Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tresse Francaise . . . ooh la la!

When I found out my second baby was a girl, one of my first thoughts was, “I can do her HAIR!” If I had spoken it out loud, it would have been followed by a squeal. I was elated. I had high hopes of barrettes, ponytails, pigtails and even – French braids!

I don’t want to toot my own horn but you should know that I can do French braids. To me, this is an extraordinary feat because my own mother can NOT do French braids. It was probably precisely because she could not do the tresses francaise that I loved for my hair to be in them which left me continually calling in my aunt, her sister, to execute the coif. Often, my aunt would have to do them the day before a big event and I’d sleep with my hair wrapped in a bandana. If you’re plagued with super-fine hair as I am, you will understand this is not a successful strategy. I would wake up with my hair half un-braided, totally fuzzy and unkempt, like I’d been wrestling a bear. Nonetheless they were French braids and I figured they worked a little like diamonds. An imperfect diamond is better than no diamond at all.

But, I thought with satisfaction, back when I was preggo, my daughter would not have to wage the uphill battle of sleeping with her braids in. I could do FRESH braids for her, the morning OF. Oh how fortunate she would be! Oh what a bright future of braids and barrettes and chignons we had before us!

I know Seconda is only two and a half but so far a barrette hasn’t lasted longer than thirty seconds in her hair. As soon as you put a rubber band in her hair she rips it out and throws it on the floor with chagrin, like “Oh no, we’re not going to go through THIS again, are we?”. And so her hair is always wild, untamable, and totally out of control – exactly like she is.

I wouldn’t be so surprised that she can’t keep a barrette in her hair because after all, she is still just a toddler and half-animal, except that when I look around at her little two year-old friends, all the girls have bows and ribbons and feathery silky shit stuck daintily in their dos. How do you do it, parents of the well-coiffed? It baffles me. Do you bribe, threaten or dupe? Oh, but I know without asking, that it is just because your children are more compliant, more easy-going, less eager to sweat the small stuff, like the rubbery things you put on their head to make strange shapes with their hair.

My baby girl is stunning just as she is, of course. And perfect, too. I mean, it’s not like I feel there is something missing from the way she looks, something that needs to be corrected. I’m just a girl who likes accessories and I thought it was a love we could share. Plus, in case you haven’t picked this up by now, I CAN DO FRENCH BRAIDS. It’s like being Pablo Picasso but having no paint.

But since I am a humanitarian, I will share my riches of talent with you. I will reveal to you the secret of French Braiding hair. Or ehow.com will do it for me. Click here to begin your tutelage.