A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: just the tip (Page 2 of 2)

How to Revive Your Child’s Limp Curls

In honor of relaunching The Bearded Iris, I would like to re-institute my “Just the Tip Tuesday” column. In the past, I’ve shared tips on a variety of things like how to stay on track with an antibiotics schedule, how to harmlessly carry an uncooperative toddler with one hand, and how to naturally combat Seasonal Affect Disorder. This year, I’m hoping to widen my range of useful tips and prove just what a helpful Jill of All Trades I truly am. Like the MacGyver of Motherhood, I’m going to use a Bandaid and a wad of ABC gum to unclog a drain, balance your checkbook, and entertain your children at the same time. And if I can’t pull that off, I’ll at least have fun trying (and hopefully so will you). So let’s get to it, shall we?

Today’s topic is about managing curly hair.

My youngest son, Bucket Head, has an absolutely glorious head of blond curly hair that makes women of all ages swoon.

If you sneak up from behind him and gently pull and release one of his many ringlets, you can actually hear it go “BOI-YOI-YOI-YOI-YOING!” Don’t let him catch you though, or he’ll give you a look like this:

So worth it, though.

This is the kind of hair that people in public reach out and touch. Older women in particular seem to get sucked into some kind of gravitational force that propels their hands toward his head. I cannot blame them as I share their inability to control the hands whenever I’m within 25 feet of this child… hence the constantly tousled look. Nobody in my family seems to know where he got this hair, but they all agree that the mustache comes from his mama.

The hair is particularly shocking to us all because he was SO bald for such a long time as a baby.

I know, right?

That shot was taken when he was about 5 months old. My dad later told me that he was SO relieved when Bucket Head finally grew some hair because it made him look “less like an alien.”

The man had a point there.

When the hair did start to grow, it was pretty typical baby hair… fine and wispy.

Of course Laura took that picture. Damn, that girl has skills.

Fine wispy hair doesn’t do much to keep a baby’s head warm. That’s why most mothers keep cute little hats on their babies all the time. If you don’t have a hat on hand, I’m here to tell you that a pencil case will work just fine.

Also, buckets are warm, waterproof, inexpensive, and great for protecting those soft keppies from all the sharp corners of the world.

But back to the hair.

This poor child was a cue-ball until well after his first birthday. However, when his hair finally did start to grow, it burst onto the scene like a pimple on prom night, practically shouting “LOOKIE HERE, PEOPLE!”

I call this look “The Cockatiel.” It always got us a lot of sympathetic stares at the grocery store. Especially when it was combined with the runny nose and the jelly face.

And that’s pretty much what he looked like until he was 2 and 1/2 years old and I finally took him for his first haircut.

I had gotten really tired of strangers mistaking him for a little girl. Imagine what they would have thought if they saw the kind of outfits this kid was putting together at home…

He likes to play dress up with his big sister. So what?!

But again, I digress. My point is that this boy has some seriously cute and curly hair these days.

Well, most days.

Which brings me (finally) to my tip…

Remember the other day when I posted a picture of Bucket Head drinking a green smoothie?

Notice the lack of spring in his curls?

Apparently, that is the result of going too long between shampoos, according to one of my favorite aunties who immediately emailed me to “WASH THAT CHILD’S HAIR.”

Thus, my friends, I am sharing with you my new found knowledge, that indeed, all it takes is a little shampoo, warm water, some elbow grease, a few dry towels, the ability to wrestle a greased pig, some Bandaids, 4 extra strength Advil, and a lollipop, and you too can revive your child’s limp curls. It’s as easy as that.

A happy, springy, and fresh smelling Tuesday to you all!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris

Blowin’ the Stink Off

I’ve had a bad case of the winter blues the past few days. Not only has it been cold and rainy and gray here in North Georgia, but something about taking down the Christmas decorations and opening up those post-holiday credit card bills just sucks the will to live right outta me. 

Not only that, but my dear friend Patty just lost her mother to a 22-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Yesterday was the visitation and service and it was just heartbreaking. The service was beautiful though – a true celebration of a wonderful life well-lived. 

I haven’t been to many funerals in my life, kinehora (ya’ll, that is Yiddish for “knock on wood”), but going to one always scrambles my eggs for a few days, and not in a good way. Especially if it is an open casket. Lawd. That always shakes me to the core. Those standardized tests in high school that told me I would be a good mortician were just flat out wrong. 

Coming to grips with our mortality is just hard. Plain and simple. But a good funeral can be just the ticket to get you off your ass and get you on the road to a better life. 

My friend Patty handled her Mom’s passing with such dignity, grace, and love. It was truly an honor to witness. The four grandchildren all made special treasures to place in the casket with her – painted rocks and a signed baseball. Patty even did her Mom’s makeup and hair that morning, herself, because she knew exactly how her Mama would want to look. She was laid to rest in a gorgeous white nightie that she had chosen herself when she knew her time was near. I was just blown away by the love and loss of this great lady. 

It was a very emotionally draining day. But it made me want to come home and live the fullest life I can carve out for myself… to be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, and parishioner. Made me feel grateful for the healthy life I’ve lived so far and made me want to take steps to ensure that I can stay healthy in the years to come. And it made me want to stop watching Bret Michael’s Rock of Love Bus on Sunday nights on VH1. Seeing 20 slutty silicone-augmented women fight over an aging has-been rock star is just not contributing one iota to my goals for leading a fuller life… even if the episode where that skank stuck a shot glass in her vajayjay and then was (surprisingly) not invited to continue on the tour was mildly entertaining in a “I-just-saw-a-train-wreck-and-can’t-avert-my-eyes-from-the-carnage-lying-next-to-the-tracks” kind of way. Ewwww. 

So, yeah. I need to make some changes ’round here if I’m going to break out of this winter funk and live a fuller life.

And that brings me to my tip for the day. It is Tuesday after all and you know I love to share simple advice for better living in my semi-regular “Just the Tip Tuesday” columns. 

My advice today is to go outside and “blow the stink off.” That is what one of my favorite Aunties likes to call the simple act of taking a walk. If you just go outside and take a walk, it is amazing how much better you will feel. It clears your head, gets your heart pumping, releases those feel-good endorphins that help you to keep on keeping-on. It’s all good. 

I just got back from blowing the stink off with Bucket Head and I tell you what, I feel like a million pesos… which is much better than I felt an hour ago. It’s a journey… we’ll work up to a million dollars. One stink at a time.

Grab and Go

Ya’ll, I’m busier than a one-legged woman in an ass-kickin’ contest today, what with all the holiday Room Mom requirements, and Thanksgiving cleanup, and the fact that if I don’t grocery shop my family will surely starve to death. 

But it is Tuesday. And you know that when I’m not busy trying to keep my children alive, I like to share practical tips you can use in your own homes to make your lives all that much better than mine.  It’s a little thing I call “Just the Tip Tuesday.” Catchy, don’t you think?

So here’s my tip:

Don’t you just hate when you are trying to leave a place and your kids dig in their heels and say “Hell no – we won’t go!” And meanwhile, your hands are totally full with a diaper bag and a poopy diaper that you need to toss and your cell phone and your purse and a Tupperware container full of the leftovers that your Mother-in-Law insists you take with you? Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. Next time you get some attitude from a stubborn child and don’t feel like investing any more of your precious energy verbally enticing them to get in the damn car already, transfer all your stuff to one arm. Then, without warning, silently walk up behind them, grab the back of their overalls, pick ’em up, and just start walking. Like so:


Now before you call Social Services, I’ll have you know that no toddlers were harmed in this process. First of all, his diaper was probably totally saturated with urine, making it a very fluffy cushion for his goody basket. Secondly, he was so surprised by the maneuver that he said “WHEEEE!” I know, I know, not exactly the negative consequence needed to teach a life lesson. But sometimes a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do. The point is, this move shuts ’em up and gets ’em out. Then, when you get home, you can sit them down for a little “Come to Jesus” talk and let them know that if you ever, I mean EVER, have to physically extricate them from a social situation again, it will be the last party they ever attend. To which they will certainly smile and giggle and say something like “Mommy. More. Kiss.” and totally miss the point and melt your heart all in one fell swoop. 

But still. It’s a good move to try when your last nerve is on the verge of being severed in public. Now this is important… there are several key ingredients to being able to pull this off:

1.) Always dress your toddler in overalls when you are going somewhere that you suspect might be difficult for them to leave peacefully. A t-shirt just won’t cut it. You’ll rip the shirt and/or choke the child. Not OK. Also, these are little humans, not cats, so don’t just grab ’em by the nape of the neck or someone really will take your children away, and that is never good.  

2.) Have an escape route mapped out. This move works best when you remember where you parked the mini-van and can get there without having to stand in line at a Chuck-E-Cheese security checkpoint apologizing to the other parents. 

3.) Make sure you are in decent physical condition before you attempt this move. Arm strength is important here, but the actual lifting should always be done with your legs. Trust me, nothing says “the party is over” like a toddler with a concussion and a frazzled Mom flat on her pimped-out-pooper with a back spasm from hell. Or so I hear. 

So yeah. Parenting. It’s not for pussies. Give this tip a shot the next time you need an emergency escape plan, and remember, you heard it here first. Giddee-up! 

©2008 The Bearded Iris

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