Flash Points

June 26th, 2011

Flash points.  Every mother I know has them: those points of contention with our children that cause us to go from sane, rational adults to wild-eyed maniacs in mere nanoseconds.  Said children, naturally, are well aware of what our flash points are and exploit them with consummate skill.  What’s funny about flash points is that, to the outside observer, they’re often insignificant things that don’t seem worthy of a full-on, knock-down battle.

Like hair ribbons.

Miss Mouse’s hair is a flash point for me…but usually only on Sundays.  During the week, I’m content to let her out of the house with unruly hair, though we do insist on at least running a comb through her tangled tresses.  On Sundays, though, I want to step it up a notch for church: pigtails, barrettes, clips, etc.

My wee ratling senses my deep desire for her to have pretty curly ribbons in her hair and immediately balks.  My blood pressure rises.  She digs in her heels.  My brow furrows.  Her eyes narrow.  It gets ugly fast. 

This morning, she refused pigtails, but grudgingly accepted the suggestion of a ponytail.  Until I asked her to sit still so I could put it in, at which point she started running around the house, chanting “no no no.”  I finally tackled her, and made her sit in front of me — wailing piteously the whole time — while I wrestled her hair into a haphazard ponytail.  (My ineptitude in the hairstyling arts does not help the situation, since it takes me a long time, with lots of fumbling, to do her hair.) 

Then, she refused the curly ribbon barrettes I had in mind.  I should have let it go.  I know it.  I know I should pick my battles, and that one wasn’t worth it.  But she was wearing a new dress and I had bought the barrettes specifically to go with that dress and it drove me absolutely nuts that she wouldn’t wear them. 

The monologue in my head in situations like that goes something like — “Look here, you wretch.  You get your way 99% of the time, so when I ask for a single, simple, solitary act of compliance from you, I jolly well ought to get it!

She did finally give in to my badgering and grudgingly allowed the curly ribbon barrettes to be placed in her hair.  And she looked adorable.  But next time I’m going to (try to) let it go.

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