Monday, 15 August 2011

I Cried My Heart Out

Last week - well, actually last week stunk. It was one of those weeks where I kept checking their gums for new teeth because they were SO inexplicably cranky. There was a lot of biting - you know the kind of week I mean. And I was already in a pretty foul mood myself, thanks to girl-hormones. Toxic combination. And I had two days off work scheduled but J needed to do some emergency house repairs so instead of some time for trying to work on my stupid book I had two extra days of very intense mothering instead.

There was a high point, however. Through a complex mix of bribery and determination, I finally convinced Pink to sit still for long enough for me to do her hair in twists. I know that most of you are going to look at this and think "Woah! How am I going to say something tactful about that?" but getting these twists onto her head was a big deal in our house. I'm very proud of them. And nothing that anybody says will make me un-proud. Okay? OKAY? (Sorry. Still working on conquering that foul mood).

Here she is, seeing herself in the mirror for the first time and entranced by her own beauty:
(a note about the video - noo-noo is what she calls herself, I'm not just making up silly names for fun, okay? Although I guess that is a fun name). 

Anyway, it was a big deal and we were happy about it. In fact, I got so fired up and proud of myself that I decided: THIS is the moment. I am finally ready. We are going to cut Blue's hair. Pink, at long last, has hair like a proper little girl; it's time for him to look like a proper little boy. When they are together, I want it to be really obvious why only one of them is wearing a dress.

So we did it. Actually, J did it because for some unfathomable reason he has proper haircutting scissors (!!!!) and wanted to give it a try. So we sat Blue in his highchair and J carefully cut off his curls until he only had about a third of his original length. I was ready for it, I had decided to do it, he needed it done because it will make combing much easier, I knew it was the right thing.  But by the time J had finished, a different child sat in front of me and I found myself crying and crying. With that haircut, my baby is gone.

And it strikes me - I had an imaginary baby for much longer than I had a real baby. While we were waiting, I had this sort of pretend baby who lived in my head and never got older. I didn't ask for him/her (the gender was never clear) to come and stay; he/she took up residence of their own accord, uninvited. This pretend  baby (because clearly, I'm trying not to use the word fantasy) kept me company for years and years and years. I'm sure some of you are a little bit horrified by that, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one this happened to. (Yes, he/she sort of had a name. No, I'm not going to tell you what it was).  He/she never grew up, and they certainly never had a haircut.

But now my real babies are all gone. I mean, okay, they can't actually do anything remotely grown-up like actually talk, or eat with cutlery, or invest in the stock market.  But they are just so clearly little people now. And it happened so painfully quickly. The imaginary baby did not prepare me for that. This has got all kinds of implications - you know, all the usual adoption stuff about how we need to remember that we are parenting future adults not perpetual children.   But that's not really what I'm thinking about right now. I'm just wondering when I'll be able to bear to take out the camera and record his new short haircut. Until it's on film disk, I can sort of kid myself I imagined it. He's no less beautiful, but he's getting so big. And like pretty much every mother who ever lived? I. Am. Not. Ready.


Mr Linky is now up for the topic of Conspicuous. If you want to take part (please do!) please write something and link up by the 24th of August - next Wednesday. 


  1. I loved that video- especially how Pink came running in. And those twists? Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

    Now. About Blue. I want to see that child in all his glory. PLEASE!

  2. Photo of blue needed! And really? The twists are great. How can we become AMAZING at hair styling unless we practice? I do all sorts of weird things to A's hair for practice.
    And...? I had the fantasy baby too. For the first three years his name was Hudson (rather trendy.) Then he turned into a she and she was named Kiersten. I talked to her in my head while she rode around in the fantasy carseat in my backseat. Neither ever grew up or had hair cuts.
    But I love my real baby so so much more than I could ever have imagined loving Hudson or Kiersten. There. Now I have bared my embarrassing soul. Love to you Claud!

  3. Yes we need a Blue photo too! The video is adorable, and I think you did a stupendous job on the twists.

  4. Hair looks great! She is so cute!

    I just recently did twists in E's hair for the first time... I love the way they look, but they make her look so grown up. So I get that, too!

  5. Hair looks terrific! I want to see Blue.

    And boy oh boy were those last words on pretend baby so beautiful and powerful. It makes absolute sense.

    btw- raising future adults is tougher than raising perpetual children. They don't tell you that, but it's true.

  6. There's something about giving your boy his first big boy haircut. They look so OLD!!!! It is sad at first, but they also look so HANDSOME!! Can't wait to see a pic of your Blue.

  7. she's lovely! Good on you both for making it through!! My unsolicited advice: do it again as quickly as possible, this time with beads or pretty barrets in hand, maybe even let her pick them out and psych her up for the hair session, because practice for you both is good, and girls dig feeling pretty and if she sees herself with pink or sparkles in her hair she may just decide it's something worth doing. I dunno. Just a thought. Also, I told Hubs I would consider cutting Tsega's hair if he fills out paperwork for a 4-6 year old girl, who will love me doing her hair (ha!) He hasn't said much about his hair lately. ;)

  8. I love the twists! As for cutting the hair, I understand. I put off first hair cuts for a long time and then they didn't look like babies and it was sad, but I did keep a lock of hair from all of them. Then on my youngest I didn't get to witness the cut due to my other son running through the house and falling against his toychest and haveing leading to me haveing to take him to that hospital for staples in his head. That was a very upsetting day hospital trip and coming home to a child that looked nothing like my baby. But in the end you get used to it. I actually like their hair a little shorter now, it drives me crazy when the boys have shaggy hair. Funny since I could have sobbed when they first lost that look.

  9. I think she looks adorable! Looking forward to seeing little man in his short haired glory : )

  10. She is so adorable! <3 Looking forward to se Blue!

    And I totally get the pretend baby ;)

  11. Oh I sympathize! I am stalling as long as possible on cutting my son's hair. It may not happen until he is old enough to get a summer job and make his own appointment with a barber. I DREAD the moment I look at him and go 'oh no! where's my baby?!' I'm working up to it by doing little trims as needed. Pink's hair is gorgeous!

    And I had a whole series of pretend babies in my head for years.

  12. I feel like she still looks like a baby, although I do relate to that feeling of losing your baby. If it helps, I thought many different times as my six year old has grown up. But then I would go back to thinking, 'wait, he is still a baby.'

  13. I'll send the link home to watch your video but ....

    your post is so, so beautiful.

    I also had YEARS of pretend baby until that became too hard to even imagine.

    Love your post and also about Blue's hair - want to see!!!

  14. I love the twists! You did an amazing job--she is such a cutie-patootie. Can't wait to see pics of Blue--when you're ready to post them :-)

  15. DITTO to my son's first haircut. Bawled like a baby, then got okay with it. Then saw him for the first time the next morning and bawled all over again.

    You are a very good mommy. Much e-love coming your way!!!

  16. I know just what you mean. I don't want mine to get any bigger, but what keeps me going is that every stage is better than the last.
    Amy x

  17. Cutest twists ever. I just did new ones in Dew Drop's hair this morning. It's my favorite style.

    I know what you mean about your pretend baby. I had that, too. Big time. But, as times goes on and these little people begin to articulate what's in their hearts it's AMAZING. It's like this present that keeps unwrapping itself. I never would have known that. I thought it was all about the "baby".

    I dig your accents BTW. Of course you have a cool accents, but I never really thought about it. :)

  18. I love her twists! Great job...I can't get the hang of them at all. Or maybe F's hair just won't hold them yet. Either way we're stuck w/ little buns every day. I'm w/ the rest of the crowd--Photo of Blue please!

  19. She is so BIG now!!! Her twists are so cute!

    And the accent..... oh the accent.... love it.


  20. Her hair looks so good! Every time you do her hair, she'll be able to sit still longer, and you'll start to branch out, and pretty soon people will be asking you for hair advice. Doing hair is fun...well, sometimes it is, anyway. :)

    And as for cutting Blue's curls, I know just what you are feeling. We let Zinashi get her ears pierced last week, and I ended up crying during her naptime because she looks too grown up now. It went something like, "My BABY! I ruined MY BABY!" It's a strange feeling to look at your child and feel so proud of how they've grown but so mournful for their baby selves.


Over to you!