Last week someone posted a facebook status that said something like “I know of a mom who still helps her 8 year old SHOWER!!” I didn’t know this was something to be judgmental about, I still help Addie in the shower at least once a week.
Here’s the thing, Addie has a crazy amount of curly hair. When I wrote about how to take care of curly hair, one of the things I’ve found that works best is not to wash it everyday. In winter she can go a week without shampoo, any more than that and she dries out like a worm in the dead heat of summer. However summer, summer is a different story. All that curly hair acts like a helmet, keeping in her body heat and sweat leading to a very smelly child by the end of a fun filled day outside which means more frequent shampooings. I leave 75% of the hair washings to Addie, but once a week I stand at the side of the shower and scrub the daylights out of her head and you wouldn’t believe what comes out.
If you’ve ever seen a kid wash their hair, they fill their hands with shampoo, rub them together and slap them onto the top of their head and rub, at least that’s the way Addie washes her hair despite desperate attempts to get her to start from the bottom and work up. She also doesn’t like getting her face wet so she’s a little iffy on the rinsing as well. Conditioner is usually applied in the same manner and while she comes out smelling fresh and clean, after a week there’s a lot of shampoo buildup in there. Simply running water on her head causes latent bubbles and layers of shampoo to come to the surface. I had to tell Cody a month ago that if I anything were to ever happen to me, it’s very important that Addie’s head get scrubbed really well at least once a week lest she look unkempt and unloved.
Even I have a hard time washing my own hair sometimes. I have a lot of it and it gets pretty greasy pretty quick (thanks hormones!), if I don’t follow a pattern and rinse well? I can be left with some scraggly bits as well. During each weekly scrub I narrate to Addie what I’m doing and stress the importance of not using too much shampoo, not smooshing it all in one place and rinsing well. Seven is big, but still really little and super curly hair is a big responsibility, even for grownups. I don’t have a problem getting my hands in there now to teach her proper haircare now while she’s still young so she can have it all figured out as she gets bigger and way more independent. As for all of her other parts? Those are her responsibility to keep clean.