One day last week, my older daughter and I sat down to brush her hair.
Hair brushing is not an easy task around here. Her hair was down to the middle of her back, and it is fine and smooth and tangles like Silly String. It’s a real headache.
Literally. For both of us.
Like all kids, she hates having her hair brushed.
We sat down, and I brushed. I sprayed detangler and brushed and sprayed some more.
Fifteen minutes later, we were still brushing. The knots seemed to be multiplying, and her patience was dissipating.
“Do you want to go to Kids Kutters?” I asked.
Yeah! Let’s go now! she responded.
That was that. I called the kids’ salon (that shows a movie during the haircut), and we got in the car.
Knowing what a mess her hair was, I told her she’d need to have her hair washed before it was cut. She hesitated.
I’d been thinking about getting my hair cut anyway, so I thought quickly and made a deal.
“If you get your hair washed, I’ll get a haircut that matches yours.”
She thought for a second and agreed.
That’s exactly what happened.
She got her hair washed, calmly and without incident. We got matching haircuts.
We both love them, and my daughter decorated hers as soon as we got home with colored hair pieces my sister had given her for Christmas.
I’ve gone back and forth about how I handled the situation. I don’t like to make deals.
Nothing seems to work to ease my daughter’s fears.
Being stern, telling her to lie back and allow the beautician to wash her hair didn’t work. I know her well enough to know that she was going to freeze up or freak out.
Her obedience was less important to her than her fear.
I get it.
I wouldn’t grab a spider, no matter who asked me to do it. I. just. wouldn’t.
I don’t know what to do about her fears. They control her so often, and I feel so powerless.
But this time, I wasn’t powerless.
The results were pretty terrific, don’t you think?