Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bad Hair Day....

Mairi loves her long hair. She`s four, has fine, fair, floaty hair to just above her waist at the back and wants to grow it "as long as a mermaid".

So good old mummy has been dutifully braiding and combing and oiling her hair and doing all the right things and her hair was looking great...till today.

This afternoon she came through with a hairbrush knotted solid into her hair. Not just any old brush, but a tough, cheapo radial brush that she uses for brushing My Little Pony`s tail. I`d told her never to put it in her hair and she never has in the year she`s owned it.... till today.

She`d started brushing the hair on her left temple, and, being four, when it started to tangle she tried to fix it. She wound the whole front side of her hair onto this brush, pulled it tight....then decided that whatever I said about the forbidden hairbrush, it couldn`t be worse, no? So she crept through and showed me.

I`ll tell you, I was just about in tears. You know these brushes and we`ve all wound our hair round a brush, haven`t we? I looked at this solid mass of tangle round the brush and all I could see was me cutting it off. Most of the entire side of her hair, right up to the scalp. Honestly. About a third of her hair. Nightmare.

So I picked at it a bit, told her I might have to get the scissors, watched the woebegone face as I told her that if I had to cut it then the rest of her precious hair would have to go too. I was was that bad. What a mess. Her father wouldn`t even have hesitated. I doubt most mothers would have either.

But, y`know I`m a spinner. And knitter, and I crochet and weave as well(well, sometimes!) I can take a grubby matted sheep fleece and turn it into yarn fine enough to knit shawls. I wasn`t going to admit defeat to a £2 hairbrush without a fight. I talked to my unhappy little girl and we agreed to give it a go.

So for the last three hours she has lain sideways in total silence on my lap while I picked at this ghastly knot with a crochet hook. I tried pulling the plastic spikes out the hairbrush (unfortunately it wasn`t that cheap), I tried unwinding it...haha...I eventually settled on snagging one hair at a time with the crochet hook and sliding it (when possible) out of the knot. Fortunately she has fine, slippy hair in good strong condition, so this was a workable plan.

But it still took three hours. My girl has never willingly sat still for three minutes of her life, but she stayed there while I pulled and tugged and the hairs popped and broke and slid and knotted. But we got there in the end. I got that $%^&* brush out, and Mairi carried it over to the dustbin and threw it in. We also had a full handful of broken and tweeked out hairs...argh! Literally hundreds.

Oh well, it`s thin on one side. We combed her out and inspected the damage and though to me it`s very visible she`s happy because she gets to keep her long tail. Better than the 1/4" buzz cut she nearly ended up with anyway. It`s thinner on that side but not ridiculous and it will thicken up again in a few months, unlike the rest that would have taken three years to regrow. I kept on thinking how my mother had cut my long hair very short when I was four and 43 years later I still haven`t forgiven her for sending me through childhood ugly. I wasn`t going to do that to my girl for the sake of a little effort on my part.

Now, a lot of people might call me mad for not just taking her straight to the hairdresser and getting her hair cut free from the brush and a neat pixie cut. But I know all of you will understand, won`t you?


Weaver Brewer & Fam said...

I totally understand! Both of my daughters have long hair and I worry about those sorts of things all the time (I really fear the sons little cars, had a friend who had to cut her little girls hair cause it got tangled in the car wheels). I ask the girls all the time if they want it cut because I don't want them to deal with it long just cause I like it, but I will weep a little if they want to cut it :)

Congrats on saving your daughters hair!

sal the spider said...

My gorgeous brother in law once spent six hours getting dreads out of his teenage son's hair because it was long and the boy was aghast at the thought of having to cut them out. Gotta love that man :-)
Sal x
Makes Bill's "chewing gum episode" pale into insignificance!

Dee said...

What a wonderful mother....

Amy Boogie said...

Poor babe. I bet she doesn't do that again. You're a good mummy for sitting there and patiently picking it out. My girl had long hair until she took scissors to her bangs, and then tried to even it out on the side and well.... There was nothing I could do at that point.

Woolly Wormhead said...

Alternatively, you could have spent 3 hours putting the rest of her hair into dreadlocks! Kidding..;)

My (eventually, one day) 4 yr old might get 'em, but I also get the mermaid thing. Well done you on being such a saviour.

Mama Bear said...

How wonderful that not only will she not be mad at you for cutting her hair, but she will always remember her mother spending hours to save her hair and your tender care.

Sharon said...

I do understand because I too have always had long hair and remember as a 12 yo when the layered look of the 70's came in and off I went to the hairdressers and instead of coming out with hair like Farrah Fawcett, I had very short layered hair :(

So I would do exactly what you have done and believe me she will never forget the time and care you took.

Zippianna said...

Having tangled with one of those stupid round brushes once, as an adult with very long hair, I'd say you have an angel of patience waiting to grow up at your house. A little chip of the old block, there, Val. It's wonderful that you were able to save her hair. The nemesis brush here ended up in the dust bin, too.

DH cut our twins hair short one day when I was away. They were about four years old. What was he thinking? #$%*@# Anyway, they have worn it long ever since it grew back out. All four daughters have long, very curly hair.

ra said...

Tho' I do agree that taking the time to untangle your daughters hair is an act of love because to cut it would have distressed her (literally as well as figuratively)and therefore was the right thing to do I HAVE to say that the idea that a child becomes UGLY because she has her hair cut short is just bizzare to me.

gourdongirl said...

Knowing Mairhi it took a LOT for her to stay still for 3 hours, but I also know she loves her long hair and that she has a very patient and loving mum too. I've seen her since the incident and you wouldn't know she had had an "argument" with a round brush. Congratulations to you for managing that!

vwsista said...

I think it is lovely you took the time to get the brush out.

My mom had all my hair cut very short when I was about 7 and I will never forgive her for it. She told me I was going in for a trim. She lied. :( I thought I looked so ugly and cried for days.

Juno said...

When I was seven or so my grandmother took me have my hair cut. My mother said to her - I don’t want her to have bangs. So of course my grandmother had the hairdresser cut my hair into a long pageboy with bangs.

My mother took one look, and dragged me straight back and had my hair chopped off into a boys' cut to begin growing it out.

I have never forgiven her. I hated it. I thought it made me conspicuous and ugly.

Plus even at that age I didn’t much like being a pawn in their struggle for dominance.