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):
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?