Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hygiene gets a C+

I am always impressed by families that give their children baths on a nightly basis. All the parenting books talk about establishing a bedtime routine of baths, pajamas, books, songs, etc. etc. In my house if we started that routine after supper we would not be ready for bed until close to midnight. There is swimming to be done in the tub, floating, conversations with plastic dolphins, washing the walls with washcloths, struggling and pleading for opportunities to shampoo and rinse, pretend stories to be told. By the time Frankie is ready to finally pull the plug on the drain, we still have elaborate towel wrapping ceremonies to endure and hair to comb and recomb after each somersault. In other words, it is all we can do to get into pajamas and manage to brush her teeth. Consequently, right now, both my daughters are lying in their own filth as they sleep. Molly was nursed lovingly to sleep and as I lowered her gently to the mattress, she erupted with fountains of fresh warm milk gurgling all over her sheets and pajamas. I'm not heartless, I did change her sleeper, but admittedly only moved her to a different, slightly less moist, section of the crib sheet. Frankie, who capped off her evening playing "buried treasure" in the dusty stones of our landscaping, is soiled from head to toe. She also is sporting the faded remnants of a few tattoos and her hair's most recent washing was by the chlorine in the hot tub.
Frankie's hair is in a maintenance category of its very own. Even my adult locks do not require the care that her mop does to look acceptable. I was under the impression that we adult women used product and color and various electrical devices in an effort to reproduce the natural shine and luster of our youthful hair. Well somehow that luster and silkiness skipped Frankie's head altogether. Her hair has the consistency of a synthetic fiber- much like what I remember Barbie's hair being. At night, when Frankie rolls around on her pillow, the back of her hair gently begins to knit itself together in a big soft mound of material that bears little to no resemblance to actual human hair.
I have proof of this in the following unretouched picture taken shortly after waking up:

Now you see what I am up against: Hair, angry at the attention her adorable face garners, rebelling, fuzzing, frizzing.

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