Being the parent to a toddler is a lot of fun, but man, it's
hard work. Add a big, fluffy, long mop to that toddler's head and there's a
whole other list of things to worry about. It's a lot of work taking care of those
locks, and by "taking care" I mean keeping them food-free and away from
1. Mechanical fans should be admired from a healthy distance
Those mesmerizing mechanical fans can be so tempting to inch closer to. Not only do they make you feel alive, like a dog sticking his
head out of the car window, or really fabulous, like Beyoncé, but they also
make your voice sound like T-Pain when you sing into one. But for moms with
big-maned tots, all fans oscillating or otherwise suck.
My daughter loves
Beyoncé, and I have in the past mentioned that it is a fan that creates all
that wind-blown fabulousness. It was a small, cheap little toy fan that my
daughter was "Single Ladies-ing" into the other day, but its plastic rotating
blades were enough to claim one of her best and longest ringlets. Shrieks, tears and the snip of scissors
filled the air, while my 2-year-old quietly watched her mother's freak-out
2. Gum destroys lives (OK, that's dramatic, but it
does put you in a really bad mood)
(Gum) means a huge, bald chunk in the middle of my toddler's otherwise curly, abundant hair.
I love it when one of my childless friends, in the midst of
trying to win over my toddler, reaches into her bag and pulls out a pack of gum
with the full intention of actually giving a piece to my 2-year-old child. I
am then forced to swat at her forearm before it fully extends, batting the gum
out of her casual grip and into the air before my dragon child can snatch it. Sure,
it's aggressive, but it's the only way. To my friend, it's a piece of
minty cohesive substance that you chew for good breath or when your mouth is
bored, but to me, it means a huge, bald chunk in the middle of my toddler's
otherwise curly, abundant hair. It means the most hideous, stupid-looking
haircut, ever, likely right at the scalp, front and center at the bangs.
3. Lollipops or popsicles should only surface when you are in a patient and vigilant mood
When your toddler has a long, wild mane, a lollipop is like
fly paper for hair. Just putting a lollipop to her mouth is like a game of
Operation for my daughter, where she tries to get the sucker into her mouth
without touching the many strands of hair lingering and swaying around her
face. A 2-year old's hands are anything
but steady, and so whether the hair is pulled up or left down, it's an instant
sticky, tangled nightmare where the lollipop is often completely swallowed up
into the thicket that is Venus Fly Trap hair.
4. Cutting it is a really big deal
You never knew you could be so emotionally invested in another person's hair.
When you have a little one with lots of long hair or big,
curly hair, it's sort of as much a part of her as one of her limbs. It's
something that makes her unique, a big, identifying trait. You aren't really
sure if it will ever again grow back so long or curly. So, if you choose to or
are forced to cut it, you feel like you are saying goodbye to that untouched, baby version of her, marking the end of an era or watching Titanic for the first
time. You never knew you could be so emotionally invested in another person's
5. Conditioner is a must
Forget silky, shiny and soft, tots with long, curly hair
need conditioner just to help it actually absorb the water and keep it from
becoming harder to comb through than a tightly knit boucle sweater.
6. Sweaty heads are inevitable
Their little scalps are always steaming, giving off heat
like a Yellowstone geyser. You have to take their hair into account when
assessing how to dress them in a weather-appropriate way. Some days their hair puts
off the same warmth as a cotton beanie.
Long hair is just begging lice to come and put their bags
down. A "Hair"bnb, if you will. Lice
don't even have to earn a spot on your long-haired daughter's head. Those
little nasties get an easy ride. All they often have to do is step into your
little one's hanging hair, with no jumping or strenuous activity involved.
Basically, your child is at twice the risk of being hit by lice, because even
the lazy ones can get at that hair.
8. Brushing it is an event
I actually had to start telling her that if she didn't let me brush her hair, the hawks outside would try to land in it.
I always thought that brushing my daughter's hair would be a
sweet, bonding time for both of us. We'd chat and giggle and I'd do a lot of
closed-mouth smiling, where I pause and close my eyes just to revel in the
moment as I listen to her tell me stories about her day in the light of the
nightstand lamp. NOPE. It's filled with my daughter screaming, kicking and running away
with a brush stuck in her hair. I actually had to start telling her that if she
didn't let me brush her hair, the hawks outside would try to land in it. So
that worked, but now she has nightmares about hawks. #winlosesituation
9. You can never have enough hair clips or elastics
You can buy four packs of hair elastics, and somehow, they will
be gone within two weeks. Although I'm a sucker for cool hair clips, I
hesitate to spend much on them anymore because they mysteriously disappear as
if they've just dissolved into her hair. I sort of expect to one day find a
huge stash of her discarded hair clips in a pile behind the refrigerator or
stuffed down my pipes.
10. Scissors should require fingerprint recognition to work
Just thinking of my toddler getting her hands on scissors
sends chills up my spine. Sure, I shudder because they are sharp, dangerous
objects that could cause all kind of injuries, but also because, come on, how
many pics and videos have you seen of kids who have somehow managed to get
their hands on scissors and cut their own hair? And how many of those kid-performed
haircuts were anything less than hideous, requiring months of grow-out time just
to get it back to the point where your son or daughter didn't have the same
haircut as the little girl from Waterworld?
11. Electronic cars or trains aren't worth the risk
When I was a little, long-haired toddler, I ran a Micro
Machine car up my head, winding my hair so tight that my mom had to spend close
to two hours working hair out with a chopstick until she eventually just gave up
and pulled out the scissors. It happens with anything with rotating wheels. It could
be a Hot Wheels wind-up or a tiny, remote control dump truck. A friend of mine
reported an electronic train incident at their house last week. The mediocre
entertainment my daughter gets from playing with a wind-up toy is so not worth
the stress it causes me to watch her do it.