs actual styling. And my skills with a brush? Have not improved with time.

Nevertheless, I have begun to inflict my styling  skills on her, trapping her squirming body between my knees as I wrestle her hair into pig tails ( lordy how I love me a little girl in pig tails).

Have you ever noticed how awkward looping a hair band around somebody else’s head is?  My hands, which knot mine back without thinking, suddenly become thick and clumsy—seeming too big to handle the tiny little circle. I almost never manage it without tangling some strands between the loops, eliciting an “owww, mommy!” from her in the process.

Generally speaking, it takes two or three (or ten) tries to get it somewhat presentable. And even so, the pigtails are usually crooked, with one ending up somewhere near the top  of her head and the other hanging limply at the side. Even her part zigzags.

This was taken on a fairly good day (and I’d still get laughed off Toddlers and Tiaras):

Her gorgeous pigtails

I’ve been cutting myself a lot of slack, though. I mean, after all, she’s a toddler. Which means she refuses to sit still for longer than five seconds. Of course her hair is messy—it’s practically the law.


Until she came home from daycare with perfect hair. Bangs neatly brushed. Hair parted down the middle. Pigtails even and smooth—with nary a lump or bump in sight. I’d like to believe that a professional hair stylist came and gave the kids makeovers today (which would explain her green-speckled face), but I think her teacher took pity on her.

It appears that her chronically messy hair is not actually the result of her squirming, but only my lack of coordination.

So I have two choices. Get rich enough to hire her her own personal stylist before elementary school rolls around or somehow acquire some hairstyling skills.

Does anybody have a winning lottery ticket they’d like to give away?

Oh, How Times Have Changed.

This weekend, one of my best friends in the whole world came to visit for a Girls’ Weekend.

In the old days, a visit like this one might have become a spur-of-the-moment trip to Chicago. Certainly it would have included a long afternoon spent convincing each other to buy things we didn’t need, followed by an evening of booze-fueled conversation.

And the next morning? Would have found us sleeping till noon before heading out for a greasy breakfast (the best hangover cure I know).

Yeah, that was then. And now?

Well, on Friday, our hello hug was cut short by my embarrassed realization that I was covered in baby vomit.

The evening that followed consisted of me running up the stairs to check Tori’s temperature, running back down to ask if I should put a blanket on her/open her window/wake her up to give her more Tylenol/call the doctor before dashing back up to continue to stare at her with a worried frown.

We did have an adventure the next day. We went to see a movie. In the theater. The first I’d seen in that environment since, well, Tori was born. And we shopped, too. For a little while. At Target.

But I yawned all the way through the film, and was too worried about the babe to even look at clothes.

And yesterday? We went on an actual road trip. To a town a whole 45 minutes away. With the baby in the back, the hub in the driver’s seat and a stroller in tow.

It was a great day. A wonderful visit. A weekend full of laughter and fun. An awesome Girls’ Weekend, to be sure.

But the me of five years ago? Is still wordlessly shaking her head at me, wondering what on earth happened to the Amber she knew.

Hey Buddy, My Eyes Are Up Here!

At work, I’m surrounded by talk of boobs. There’s the maternity campaign I’m working on. And the breast cancer campaign. And the girl who just had a boob job. And the myriad of crass boob jokes that go along with working in an ad agency.

Even so, I’m generally not all that aware of my own. Boobs, that is. Since having Tori they’ve become utilitarian things. Utilitarian things that require a lot of under wire and gravity defying support devices to look like even a shadow of their former selves.

Which is why, when the guy behind the counter at the sandwich shop took my order while ogling my chest, I became instantaneously paranoid.

Did I have a button undone?

Had I forgotten to put on a bra?

Was there some weird stain on my chest?

Was I having a freakish moment of out-of-nowhere lactation?

A quick look down assured me that no, none of these things was taking place. And still the guy stared.

What in God’s name was he looking at? Had I sprouted a third nipple?

Somehow, I stammered out the rest of my order, face flushing beet red.  As my arms crossed protectively over my chest, he finally looked up – and had the good grace to look mildly ashamed of himself.

But not enough to keep his gaze at eye level.

Finally, I turned away, pretending to stare with intense fascination at the freezer case full of hams. So intense, in fact, that the guy had to ask me three times if I needed anything else before I heard him.

I mutely shook my head no, arms still clamped across my boobs. And at that point, the universe decided to have mercy on me. Mr. Ogleton headed to the back, leaving another, much less disconcerting employee to ring me up.

It was only later, when I was driving back to the office, that it occurred to me I should be flattered. Someone not required by law to find me attractive had clearly found my chest at least a little bit impressive.

I’m going to go ahead and take that as a compliment…and as an excuse to splurge on Victoria’s Secret bras more often.

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