A Hairy Picture Day

I had just started working days full-time again in January of 2008 after spending over four years of playing Daytime Daddy. However, I wasn’t completely free of weekday child duty as I had to still get the three kids up in the morning, dressed, fed, and cleaned up and to pre-school by 9 am. The kids would get up at about 8 am each morning, giving me an hour to get all of this done.

Mama Bear, who is a teacher and leaves early in the morning to get work done so she can be back early to relieve the sitter, makes life a little easier on this fashion-challenged father by picking out the clothes for the kids the night before. However, one of the toughest parts for me every morning is doing the girls’ hair, something Mama Bear obviously can't do since she leaves before the kids get up.

There is so much that goes into getting the girls' hair ready it’s ridiculous. Take a deep breath and read.

I have to: wet the hair, brush out the knots, put in some kind of lotion, brush it again so that lotion spreads out, put in some other kind of hair product (but only if the hair in not cooperating), put it in a bow or barrette or whatever mom leaves out for me (but I have to grab just the right amount of hair -- too much and hair clip doesn’t shut, too little and I don’t get enough of her bangs and then her hair gets in her eyes), then use a little bit of hair spray (but not too much hairspray b/c that makes her smell) to make sure it stays in place. Oh yeah, did I mention that I have to fight her to stay still during all of this. Have you ever asked an active 4-year-old or 2-year-old to stay still for more than one minute? It doesn’t work! Who knew that you had to have a special degree to do girls’ hair?

In comparison, for my son all I have to do is wet it and brush it and it stays the entire day.

Needless to say, this is very stressful for me. I mean, I want to make sure my girls look pretty and “feel” girly. And to make matters worse, Mama Bear quizzes the girls every night on what Papa Bear did with their hair that day. More times than not, I screw something up.

Anyway, it was picture day at preschool – a very stressful day for me as you can imagine. If I screw up their hair on picture day, I’m sleeping on the couch for a week!

So, Mama Bear picked out these great outfits for the girls - matching pokka-dot tops that are kind of like dresses with solid stretch pants things. Junior Bear had a simple shirt-pant outfit. So I got the girls dressed, kept them clean through breakfast (which was a first) and did their hair nearly perfect. I mean I was in the zone that morning. Their hair looked awesome (for my standards). I was so proud of myself.

Fast forward a few weeks.

I go to work and for some reason (I'm not sure why) Mama Bear was home from school that day and she picks up the proofs from school.

Well, 12:30 rolls around and I get a call from Mama Bear telling me she just picked up the kids and... Well I'll let you hear the conversation.

Ring, ring

Me: “Hel…”

Mama Bear (near laughter): “Hey Genius!”

Me: “What?”

Mama Bear (laughing): “What?! I’m looking at the pictures…”

Me (bragging): “They came out great, right? I know the girls' hair was perfect when I dropped them off. If the hair is messed up it's not on me.”

Mama Bear: “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Their hair was great and the kids are smiling. Only problem is the girls’ shirts are on backwards. You put their dresses on backwards!”

Me (laughing): “What? No.”

Mama Bear (laughing): “Yeah! The buttons are supposed to be in the back, not the front!”

Me: (still laughing): “Huh. How about that? Who would’ve thought it?”

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