Monday, August 29, 2011

Hair is what almost brought me down today.

Today was the first day of school for Alison. Hooray! Except not hooray because I love having both of those kids home with me. And next week Oliver starts preschool. And Alison is getting so old! And what am I going to do when Oliver goes to school full time next year? And also, my Grandma died. So, yea. This has been a tough week. My emotions are a bit...unstable.

Today we went to get the kids hair cuts after picking Ali up from school. I am not a vain person. (Silas's head just exploded because maybe I am about my hair. A little bit.) I don't treat my children like living dolls (although I totally could, have you seen my children?).

We have been swimming at my in-laws' pool a lot this summer. Two years ago after another summer of swimming Alison ended up with hair that closely resembled that of those trolls that crazy people bring to Bingo halls and rub for good luck. She cried every time I brushed it, but refused to have it cut. I didn't want to go through that again, so I've been spraying it with watered down conditioner before she goes in the pool and washing it with swimmers shampoo I bought at the very salon we were getting their cuts at. Mostly because they were on sale two for one, but still, I was trying.

So, the kids are getting their cuts side by side. The woman who is cutting Ali's hair starts brushing it and says over her shoulder at me: "Do you use a clarifying shampoo after she is in the pool, mom?" I'm sorry, but when people call me "mom", and their names are not Alison or Oliver, it tends to drive me nuts. CRAZY. My name is not mom. I am not your mom, in fact, I'm not even close to old enough to be your mother. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, you are even older than I am, in which case it would be physiologically impossible for me to be your mom.

Anyway, I dug my fingers into my palms and said, while perusing Alison's planner, and in the breeziest manner I could, "yes".

"Oh, which one?"

"The one I bought from here." I said this rather smugly. 'I've got her now!', I thought.

"Which brand, was it the Malibu?"

OK, really, is she even serious? Which brand? It's shampoo for my kid. It said swimmers shampoo on it. I couldn't tell you even now, after I had this inane conversation, which brand it is. I finally looked up from my inspection of Ali's planner, which I'd read about five times now, since it was just the first day of school and it turns out there was really nothing to read, and looked at the shelves of products in front of me. I pointed to one.

"That one, with the picture of the little girl on it." To demonstrate the fact that I. do. not. care. At all.

"Oh", she says, "next time buy the Malibu, it is probably a little better and would do a good job of getting out the chlorine residue. Her hair feels like adult hair, with all of the texture in it already."

I stopped pretending to read Alison's planner and looked up.

"In fact", she continued, "you should think about a Malibu treatment. It would really improve the texture of her hair."

I stared at the top of her feet because I couldn't look her in the eye. Had this woman seen directly into my soul? If there is one thing I want more than anything in this world it is for my children to maintain their child-like innocence for as long as possible. No, not just child-like. YOUNG child-like. You know, before they realize that cynicism is even a thing. Before they worry about someone making fun of them for what they wear, or lose that glorious confidence that young children seem to have in abundance. Before they develop, God forbid, hair with the texture of an adults. I'm being serious. This comment really bothered me. I mean, one minute she's telling me how much she loves me and the next she's making me pick her up from school around the corner with Oliver hiding under a blanket in the back seat. It's a slippery slope.

I'm seriously contemplating the Malibu treatment. There isn't much I can control in my life right now, but so help me, I CAN make sure my daughter has soft, child-like hair for as long as humanly possible.