Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The sins of the parents


My boys now choose to get a buzz cut each and every time
they go to the hairdressers.

I am a little uncomfortable with this.
I think that it stems back to growing up in a small country town
with the Brown family.
The Brown family men consisted of Mr Brown and his 3 sons
 All had crew cuts, seemingly getting their first buzz cut somewhere
between the delivery room and going home from hospital.
You could always pick out the Brown boys.

My boys love it because it is low maintenance.
I love it because getting their hair done in the morning is one less thing to nag them about.
Plus I figure that those dreaded head lice beasties are more reticent
to infest heads with no foliage to hide under.

My daughter doesn't chose to get a buzz cut.
Needless to say that I am happy with that decision.

However, like all little girls,
she wants gloriously long tresses without the daily maintenance 
required to stop such tresses becoming gloriously long dreadlocks.
(and I am sure one day I will find out just how much those beasties love such gloriously long tresses.
Touch wood. 3 weeks into her school life, we are nit-free.
Only another 13 years to go...)

We are still growing out my daughter's fringe,
18 months after that debacle,
and quite frankly, as a mum to 2 boys with cranial stubble,
I am not yet up to creating a neatly presented and sweet hairstyle 
in the middle of the pre-second-coffee mad house that is a school morning
and repeating this 5 mornings a week.

At the moment she thinks lop-sided pigtails are cute
and my possibly weird, combed-over creations "beautiful"
(bless the innocence -and trust- of a 5 year old)
but I am telling you that I am going to need a steep learning curve
 if she wants something presentable other than a pony tail every day of her future school life.

I still have horrific visions of one particular year of school photos
where my mother managed to send me off to school
with those sticky-up bits that you wake up with.
I don't think that I actually had a mullet
(though it was the 70s so anything is possible)
but in that photo, I certainly looked like I did.
(I was honestly going to be brave enough to post a copy of said photo
but I don't actually have one.
I suspect my mother is keeping it for future blackmailing purposes)

So I am somewhat (somewhat? Not somewhat. Try very bloody) relieved to find out that this year's school photos are happening while we are away on an extended family holiday.

Quite frankly, on that day, I turn into a pageant mother
It is no mean feat to get 2 young children to their respective photo shoots
(somehow always at the end of the school day)
with clean uniforms, decent hair and no Vegemite on their faces or uniform.
I will own up to licking my hand to wet down a wayward piece of hair
on the way to school one year.

It is a far greater pressure than the one I place on myself to get the nice photo with Santa each year.

Imagine me trying to do it with 3 kids,
one of whom  has dicky -growing -out -fringe stuff happening
and often has her school skirt half stuck in her stockings.
...cute at home; not so cute in print.

I blame my mother and that school photo for the obsession I have about this.

We all swear that there are things that were done to us
that we will never do to our children.
We will never hit them with a wooden spoon.
We will never force them to play football or eat brussel sprouts.
(We will never lick a hand to pat down wayward hair)

I know that when we actually become parents, we end up doing half of them anyway
but let me state for the record:
I will never send my children to school photo day with anything but a decent (and hopefully fabulous but I will settle for decent)  hair-do.

If I can offer them a  future embarrassment-free album of school photographs,
I have achieved some level of success as parent.

But when they get their driver's license photo,
they are on their own.
Unless they have a sticky-up bit of wayward hair...


Tanya said...

Hmmm, I don't know Tas, I am wondering if school photos are inherently bad after getting my kids ones back this and why did I fork out money for these? One kid has prep-6 photos and I am seriously thinking I may not succumb to the self imposed pressure of buying them post primary school. Thanks for the giggle, I have a huge sackful of things i won't do to my children- but then I think- hey, I turned out okay...!

sascedar said...

oh this had me giggling. i am disappointed by school photos every year. i normally forget, and then figure it will be a true representation of what they looked like at school. Oh, and statistics show that you are more likely to find a nit infestation pre-second-cuppa on a school morning. on book parade day. thanks for the laugh! :)sarah

Nikki said...

I made an effort last year to make sure my girl had neat hair and we were presented with a bundle of photos of a kid with a goofy, fake grin.

This year, she was on her own....