Having a daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For a mother it is like getting to do it all over again. Except she is the one who has to deal with all of the I am just a kid, what do I know, issues. Take hair for instance
Before the glorious days of perms that those of us who survived the 80s endured, there was a whole bunch of us little girls trying to figure out what to do with our boring prepubescent hair.
We were no where close to being women. But boy we sure thought we were. So we braided. Or wore side ponies. Anything to try to make ourselves appear more mature.
And in a single gift from my mother, my life was altered forever. She gave me sponge rollers.
You remember those? I am betting that you do. Before your mom was willing to invest in a set of hot rollers, she got you regular rollers. But not the hard to roll rollers with bobby pins. The pink, soft spongy kind that had the pin attached right on the side.
I soon figured out that you must never underestimate the power of a sponge roller. Once you rolled your wet hair around one, you were committed. There was no going back. Until you washed your hair anyway.
You had to learn the proper way to curl your particular hair style. Hair texture and length determined just how tight and how much hair should be on each roller. I had to practice a few times before I got it right.
I always had fine textured hair. Wrapping finely textured hair too tightly, or placing too little hair on a roller could lead to disastrous results. As in, now you have an afro. And you are super white and therefore not skilled in how to harness the power of an afro.
Once I found my balance though, I was golden. I would sleep in sponge rollers every night just to achieve those sexy (I was no where close to sexy at age 11, but 11-year-old me wasn’t hearing that) waves in my hair.
So when my daughter was looking for something new to try with her hair, I could totally relate. We agreed that she must have a set.
Being the amazing mom that I am I ran out the very next day and procured a set. Okay, so it wasn’t really that hard. I just went to Target but she doesn’t have to know that I didn’t go to great lengths.
We were both so excited. She wanted me to roll her hair. She had never particularly cared what her hair looked like. This was something completely new. She needed some help with style and who was more stylish than her mother? (Lots of people. But they are not her mother. So there.)
I poured the rollers out of the see-through bag. I grouped them all together by size. When using sponge rollers you have to carefully choose the correct size for your hair. She had shoulder length hair so I chose the biggest size.
She wet her hair and I began to roll. I gathered a section of hair, then I carefully twisted the hair before I wrapped it around the roller. That was an old trick that I had learned back in the day. It made for longer, looser curls. Her hair was going to be amazing.
I carefully rolled section after section. Snapping each roller closed to ensure that every strand would be set to perfection. When I finished she had about 12 rollers. We squealed with delight.
Now all she had to do was sleep in them and wake to fun, full hair. My little girl. Her first night of sleeping on uncomfortable rollers. I was so proud.
When she woke for school the next morning, I helped her remove the rollers. She was so excited to see the results.
She raced to the mirror to take a look. Now, this is where I made a horrid mistake. This is where I forgot to share my sponge roller wisdom. This is where I failed as a mother.
I got busy doing other things. I did have three other children who also needed my attention. After a few minutes I went to check on our curly results.
I was too late.
I rounded the corner to the bathroom and looked inside. And there she stood.
And she did not look happy.
I had failed to arm her with one crucial piece of information pertaining to sponge rollers. You never, ever, under any circumstance run a brush though your curled hair. Especially fine hair.
I forgot that she had not lived thorough the perm era. She didn’t know about finger styling. And there was my daughter. Her hair was six inches wide on each side of her head. And she was looking for someone to blame.
I began to laugh. I know it was wrong. I couldn’t stop. As a kid you often have to learn things the hard way. I learned plenty that way.
She had learned not to let her mother curl her hair.
I called for her dad. When he saw his baby girl his eyes got as big as saucers. Then I made what was probably the worst move of the entire ordeal. I began to sing.
“I feel for you. I think I love you.”
Now mind you, my daughter didn’t recognize that song and she didn’t know who Chaka Kahn was. But when my husband instantly erupted into laughter, she ran crying from the room.
How was I supposed to know that her daddy would laugh? This was clearly all his fault.
I could not help myself. I always see the humorous side of life. It is who I am. If she can’t laugh at herself then who can?
That is right. Her mother. And father.
I am not cruel so I brough her back to the bathroom, hugged her, then worked to help contain some of the awesomeness. We agreed that it was a ponytail kind of day.
I drove her to school still singing. Under my breath though because if I am anything I am sensitive to the feelings of others.
Then I Instagramed a picture because that stuff was epic!
As if you wouldn’t have done the same thing.