Saturday, June 20, 2009

Your Education Ain't Complete

The kid hates having her hair washed. In spite of that, I insist on washing it. Lately, she's improved her avoidance game and I suspect I'm outclassed. Instead of just going with a garden-variety whine-and-carry-on – which I have learned to ignore the same way Queen Elizabeth II would ignore the pair of emus she's just been gifted start to frantically mate during the photo op – Daughter manages to start something educational six minutes before I come for her.

The humbling thing is, I've stopped telling her I'm going to wash her hair. Just as the cat knows when the crate is out, even if it's waiting under a tarp in the laundry room, Daughter now senses when her hair has started to skeeve me and grabs something salutary. I just walked into her room; she and her dirty hair were reading "Philosophy for Kids," a book she inherited a year ago and, until twenty minutes ago, was notable for never having been acknowleged. But there she was, sporting her dirty hair, reading intently about Hegel. I stood in the doorway for a minute and she finally noticed me.

"I'm feeling readish," she announced, "Can you leave me alone for a while?" She gestured to a pile of books: Shakespeare's Tragedies for Kids, Physics for Kids, World Religions for Kids. Explain to me how you say to a child "Yes, your curiosity and your intellect was what I prayed for in pregnancy, but now I'm only interested in the outside of your head. Because I'm just that shallow and easily skeeved."

I tiptoed out, hopeful that we'd get her hair washed before she finished her liberal arts degree.


Blogger Leta said...

Well, at least if she's intent enough on avoiding the shampoo, she could have her master's degree by the time she can drive.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Whitney said...

Glad to know I'm not alone. My seven year old has learned that picking up a book ten minutes before bedtime means she more likely to talk us into letting her stay up!

7:47 AM  
Blogger OHN said...

I didn't persist too hard unless the boys started developing a stink that could easily be smelled blocks away if not caught in time.

Thankfully, I inherited "THE LOOK" that my own mother perfected. Once the boys saw my face morphing, they knew it was only a matter of time before the garden hose turned on. :)

8:41 AM  
Blogger preppyplayer said...

Be careful what you wish for!

4th grade to 7th grade were the years of bribes and threats regarding bathing...
I can't get them to stop!
With 5 kids, 12 and older I have two loads of towels I wash each day.
I have actually heard myself say, "you know, bathing so much is bad for the skin, it really dries it out."
Or, "haven't any of you ever heard of water conservation!"
And, why do they keep taking my shampoo? Every time I am in the shower, soaking wet, I notice that the shampoo is gone...
Your day will come.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, that is my daughter right there...I thought this was my own personal hell. My daughters diversion of choice is sketching and journaling. She also firmly believes that pulling her hair up in a ponytail and then fastening her bangs with a headband and a whole sleeve of clips will create enough of a distraction for me that I'll forget all about her dirty hair...

Peace - Rene

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not qualified to comment on domestic, but wanted to mention to QC that I just saw (again) TheG.B.G.-'77. First viewing in years, but a reminder of what I thought 30 years ago...undoubtedly (you hear this all the time I'm sure) one of the finest child actor perfomances ever. Highly recommended for anyone. Congratulations on this achievement, QC!

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, I remember going through this phase myself. It got to the point where my hair grossed even me out.

7:16 AM  
Blogger BiPolar Wife said...

Brilliant girl. Watch out for that one as a teenager!

When my babes were babes, I began just dumping plain water over their heads to get them used to it. Then came the baby shampoo and no one ever flinched ever when we washed hair and they love to swim and don't care if their face gets wet.

My mother in law, bless her soul, bought me this little plastic hat type thing to put on their heads when I bathed them so water wouldn't get on their face. I come from the "face your fear" school of thought. She informed me they would get polio from running through the sprinkler also. I never knew why she just could never say "I'm afraid of water" instead of making excuses all the time.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous spleeness said...

I'm el-oh-el!

I remember hating anyone touching my mop, except substitute "a wrinkle in time" and "white fang."

11:10 PM  
Blogger Dawn Maria said...

Your post made me remember (in vivid detail) the Saturday evening hair washing and fingernail trimming rituals of my childhood. I'm still shaking!

Must applaud Daughter's clever efforts as well as thank God for having boys because no one really cares what they look like and they're expected to smell badly on even the best of days.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do other people go through Quinn withdrawal... I check the blog regularly for my next dose of educated cynicism and humor. Can't wait for the book next week!

2:33 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

(Long time reader, first time poster.)

"Skeeve." That's my new favorite word.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous La BellaDonna said...

What happens if you say to her sadly, "Honey, if we can't keep it clean, we can't keep it long" ?

Does that work? Would that be a threat with any bite, or would it just gum in a feeble and futile manner?

12:43 PM  

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