I’m having a hard time with hair. When the foster children arrived their hair was a mess. It hadn’t seen a comb in…how can I even estimate…months to be sure. One child had knots, the other had a huge ball of knots the size of a large grapefruit that may have had a small animal nesting in it. If it weren’t for tangles their hair would have been down to the middle of their backs.
Then we had the lice. The poor kids were COVERED with the dang little bugs. In order to get them out, we had to cut their hair. The caseworker who brought them asked, “Have you ever thought about getting a haircut?” To which one replied, “Oh yes, we WANTED to get a haircut but Mom didn’t have any money!” (Oh, how sweet, this was one of the very first lies she ever told me!)
The hair was cut above their shoulders so I could start the tedious process of combing for lice for the first time. Then I took them into the salon to have their hair styled. Only neither child wanted a style, or bangs. Big fat waste of time and money.
It grew fairly quickly and before we knew it hair was always in their faces or my personal favorite, in their mouths as they were eating. Eww. We pleaded with them to cut it, or at the very least cut in bangs, but they said they HATED bangs and liked the way it was. Honestly, they looked neglected. We came to an agreement that if they didn’t want to cut a style in then they needed to keep it neat every day by wearing a headband or pony tail, or even barrettes. This agreement was pushed to it’s limit right away with UGLY butterfly clips before being abandoned all together.
It was at this point that Gary had a talk with them and they said that in their family it was important that boys be boys and girls be girls, and short hair was only for boys. Never mind that two of their brothers have multiple piercing and hair so long it would make most women jealous! Gary expressed the importance of making their own decisions about their bodies and how they should be the ones to choose how their hair looked, within reason. The next morning one of the children picked out a cute little pixie cut that she wanted. We secured permission to get her hair cut and went off to the salon. The other child was jealous of the attention the first child was getting about her hair so she also got the pixie cut.
They both looked so ADORABLE. I can’t even stress how CUTE they looked for the first time in a year. Not to say that they aren’t super cute kids, but their hair had been atrocious. Everywhere we went people commented on how adorable they looked in their new cuts.
Then, almost immediately they both started wearing bandannas on their heads every day. This might be a cute look with pony tails, but on a child with a short cut it looks like they are having chemo, or even worse, a little like Aunt Jemima.
Oh, I forgot to mention that at a family visit the family told one child that her hair was cute but that the other child just looked stupid. They have the same haircut.
Anyway, the bandannas are wearing so thin on my nerves that I fantasize about stealing them while they sleep and burning them. Only most nights one of the children sleeps in hers. Sometimes my blood pressure goes through the roof when I see them waiting for the bus because all I can see is the DAMN BANDANNA! They also complain endlessly about how HOT they are, something that would easily be remedied by REMOVING THE DAMN BANDANNA!
I totally get that this is my issue, really I do. It’s an issue about power and control (as in I have none!). But I want them to look adorable. In fact, I’m embarrassed sometimes to be with them because they look like they should be mopping a floor somewhere. What to do?
Today, I asked them to try to wear their hair down. They both said they would and we practiced styling it last night. This morning, BANDANNAS!
So quick recap, hair long snarly, in face = desirable, will not wear headband or bandana. Cute haircut = hated, wearing bandana every day. AUGHHHHH!