My Kid is Country, Y’all

Maya is reading and writing like crazy lately, as kids are known to do in first grade. She is encouraged to sound out words and write them down as she thinks they might be if it’s not a word they’ve covered in class yet. She’s pretty good at it most of the time! The other day I was looking at some of her school papers and reading some of the cute little stories she wrote, and I kept coming across a word that she spelled as “theon.” I was confused. This is not a word I am familiar with, and my vocabulary is probably above average. Trying to understand it, I said the word aloud. And it hit me. “Theon” is how you might write down the word “then” if you’re a little girl with bit of a drawl. Two syllables. Oh my.

Tonight as we settled down to read a few books together before bedtime, she decided that mama needed a special bedtime hair-do. “What a great idea,” I said, and handed her the comb. She reached for the detangling spray, too, naturally. It’s just not as much fun to comb your mother’s hair without loading it up with so much detangler that it runs down her scalp and requires her to take a shower once you’re solidly asleep. She sprayed and combed. And sprayed and combed more. She put a hair tie in my hair and commanded me to just try not to cry if it hurt too much. She gave me permission to touch my head if it hurt, to help with the pain. I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth and said, “this is fun! You’re doing such a good job.” I could hear some of my hair snapping off. My stylist will wonder what on Earth happened to me.

After studying her work, she took the hair tie out and started combing again. Added a little more detangler. As she combed, she said, “you’re going to have something like a ponytail, only messier.” I thought that would be just fine for the bedtime stories. Then she said, “Mom, this is just like when you do my hair! Only I do it neater and better. And it hurts less.”

Heaven help that child if what I do in the mornings hurts more than what was happening on my head tonight. My ponytail-but-messier is pretty fab, though, which is good, because the detangler overload has dried into a stiff, glue-like substance and I fear the hair tie may never come out.

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