There are certain things I cannot abide. Pigtails are one of them. I consider them downright unlucky past the age of 3. I’ve never liked them. However, not immune to involuntary spasms of stupidity I accidentally put them in my daughter’s hair when she was around the age of 8.
When she was born she didn’t have very much hair. I had heard that if you shaved a newborn’s head the hair would grow in thick. You’d probably be as surprised as I was to find out that the difference between some hair and no hair- is vast. She, being a baby, bore this with forbearance and all the dignity a bald, drooling, toothless infant could possibly be expected to muster. Let me just quickly say that it DOES NOT work. Her hair grew back just as wispy as it had been at the start.
I firmly believe that the daily hair styling sessions she endured with grace were a formative element of her education. Not a big fan of the slatternly look, I usually braided her hair very tightly so that it would stay put. I was particularly keen on the Swedish braid looped around her head or looped braids behind her ears.
But on this day I must have lost my mind; the mental image I have of her at gymnastics class in her little blue leotard still discomfits me. She had gotten into some sort of trouble with the teacher who was dragging her up the row of waiting mothers trying to ascertain whom she belonged to. I felt so bad for her: those stupid pigtails! It was my fault. She cut quite the pathetic figure: hot, sweaty, pudgy, and pissed off. Much to my deep admiration, she refused to point me out. I seriously considered pretending I didn’t know her: spare us both the ignominy. Instead when she finally got to me, our eyes met in solidarity, and I pulled the elastics out of her hair.