Divide and Conquer
With four adopted children from Russia, my husband and I are pretty outnumbered. It dawned on me recently that, due to time constraints, we don’t do a whole lot with the kids as individuals, except for our oldest.
So, I decided to check with the girls and see if they’d like to head to the salon for a trim and take a couple of hours off of school.
Sashenka, 12, in the afternoon: “Ohhh… I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it.”
At bedtime, same day: “Can I think about it overnight?”
Next morning: “Maybe… if I could get bangs….”
We had talked about this ad nauseum. I had even taken her back into the salon to add side-swept bangs her last trip—biggo mistako. Since that time, we’ve had non-stop hair-in-the-face and bumps-growing-on-the-forehead-from-the-oily-hair. Now she was back to talking about the blunt-cut, Chinese, straight-across chop job.
I listed our 101 reasons why we did not want her to have bangs. Which resulted in whining, misplacing her Russian homework, acting like a baby, and me saying, “You know what? Forget it.”
Her sister, however, had an entirely different reaction.
Mashenka, 14.5: “Sure, Mama, I think I’d like to try something different, if that’s okay with you.”
Moi: “So what are you thinking of?”
Mashenka: “I don’t know.”
Moi: “That’s a problem.”
Mashenka: “I know.”
Moi: “Short? Long? Straight? Curly?”
She shrugs. I continue.
Mashenka: “Maybe just a trim…” said the adventurous one.
Moi: “Sounds safe.”
Thus, mother and daughter headed to the salon in an unusual downpour of rain as temperatures heated up to an unseasonably warm range. We chatted, discussing hair and life. I think she was happy to not have her sister along.
While we waited our turn, I picked up an innocuous fashion magazine (a definite contradiction in terms) laying nearby, a special treat for her. Ticking off the fashion designers, I reviewed Japanese styles, Italian styles, French styles, American styles. She giggled as I showed her the mismatched “sets” and what was currently “in”, the runway versus real life.
Before we knew it, she was being summoned to the hairdresser’s chair, where we explained her hair hopes and dreams, challenges and impossibilities. The stylist understood all, a miracle in itself. She was in her late 30s and studying pharmacology full-time, and hairdressing full-time, supporting two teen children, an excellent role model of what could be done through hard work and determination. Rather refreshing.
We loved the chair-side chat, we loved the hairstyle, which beautifully shaped up her shaggy mane. Mother and daughter bonded, and felt special together. The sun came out, while the younger sister didn’t talk to us for the rest of the day. She went later as the boys got their haircuts, to have hers done, too.
I might need to do more of this one-on-one thing.
—————-Tags: adoptive parenting blog and bonding, bonding time at the hair salon, how to treat children as individuals, mother-daughter time, parenting blog, spending time with children one-on-one, teen girl hairstyles