I really, really don't like Matthew's hair right now! Really. I'd post pictures if I could figure out how to get photos from my new cell phone onto my computer.
I may have mentioned before that in July, in anticipation of my brother's wedding, I had the boys' hair cut. Matthew was quite resistant, so he and I struck a deal: After that cut, I would not force him to cut his hair again until the next big special occasion. This wasn't a hard deal for me to make because, in fact, I decided years ago that I would choose not to make an issue out of hair. It's just hair. Sure it can look better cut well; sure it has an impact on people's impression of us... but it's still just hair and there are bigger battles to take on.
Well, those sentiments are great in theory, and I'm totally holding my tongue around Matthew, but I gotta tell you that I hate his hair at the moment. Hate it hate it hate it. It hasn't been touched by scissors since that day in July so we're beyond the six-month mark now....and his hair, like mine, grows fairly quickly. I think his new name will be Shaggy. It's wavy in a not-uniform kind of way, it's generally unkempt looking (even if he combs it), and it just looks bad.
He's got lovely hair. Full of cow licks (is that how you spell that word?), to be sure, but lovely nonetheless. He's got the kind of hair that, if you run your fingers through it (other than on wash day), it generally stays pretty much exactly the way your fingers left it. This can be a really good thing, because it makes styling it easy. But at the moment it's a pretty big negative because, moments after combing it, he typically runs his fingers through it to mess it up a little and it just, well, stays like that. Looking like he's just gotten out of bed. It perpetually looks like he hasn't run a comb through it in months even though our rule is that he must run a brush through it before leaving the house.
(Side note: Matthew hates combing his hair but, of all things, Seth has taken a real shine to it! Almost every time he needs to comb his hair, Matthew yells for Seth to take care of it; Seth will leave almost anything he's doing to come and sit Matthew down on a chair or on the floor in order to brush his hair - usually with one of Lizzie's brushes-intended-for-curly-hair. Seth painstakingly works his way through Matt's hair, trying this way and that to work with the cow licks and Matthew closes his eyes and sighs. They both look rapt. It's rather adorable, and one of the only ways that Seth is comfortable being in physical contact with Matthew...wrestling being the other...but that's another story!)
So even though we ask Matthew to comb his hair regularly, it doesn't look like it. Ever. Except for in the Christmas photo we had taken of him in early December - see that (new) picture of him (and the other kids) on the right of my blog? That's his hair combed and pushed back to look a little shorter and then hair-sprayed - I ordered him not to put one finger to his head before his photo was taken...and his hair looks awful in that picture anyway. Just awful. Sigh.
Matthew looks most adorable in short cropped hair, just as Seth does. Short hair highlights his face and those lovely eyes. In November, when Seth got his hair buzzed really short for the first time (#1 on the clippers), I hoped that Matthew would see how much fun Seth had getting his hair all taken off, and be inspired to do the same - usually he loves going to the stylist because she washes his hair and massages it and he groans and then she gives him a funky cut. I just knew that when he saw Seth's hair being done, he would succumb to the moment's temptation and let the stylist 'do' his hair. But he didn't, darn it. He admired Seth's cut, and expressed how good it looked on him...and politely answered 'no thank you' when asked if he wanted to enjoy the same experience.
His goal is to get it pony-tail length. Ugh. He has referenced my hair. My hair, which is a good few inches below my shoulders! Sigh. A few weeks ago, I put a few small pony-tails onto the top of his head and joyfully compared his look to one of those adorable babies with teensy little bundles gathered at the tops of their downy heads. I hoped that this might lead him to conclude that he needed a more mature look, but no, he simply expressed excitement about how it would look when his hair was long enough for a ponytail to be hanging down his back.
As for now, he is able to pull the front of his hair down over his face and chew on the ends of it. He also wants to colour it with streaks of his favourite colour: Pink. Great...won't that be special.
I still, in my head, know that it's just hair. I'm just venting here because I need to say this stuff somewhere and I refuse to say any of it to him. I just have to get to know this new, older, raggedy-looking boy whose favourite pants these days are the hand-me-down grey sweat pants with a large hole in one knee; I have to admit, though, that they match the look of his hair rather well.
Be strong, Ruth...choose your battles.
But I miss the sweet boy look...the one where he looks so clean cut and handsome and fresh...so Matthew.
Addendum: I wrote this post a week ago, just before taking Seth and Lizzie to the stylist's. While at the salon, I privately asked our stylist to take a look at Matthew's hair and perhaps suggest a little trim. She did look at his hair and actually genuinely suggested that a trim might be in order to take care of a few split and fuzzy ends. Matthew (rather worriedly) agreed and so 1-2 centimetres were taken off and his head of hair shaped a little, in a manner just a touch more palatable. But still...