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11 Truths Only Moms of Long-Haired Toddlers Understand

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 Velcro.

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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 session.

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 hair.

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.

7. Long hair is low-hanging fruit for lice

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?

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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.

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