I’d spent all morning chasing Jack and the triplets around, so I’m thrilled when they become mesmerized by a DVD of The Wiggles they’ve only seen 5,000 times. Tom is sprawled out on the floor as close to the television as he can manage without my threatening physical pain (I’m an excellent babysitter), Sam is sitting on my right knee with his head on my shoulder, and Will is on my left knee clutching his Dora the Explorer backpack. Jack is sitting behind me on the back of the couch- which is technically forbidden on my watch- but since this is the first time all day everyone is quiet, I opt to leave well enough alone. So when Jack decides he wants to “make my hair beautiful,” I’m all like “heck YES, The Wiggles only distracts your four-year-old self for like 5 minutes, my hair might distract you for ten!”
So here’s a peek into my former life: Back in the day, I was obSESSED with the condition of my hair. Pantene Pro-V commercial hair: that was my ultimate goal. Do not even try to explain computer enhancements and special effects to me, I do not care. If I couldn’t run my hands through my hair and have the shine blind a plane 30,000 feet in the air, it WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH. This meant purchasing every single shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, shine serum and anti-frizz lotion in my local CVS. That’s right, folks, I TRIED THEM ALL. This also meant only brushing my hair with a wide tooth comb or an all-natural bristle brush, air drying my hair because flat irons and blow dryers were the equivalent of Satan, and owning a pair of appropriately sharp scissors reserved expressly for snipping split ends. Okay, freak, I know.
SO, cut to Jack playing hairdresser and you see how much I’ve grown. He twisted sections into ringlets so tight the roots strained against my scalp and I didn’t even wipe the tears of pain from my eyes. He scrunched and swirled my hair into frizzy oblivion and I barely imagined the amount of breakage occurring as I sat by twiddling my thumbs (or snuggling babies, as it were). And when Jack decided the overall styling effect he was going for was better achieved with his feet, well, hey, I can always shower later. Really, the only thought preoccupying my mind was keeping the peace in the boys’ playroom for as long as humanly possible. Just fixate on the four ridiculous men dancing and over-emoting on the screen, kids. Give in to their spell.
So when Sam and Will started pushing each other, all energy was focused on trying to refocus attention to the television; my mind barely registered how Jack started aggressively smearing his palms flat against my head in an attempt to “make it pretty.” I mean, really, kid, have at it and best of luck because I haven’t discovered the secret yet, in spite of the thousands of dollars wasted on hair products in sparkly bottles. And when I heard him rubbing his hands together over my head before “smoothing” my hair with such force my head bobbed from side to side with the effort, I was really more interested in telling Sam to stop pinching his brother and watch the television PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND DECENT IN THIS WORLD.
No, really it wasn’t until I heard “hocccckkkk PUH” that I looked up in horror to find a long drabble of spit slowly making it’s way from Jack’s lips to his forearm. And there on his forearm was a shiny puddle of saliva, like an artist’s palette, waiting to be scooped up into Jack’s waiting hands. From thence, I deduced, it was to be (and apparently had been for the last several minutes) rubbed vigorously above my head and generously applied down the length of my hair to make it “smooth and beautiful.”
The real kicker? In that spilt second of realization I weighed my options: freak out and disrupt the blessedly glazed over television sesh (again, fabulous babysitter) or quietly request Jack remove bodily fluids from his stash of styling methods and continue to let him relish in his uber-masculine role of beautician (sorry, Jack’s dad) in an effort to keep everyone quiet for a few minutes more.
Well, friends, I opted for the latter. Jack shrugged his shoulders and conceded the spit factor pretty easily, so I didn’t even request he get up and wash his hands before he continued (again, why risk disrupting the crowd). Now, you could cringe in revulsion or you could see this as a sure sign of my being completely defeated by the boys’ boundless energy personal growth and lack of narcissism. I mean, personally, I am proud of how far I have come–we got through 2/3 of the show, which has got to be some kind of record.
*Jack’s All Natural Magic Smoothing Serum is guaranteed to give your hair that “special something”–a sheen like a spit-shine on your favorite pair of shoes and super strength hold that won’t quit until you hit the shower. Don’t settle for silicone serum–slick it with SPIT!*