Just get through the day

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By 11 this morning, I had already yelled, "EMILY! SHUT THE F**K UP!" at my beloved only offspring.

Yes, the sounds of profanity before noon must mean One thing!

It's Christmas Eve!

Combined with the imminent arrival of my period makes for a priceless personality combination in the Mother/Wife of the household.

About a half an hour later, she and I were entangled in a life and death struggle over the brushing of her hair.

I tried. I honestly tried to keep my cool with the usual whining and complaining. I was explaining that I was parting it into sections so I could comb out each section. Emily, if left to her own hair brushing devices, waves the brush in the general direction over the top layer of her hair. This leaves the undergrowth to resemble Mirkwood - filled with giant spiders and evil spirits.

It is into Mirkwood that I am forced to delve. I try to be gentle - holding the hank of hair in one hair to deflect some of the inevitable pulling on the roots. I remind her that I want to be done with this as quickly as she wants to have it done.

And after one too many whiny "oooooouuuuucccchhhhh - why can't you just be done?" Followed by "Why can't you just do it quick?".....

I snapped. I held the brush out and began to BRUSH. HARD. Her head began snapping back and forth as she cried louder. I yelled "SEE! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T BRUSH YOUR HAIR" and "THIS IS WHAT TO FEELS LIKE WHEN I AM NOT TRYING TO BE GENTLE!"

Not quite a metal hanger incident ala Joan Crawford....but bad enough.

She ran off to her bedroom - wailing - and slammed the door. I lay down on the bed and waited for my heart to stop pounding.

After ten minutes, I walked across the house and knocked on her door.

"Who is it", she called out.

"It's Your mother - may I come in?"

"Oh. Ok."

And the door opened and she stood there...tears still on her cheeks.

"I'd like to apologize and give you a hug", I said - stepping into the room

And she broke down. The tears of a little girl who needs to be consoled.

"That was MEAN", she murmured from my midsection.

"Yes it was and I was wrong to be mean. Can we try to be gentle with each other - I know you are excited about Christmas..."

"I AM excited. I can't help it."

"I know, sweetie. I love you."

6 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty. I think I've done that exact same thing with the hair brushing :(

MarciaAnn said...

Dawn, I repeat Shay's comment, thanks for keeping it real. My 17 yr odl boy doesn't have hair brushing issues, but we do have homework issues and the arguments we have start and end similarly and you have no idea that with this post, you made me feel that I wasn't such a bad mom after all, that these flare ups happen and once things are back in control on either side, apologies are almost always offered and accepted and we move on.

Thank you for reminding me that my sister's supposed perfect family veneer is probably just that, the false front to something not so perfect underneath.

Merry Christmas to you Terrance and Emily!

Love from Maine (and at LEAST 2 feet of snow that fell on Sunday)

Jaelithe said...

Ah, I was tender-headed myself as a child. If you had seen the epic battles between my mother and me over my hair . . .

Kinda makes me glad I have a boy. Although he is now asking me to let him grow his hair out "like yours, Mommy." I told him he can TOTALLY do that-- when he's old enough to brush it himself.

I am so mean.

Mitzi Green said...

your descriptions of brushing your daughter's hair? make me grateful i have two very straight-haired BOYS.

and my own experience with a mother trying to learn to french-braid makes me doubly glad of that fact.

jeanie said...

I once broke a hairbrush on a doorframe in a hairbrushing related incident with my daughter.

My daughter who has dead-straight blonde hair and still has the top layer technique.

Today it is all twisted and wet and she is learning patience for it to dry so she can have curls.

Happy Christmas.

Anonymous said...

You just made me feel normal. Thanks.

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