So it was rather a relief to me when the kids' infectious disease doctor told me shortly after we brought the kids home that I should not attempt to style the kids' hair (or even cut it) until after we'd rid them of their head fungus issues (to protect the hair from breakage, etc). You can imagine how silly I felt when, upon hearing the news two weeks ago that they were fungus free, my first reaction was something less than joyful. My instantaneous reaction was "shoot, no, now I have to figure out what to do with Lizzie's hair." I'm a horrid mother, I know...believe me, I've raked myself over the coals for that reaction. Any 'normal' mother would have rejoiced at the news that the head fungus was gone...but oh no, not this one...I'm a little demented.
But onwards and upwards right? And I'm never one to shrink back from a fear or a challenge...at least, not for long. The day after getting the 'all clear,' I phoned the hair stylist that I wanted to cut my younger kids' hair, and she booked us in for last Friday.
I was wondering how the first Canadian haircuts would go for the kids, given their past experiences of having their heads shaved, in the orphanage and in our agency's transition house. Indeed, when I told the kids what we would be doing that day, Seth immediately said "no bzzzzz" while running an imaginary razor over the top of his head. I assured him right away that he was not going to have his head shaved, and told him that the stylist would take only a little bit off of the top of his head, to clear away the frizzy, dead ends of his hair. After that he was ok...and with his being ok, Lizzie was ok, too.
It turns out that I needn't have worried. The woman who cut their hair was fantastic with them: she sat down and talked to them for a few minutes first; learned their names and used them; and told them exactly what she would do to their hair. By the time she led them to the sink to wash their hair, they were practically eating out of her hand.
Seth (left) and then Lizzie, getting their hair washed. I'm not sure if you tell by Lizzie's face how thrilled she was to be having her hair washed, but she totally was. That girl loves anything to do with having attention paid to her, whether it be cuddling, having her body rubbed with lotion, or having her hair washed/combed.
The stylist even put some "simple" (to anyone but me, perhaps) comb twists in Lizzie's hair...largely, she said, to show me a bit about how to handle her hair. Though the twists were very loose and didn't last until the next morning, she was so cute while she had them in!
Yesterday, all of the sudden, while I was reading to the kids in our little library, I had this crazy thought that I wanted to try something with Lizzie's hair....just try. I don't know what possessed me, and I knew I'd be dismal at it, but before I could talk myself out of it, I grabbed her, ran upstairs with my giggling little munchkin, plunked her onto the bathroom counter, and started wetting her hair (which I'd heard was a prerequisite for any style). It took me 35 minute, darn it, but I put 28 little pony tails into Lizzie's hair. Both boys watched every move I made, and Matthew kept telling me that I looked hilarious because my face made all sorts of contortions as I fiddled with the comb and those tiny black elastic bands that are no larger than the size of my pinkie fingernail. Every moment, every movement, felt awkward and embarrassing (because I want to do Lizzie justice) and uncomfortable. But I finished her whole head of hair, and decided that I would simply be proud of my first ever attempt to 'do' my daughter's hair. Here she is in all of my amateurish glory - despite my clumsiness, isn't she adorable anyway??!!