Jocelyn and Aja’s daycare has designated today as "Crazy Hair Day." In honor of this special day, I had to share a post that I wrote in March of last year. Since that time I have learned a thing or two, but we continue to struggle (the hair and I).
I am a white mother. This is an obvious fact seeing that I am white and I am a mother. But my husband is black. What this really means is that my daughter Jocelyn has a lot of hair—a LOT of hair. And it is not like mine. It is curly. Beyond curly. With twists, knots, u-turns, and dreaded dreadlocks. I knew when she was born with a full head of hair that it would not stay straight. It began to curl when she was two months old and it never stopped. Don’t get me wrong; I love it. She got the hair I always wanted. When I was twelve, I begged my mom to let me get a perm. Specifically, a spiral perm. Because that was the only kind of perm that any self-respecting girl wanted in 1987. My mom told me no, and then proceeded to bring me to a hair salon so that the stylist could tell me all the reasons why my mother was right. I don’t remember how exactly I responded, but I know that my 12-year-old self would have seethed with anger and frustration. My hair was thin and straight. It was dull and lacked the ability to hold a curl. I was doomed. But Jocelyn’s hair is four shades of special. As it has grown and shaped itself into a min-afro, Khary has mentioned again and again my need to learn how to plait hair. I complained that if I could just get her to sit long enough I could possibly do something with it, but it is just so curly. How do I comb through it? His response: “you better get some grease and a comb!” That is not helpful. But, I did find a magical leave-in conditioner (Mixed Chicks rocks!), which keeps her curls curly. It doesn’t, however, help me to keep her still enough to put her hair back up in little puffs. Last night I tried to bribe her with Sesame Street and my brush (she finds it fascinating) so that I could comb out the dreadlocks that have formed above each ear. I got one straightened out to a silky frizz before she arched her back and began to flop. Then she cried. Surprisingly she did not wake her sister up. Fifteen minutes of our back and forth and the only thing that woke Aja up was the sound and vibration of her own farts. I gave up on the styling session and retreated to the couch.
Most mornings Aja wakes up looking like Diana Ross. The one morning I want to let her sing her greatest hits, and her hair fell a little flat. Jocelyn, a.k.a Chaka Khan, is feeling the moment.