The other day, I had to cut dreadlocks off the little boy’s head. He won’t let me comb it. He’s never let me comb it. 2 years old and I managed to get a brush on his head maybe 3 times since birth. He’s always cried bloody murder if a brush or comb got within 3 feet of his head. I feel for him. I remember the drama, the anguish of my mother combing my hair.
I have a friend who told me about how every night before bed, her mother would comb her hair for 20 minutes. She found it calming and even still her girlfriend would comb her head before bed. A story like that is pure fantasy. First off my mother doing anything besides yelling for 20 minutes before our bedtime would be a wonder. Hell, it would be a wonder if she was still awake since she went to be at 6pm most of the time. Secondly, like I said, tears. She would clamp our heads between her knees and with her long finger nails tenderly gouge our crania. Then the brush would come out.
The only thing worse than my mother combing my hair was when she braided it. Summer would be kicked off with 6 hours of brain-damaging corn rows. Our hair to tight that my eyes were on the side of my head. I looked like those Egyptian tomb paintings. She didn’t care. That hairstyle had to last at least until mid-August when she had a break from teaching. Even though I looked raggedy, I was thrilled when I learned that after the age of 9, my mother felt it no longer necessary to do our hair, thinking she’d instilled enough in us to do it ourselves.
Which is why it was so painful to comb baby boy’s hair. I didn’t want to be her. But his hair need it. It was so bad, you couldn’t even run your fingers through it in the back. It made nappy look over-processed. At first, I tried to comb it gingerly, but he wouldn’t sit still. Adrian said, “Cut it off.” So baby’s first haircut was actually two dreadlocks. That was two days ago.
Last night, he got another hair wash and I thought, “Here’s my chance!”. I put him across my lap and went to town. The drama! The anguish! I felt so bad. It was worse than when he got his shots. He got down and tried to run away. We caught him and went back to brushing and combing. 20 minutes later, you could get a fine-toothed comb through his head. Yay!