Monday, March 24, 2008

The hair chronicles

Bria and I argue nearly every morning. Usually about her hair, but sometimes about what she's chosen to wear. The child is fiercely independent when it comes to how she looks. When she was in Kindergarten, we still lived in Arizona and she had a uniform, so the conflicts were much easier to deal with.

Sometime in Kindergarten (most likely when I was confined to bed, pregnant with Sophia) she began to do her own hair. Joel would try to do it most mornings, but sometimes he just let her go to school however she'd done it herself. This trend continued into first grade, when we'd moved to another state and long after I'd given birth and was perfectly capable of helping her.

Now that she's in second grade, I finally gave up the fight. She rarely lets me touch her hair. Instead, we have hair inspection every morning. Usually, I end up telling her her hair is unacceptable like that, or to go brush it 100 times (which she never does...she'll do it maybe 10 times) or that she is limited to only two barrettes instead of 15, or...well, you get the picture. She always stomps back into the bathroom while complaining that I am mean and I don't like her to look cool.

Sundays have traditionally been the exception to the "Mom doesn't get to touch Bria's hair" rule. But lately, even that spawns an enormous fight, and she is getting more skilled, so I have been letting her do it herself more and more, even for church. So, you can imagine I was in something of a conundrum about Easter yesterday, because, after all, she is still only 7 years old and her skills only go so far.

Then I had a bright idea while we were driving along to the store on Saturday. I turned around and told the girls to raise their right hands (we do this sometimes, to make them understand what it means to make a promise) and repeat after me:

"I promise that tomorrow for Easter I will let mommy do my hair without complaining."

When I got to the part about "let mommy do my hair" Bria stopped and gave me a dirty look, but she said it (very quietly) and she promised. And sure enough, yesterday she let me curl her hair without complaint.

And the even bigger surprise? She loved it. So much, that this morning she wanted me to do it again.

And, even though she looks so much more presentable when I do her hair, I don't know how much I want this to continue. I think I kind of like her hair independence after sure saves me lots of time in the morning!
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Cutting Jillse's hair short was one of the BEST things for us. It was her idea and now I hardly ever have to touch her hair. It is one less battle in the morning. :)

  2. We go through the hair drama all of the time. I have given up too. Even if I do it for them in the morning, they come home from school looking like orphan children with no pony tail, barette, braid or headband in sight and looking like it hasn't been brushed in weeks. Letting go is a great thing. :)As long we we can put a sign on them that says they dressed themselves and did their own hair too. Except on holidays and pictures.

  3. HA!! The grass is always greener on the other side!
    She'll get better and you'll be the "special occasion" go-to-gal. Just take it when it comes, as it won't be around for long!!

  4. I love hearing these stories. We have yet to deal with hair issues, but Kanoa does want to wear his faded Wiggles shirt everyday. I won that battle.

  5. This entire post made me SO glad that I have boys I can't quite express it. :)

  6. Oh Lara....I have to post. I agree with Kim "Letting go is a great thing!" I remember the days of Stefanie's drama and oh, did we argue all the time over hair and clothes. Until I realized that it just wasn't worth it. Bria sounds just like Stefanie.

    I can remember sending Stef off on the school bus (a many of times) literally just laughing at the sight of her, wondering what her teacher must think! From mis-matched clothes, to funky hair and her thinking she was just the coolest kid at school! And, we (now) know what a little fashion plate she is, being top sales and manager of Brass Plum at Nordstroms.

    I say let Bria be free to express her own craziness and go with it. You'll both be happier.

    Love ya

    P.S. Great Easter Pics!

  7. If that is all you fight about then you have got it made!

  8. This sounds like a "pick your battles wisely" type of post. I agree that sometimes I let Ryanna do her own hair and it is pretty comical. However, she is such an obedient child in so many ways and very artistic and in her mind she looks beautiful. If it were immodest then we'd have to have a talk. However, I'm just thrilled she doesn't feel the need to look like all of her friends (yet). From the posts of the other moms, it sounds as though she probably looks like all the other girls in her class anyway.

  9. It is a hrad part of them growing up. My girls are still to young to question some of my stances on matching clothes and hair. My three year old is starting to show her independence by letting me get her all ready and while I am dressing the other two she changes.

  10. Oh the hair! We have the morning, "I want piggies" or "I want it combed and a barrette" or "I want pineapples" or "I want. . ." you get the picture. It's tough when they want you to do the hair EVERY SINGLE MORNING!

    And as for wondering what the teachers think - we usually just figure it was one of "those" mornings and the battle wasn't worth fighting! Unless your child comes to school smelling awful and filthy dirty, we generally hold off on the judgement calls. After all, many of us are parents too! :O)

  11. I think I've mentioned that my daughter started arguing with me about clothing at age 10 months!!! In theory I don't really agree with uniforms, but in practicality they are the most wonderful thing ever invented!

    Maybe the hair can be a special occasion or weekend thing! ANY time in the morning is hard to give up!

  12. Lara!! Your girls are so adorable. I cannot believe Bria is in second grade. It was so nice to hear from you!

  13. I got sooo tired of arguing with Gillian about her hair. She never brushed it and it fell over her pretty face and hid it. Finally I could stand it no more and I brought home a hairstyle magazine and told her to pick one. She did (sort of a shag, if you remember what those are) and we went to the hairdresser's and got it cut. She looks great! The brushing issue is lessened and everyone is happy.

    Girls and theire hair!Honestly!

  14. Elodie already is going through the hair independence stage...I have found that if I give her her way one day then I tell her that the next day she has to have her hair my way..that usually works...I also tell her on Saturday that for church she doesn't have a choice. But then again, her way of fixing her hair is just down...
    My mom said I was the same way when I was E.'s age so I'm just getting what I gave my mom!