Monday, October 1, 2012

Too hot in the hot tub!

It hit 103 degrees today. Hot. To quote Eddie Murphy while channeling James Brown, definitely "too hot in the hot tub." To quote Addison, it was hot enough to "burn all the babies." In this picture, you can see the way Addison's hair is plastered to her head by sweat. She's tinged yellow because that's the nuclear power of the sun exploding through the windows. Hold me close, ebola bunny.

When we moved to California, I was growing my hair out. And then I realized that this coastal paradise that people describe as being so temperate and appealing is actually a desert. Not the kind you eat with a spoon and a cherry on top that makes you fat and happy. It's the kind that spontaneously catches things on fire and makes your whole body cry tears of sweaty sadness that stain the armpits of your shirts.

I'd been intending to let my hair grow long to approximate the grungy rocker/skinny Jesus look that captured my wife's heart (see exhibit A below, in New Haven, CT). A few weeks after the pictured photo was taken 7 years ago, she learned I'd cut it, and she almost ended the relationship right there. Samson without his hair, you know? A modern day Rape of the Lock. My mojo had disappeared along with the greasy stringy things that used to grow out of my head. Somehow she toughed it out and stuck with me, albeit with a shadow of the me that first caught her eye.

But in May of this year I decided that I just couldn't tolerate the growing-out process in a house with no air-conditioning. Feeling gross and sticky all day long is bad enough; doing it with long hair totally sucks. Women everywhere, I salute your commitment. And those of you who've told social convention to screw off and then shaved your heads, you're smarter than all the rest.

So I removed all of my hair. Here I am, halfway through the shearing that Addison and I performed as an afternoon project. 

She was barely two years old, and I'd wondered if I might cause existential anxiety in another of the women of my life, since she'd never really seen me with short hair. But she was fine, so long as I promised to keep my beautiful beard.

All this is to say that I totally get that hair is hard work, and if I can't manage my own, I can hardly expect my daughter to manage hers. Her fingers are like tiny little sausages, not the best for manipulating combs and brushes. I know that means the responsibility falls on us, her parents, but we pretty much fail at it as well. Her hair isn't thick or long enough to hold clips or pigtails for very long, and every time she lays down, she gets up with her head a mess of nests and snarls, whether it was combed two minutes ago or not.

And if she's sweaty, which she almost always is -- why are kids so sweaty!? -- it's just a mess. Clearly, she was sweaty today.

Obviously, this

is dang cute. We waited nearly two years before her hair was long enough to put in pigtails. But honestly, it's not worth it. She just pulls them out after about 30 seconds anyway, along with fifty million tiny hairs that she can't afford to lose.

So I’ve been on my wife’s case for a while now to let me cut Addison's hair, and give her a cute little Audrey Hepburn pixie cut or something. We can part it on the side and slick it down, and make her wear pink clothes to prove she's a girl. Or not. I don't really care what gender people think she is. Who are these crazy parents who think that it's a good idea to let little kids have long hair? I mean, just tonight this happened:

Addison got her syrupy fork stuck in her hair after trying to use it as a comb. Ridiculous. If we just gave her a buzz, this sort of thing would be a cinch to clean up. And premonitions about having to pick gum out of her hair are already giving me nightmares.

Let's just buzz it all off, and let her put on a toupe for going out in public. Something like this:

She makes it look good, doesn't she? On a day like today, doesn't it sort of make you sigh wistfully to imagine having a cool cabbage leaf on your head instead of a bunch of obnoxious hair?