Archive for April, 2010

The politics of hair


So.  D got his haircut at a nearby kids’ salon a couple weeks ago.  It was a big deal, because he was doing it for Locks of Love, and went from having a foot of curls on his head to (basically) a buzz cut.  And Rose decided she wanted to cut her hair.

Now, Rose has had exactly one haircut since we adopted her more than three years ago.  She has a lot of hair.  But I love it, and wasn’t too keen on her getting it cut.  So I instituted a waiting period.  During the waiting period, we talked a lot about not being able to do nice long braids, etc., if she got it cut to shoulder length.

Her idea was that she wanted her hair to look like mine.  I explained to her that no matter how we cut it, it wouldn’t look like mine, because her hair is curly and mine is straight.  We talked about how D has curly hair too, and his hair would also never look like mine.  Then we talked to Maddie, a girl at school with hair similar to Rose’s, about how she liked her shorter hair (she loves it).

Rose decided it was something she wanted to do, and specifically, wanted to do at the same place D got his haircut (with TVs and toys and kids’ stuff).  I was not super-enthusiastic about this idea because the place is in Whitefish Bay and, really, how many African-American kids get their hair cut there?  I didn’t want my daughter’s hair butchered.  But, as I am kind of a pushover when my kids make well-mannered, reasonable requests, I caved and made her an appointment.

We show up at the salon, and I wasn’t impressed from the start as the stylist (not the same one D had) and receptionist continued their conversation about other customers.  I’m not generally a high-maintenance customer, but I expect, if we have a 3pm appointment, that you’ll kind of make it look like you are trying to get the kid in the chair around that time.  So perhaps I am predisposed to get even more irritated when you start telling me how:

“Wow, her hair is so well-combed, usually curly hair is just a mess!”

“You know, if you got her hair straightened it would be SO long.”

“Her hair would be really cute straightened.”

Seriously?  After each comment I do my best to discourage this line of conversation.  Yes, I take care to comb my daughter’s hair.  Yeah, I know it is long, when I wash it it falls almost down to her butt.  Actually, I love her hair curly.

Rose has amazing and beautiful hair.  I hope she never wants to straighten it, though if she does (as a teenager or adult) I am sure I will respect her wishes.  I really want her to see how gorgeous she is, and I will never take her back to this salon again.  While I doubt the stylist was conscious of her disrespectful/racist behavior, I want to limit Rose’s exposure to idiots who try to force her into conforming to their standards of beauty.

I should have said something to the stylist.  I definitely shouldn’t have left her a tip.  I’m bad at this, sometimes.  It’s harder to do when my kids are there, watching, though it is likely more important.

Easter Candy


My kids have pretty much not touched their Easter candy since Easter.  Which left Charles and I to pick at the approximately ten pounds of candy until it can now fit into three 24oz. cottage cheese containers.  Today I asked the kids, “Do you want to have some of your Easter candy for a snack?”

“No, thanks,” says Rose.  Though she changes her mind and deigns to have one rainbow twizzler when her brother eats one.

“Wow!”  Dillon says.  “I just ate four pieces of candy.”  He is including in his inventory three jellybeans.

Where do my kids get this restraint?  I wish some of it rubbed off on me.  The best I can do is that I pretty much don’t like jellybeans or milk chocolate or peeps (after the first one) and I can manage to stay away from it if I don’t like it.  But I totally was responsible for the disappearance of anything gummi or of a peanut butter/chocolate combination.

Mostly, I just want the candy out of the house.  Though there is still a bin of candy canes and assorted stocking goodies in the pantry from Christmas…

Future Plans


D: [out of nowhere, in the back seat of the car] After I get my Master’s Degree in Robotics and Video Game Design from MIT, I plan on moving to Alaska.
Me: Oh. What do you plan on doing there?
D: [with a distinct ‘duh, mom’ tone in his voice] Building stuff.
Me: Ah ha. Why Alaska, specifically?
D: It has less pollution than the mainland United States. Did you know Robotics is a relatively new field? We didn’t even used to have that phrase. It used to be called, “Automata.”
Me: [flabbergasted] Are you reading a book on this right now?
D: No, I just have a really good memory for things I read. However, sometimes if I do not write it down I might not remember it.