A Hair-rowing Experience

     My ten-year-old daughter, Evelyn, went for a hair cut recently. To the uninformed, that sounds reasonably benign. Usually by the time a child is ten, they have overcome most of those little fears and phobias that plague our toddlers. My son, for example, doesn’t necessarily like getting his hair cut, but he is now old enough to tolerate it.

     Not Evelyn.

     Because of her delays, Evelyn has a lot of sensory issues. For example, she is undersensitive to sounds. Loud sounds have never bothered her. She loves loud groups of kids, funny sounds, whatever. However, she is oversensitive to touch, and that is a major understatement. When she was a baby, she could gag just from touching something. She isn’t nearly as sensitive now, but she hates, hates, hates it when anyone has to fool with her hair, brush her teeth, or basically intrude upon her person in any way. 

     As you can imagine, cutting her hair is lots of fun. She climbs into the chair calmly enough, and if the stylist could figure out some way to cut her hair in, say, 40 seconds, things would be fine.  That’s about as long as Evelyn can tolerate the pinning up of the top layers, the spraying of the water, etc. Then the situation begins to deteriorate. Rapidly.

     I basically hold her down for the whole thing. She yells and struggles and tosses her head. It’s loads of fun. Here’s another scenario for you. I have to do the same thing every day when I brush her teeth.  It’s awful, but what am I supposed to do? If you don’t believe God has a sense of humor, consider the fact that my daughter has the thickest, heaviest head of hair I have ever seen. Ever. It couldn’t be left long, because she can’t stand any headbands or anything.  Also, when it gets too long, she gets food in it when she eats. Also, she can’t stand to have it washed or combed, so I have to fight through those things as well. Imagine that with long hair. No thanks. In short, her hair has to be cut. Obviously, her teeth have to be brushed, too. It’s not like I can just quit doing those things.

     It doesn’t really bother me all that much. The only thing that is moderately concerning to me is that she just keeps getting bigger and stronger, and I don’t. What happens when she gets bigger than me, or at least as big as me? She knows her teeth have to be brushed. Never once have I NOT brushed her teeth because she struggled. Yet she struggles with me every day, without fail, and has done so since the very first time I brushed her teeth all those years ago. So, I haven’t given up, or given in, but neither has she. More than that, she has great instincts. In the nearly five years she has been in public school, the school nurse has never once been able to take her temperature. Never once. Evelyn can smell fear a mile away.

          So anyway, a trip to the hair stylist is quite an odessy for us. I don’t know what the future holds. All I can say is, if you see a battered woman walking around with what appears to be Cousin Itt with rotten teeth, be sure and say “Hi.” And don’t try to touch Itt’s head.

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11 thoughts on “A Hair-rowing Experience

  1. Oh my goodness! It’s hard enough to deal with my two year olds tangles and no sensory issues. I feel for you!!!!

  2. OMG, my friend. What a challenge times you face on a daily basis! Reading that makes me feel for you, but you had me crackin up!! I’ll never forget the day, during scouts, I had the boys playing duck, duck, goose. After some time, she came over and plopped herself right next to me and just smiled. The whole thing must have intrigued her. So cute!!

  3. Janice…. OMG for sure! You are a saint! Please change the name of your Blog to “THE Special Mother” As far as I’m concerned you are much more than “not so special”! My heart goes out to you….my 18 mo granddaugter who I take care of daily and live with is difficult to handle, doesn’t won’t me to brush her hair (she has so much at this age – middle of her back- that it stops traffic) and pitches litlle “I’m almost two” fits periodically durning the day. I admire your dedication! If I see cousin Itt….I’ll be nice and put away my hairbush!

  4. You’re kiddin me, right? About the (not so) Special Mother?

    Let me tell ya something, sista. YOU are one heck of a special mother! Don’tcha ever forget that! You’re just about the most Special Mother in this mommy’s very selective list of special mothers!

    Reading about you and your posts has seriously put me to shame. I’m one of those moms who would’ve been the first to sign up for the nearest rehab on days when my gassy hubby decided to take a dump without the fan on at the same time my daughter refused to drink her glass of milk in less than 10 minutes! I think I’d probably be Cousin It myself if I were put in your shoes.

    Sending the biggest hugs to you and Evelyn. You’re one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever come across. I hope you know that.

    • Oh, I’m no saint! Lots of words may apply to me, but it’s surely not that one! You do what you have to do. Period. Anyone would.

  5. Pingback: “The Versatile Blogger Award”….My Very First Award! « Dsgnmom's Blog

  6. Janice- It took me a week but I finally got it done! I awarded the 15 wonderful bloggers awards and hope that they are as happy to receive it as I was from you! Here’s the link if you’d like to read what I wrote about… ;-)http://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/the-versatile-blogger-award-my-very-first-award/
    Thanks again my friend!

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