Before you read this make sure you’ve left your PC-ness at the door, along with any judgement. If you take offence to words like ‘pubes’, ‘black’, ‘hair’ and ‘Doh’ then this post isn’t for you – you have been warned. Also remember this is my blog and my experience of life with Emma. It is not meant to offend or upset anyone. If you know me and my blog you will ‘get’ this post…
I’ve mentioned before in a previous post that when adopting a black baby as a white couple or single parent some agencies ask if you’ll be okay with their ethnic hair. Apparently there are a few people who freak out when their baby’s hair changes from a soft downy fluff to a mass of curls.
Emma has gorgeous hair. I don’t know much about good or bad black hair but friends (and strangers) tell me it’s perfect. It’s strong and has the same texture all round. But of course I have no idea what to do with it. Not because it’s black . Because its different to mine. I have fine hair, affectionately known as bum fluff. I know what to do with it. If I had curly hair I’d know what to do with that, but I don’t, so I don’t.
I can’t tell you the times I’ve stood in front of the ethnic hair products shelves totally confused. There’s oils and creams. Straighteners and moisturizers. I have asked for advice as to what products I should get and I can see the confusion on the persons face. It’s as if they want to tell me I’m in the wrong section. When I say it’s for my daughter I get the same look…
On Friday I asked a mommy who had her daughter with her what she uses to wash her hair. She looked at me as though I had ‘half-smiley’ for a face and then answered in a not so subtle are-you stupid kinda tone “Shampoo!” Doh.
Emma’s hair has been a source of endless conversations. Some funny (like the time she ended up looking a Tombliboo with velcro balls stuck on her head), some serious (like the fact that it’s getting so knotted or ‘locked’ that I don’t know what to do with it). Some best not spoken aboutlLike the time I thought it would be a good idea to have a lock of Emma’s hair as a keepsake.
I’ve always loved the idea of keeping a snippet of her first hair cut, like most mommies do. But I have learned that this works best with Caucasian hair, not Emma’s Tigger hair, which is springy and bouncy bouncy bouncy.So when Mark was giving Emma a trim I asked him to keep a little bit of her hair aside for me, for our memory box. And he did…leaving a snippet on the table, throwing the rest away. Motherly duties got me busy and I forgot all about it…until a few days later.
I was cleaning up and looked at this clump of hair. Mark!” I yelled “Why are there pubes on the table?” Doh!
Needless to say we’ve decided we’ll do away with the tradition of baby locks and hold onto Emma’s childhood memories some other way