Saturday, March 5, 2011


Just because everyone else does it is not a reason to do it.

Just because nobody else does it is not a reason to not do it.

Just because everyone else does it is also not a reason to not do it.

And just because nobody else does it is not a reason to do it.

I'm pretty good at the first two. I've gotten better at the third one. (I finally started wearing jeans when I was about 17, because I realized I liked them, even if everybody else DID wear jeans...) I think I blew it on the last one this week.

Oh, and I don't mind at all defending myself on things I agree with. I wear sandals all year round regardless of the weather, I breastfeed rather longer than is typical in my culture, I have a homebirth in Cyprus even when people try to tell me it's illegal. Oh yeah, and we homeschool, or at least, we don't send our children to school. I don't even bother getting defensive about those issues (and a whole lot more), because I'm totally happy with my decisions in those areas.

However, I have a rather more difficult time defending myself on decisions I've made that I'm not so thrilled about. Which is why I've already rambled on so long, and might ramble a bit more, too, before I get around to getting to the point.

On Tuesday my husband took the day off of work and spent the day with Katie, to give her a bit more one-on-one attention. They went to the playground, they went to the marina to look at boats, they went out for lunch, and they talked. When Katie said that she didn't like herself, Jörn asked why not, and she said she didn't like the color of her hair, that she wished she had red hair. She'd said that to me quite a few times in the last several months, as well, so this wasn't just a sudden, one-off, flippant response. I'd always responded by telling her that I was sorry that she didn't like her hair, that I thought it was beautiful, that her hair-color isn't HER, etc. Her father, however, after further discussion and not finding anything else that Katie wasn't happy about, asked Katie if she'd like to dye her hair red.

Here's where I'd really like to be able to blame my husband. "Can you believe it?! He spent the day with Katie and brought her home with RED HAIR!!" Then I wouldn't have had anything to do with it, and could also secretly be proud of my husband for not caring what the world thinks and just extravagantly giving his little girl her heart's desire. Unfortunately, Jörn sent me a text asking if it was okay, and I only responded, "You're her father. I won't shoot you." To complicate things, Jörn and Katie then went and bought hair dye, at which point I knew that I was going to be even more involved than I wanted to be.

Because Life does tend to be a little busy around here, we didn't find time to do the deed until Thursday afternoon. Katie was quite excited by the prospect:

Okay, so I agree she could use a haircut, but I still liked the color God gave her:

Aside from agreeing to this insanity in the first place, my next contribution was to suggest that we do it outside, and I sent Lukas to find a big piece of cardboard to protect the terrace, not knowing how messy it might get. Jacob donated the use of his paint shirt, and we used a toy bucket, in case the dye was permanent on things other than hair. And I also took photos, and I'm pretty sure that just standing around and not springing to the defense of my child does constitute aiding and abetting, and therefore makes me an accomplice.

The instructions, by the way, were in Greek (which I can technically read, but don't understand enough of the words for that to be of any use), Russian (well, something in Cyrillic writing, anyway, my best guess being Russian because there are so many Russians in Cyprus), Arabic (maybe?), and possibly Hebrew. Jörn had asked the cashier to explain them to him, so I just had to hope that he'd listened and understood well enough. I'd been planning to read the instructions myself to see what we could maybe intentionally do wrong to make the dye less permanent, but not knowing if shortening the time or skipping the conditioner or something else like that would make the dye less permanent, or just make the color worse, I didn't dare deviate from what Jörn had been told.

At Tots (playgroup) that morning, I did ask a couple of people if the dye should be applied to wet or dry hair, since Jörn didn't know. The general consensus there, by the way, was that we definitely should NOT dye the hair of a five-year-old. (This is where my difficulty in remembeing the fourth statement up at the top comes in...) Incidentally, the most outspoken against it were those who had dyed hair themselves.

So here is Jörn mixing two chemicals (I still can't believe I put some horrid chemicals, no idea what, on my little girl's head)...

 ...spreading the white goo on Katie...

...watching it turn pink, then purple, then red...

And now getting ready to have it washed:

 I did the washing, since I wanted to be very sure that none of it went into Katie's eyes.

And here is my five-year-old daughter with red hair. Gives new meaning to the phrase "she got the red hair from her father."

1 comment:

  1. And does she like it? It does look pretty, maybe a Henna rinse next time, not so many chemicals and probably not so red but a lot safer.

    Best wishes
    Jen in Oz