Avery loves to suck her thumb and twirl her hair between her fingers. It's her version of crack. She is totally addicted to it.
When she first started the hair-twirling/thumb-sucking combo, it served as her little coping mechanism: a way to soothe herself when she was tired. I appreciated not having to fumble around in the middle of the night to find a missing paci. Her new found discovery kept her content and happy. It seemed like all would be well with my sleep-deprived world once again.
News Flash: There are no free rides on the Mommy Train, Sister. None at all.
What was once a harmless coping mechanism has now become a dreadfully dangerous habit.
Right about now, you're thinking, "Come on, Jennifer. Dangerous? You're being a little dramatic, don't you think?"
That's where you'd be wrong my friend.
Question: What happens when you mix sticky toddler fingers with beautiful, baby fine curls?
Answer: RAT'S NESTS.
You know what I'm talking about, right? The tiny, insignificant tangles that morph into huge, scary knots? The kind of knots that take an Act-of-God to get rid of without pulling out the dreaded...(shudder) scissors?
Rats are ugly. Rats are terrible. Rat's Nests, however, are even UGLIER and TERRIBLE-ER.
After a few very sad trial-and-error moments (some involving scissors), Avery's hair had begun to look like this:
Answer: Yes. Lopsided. Beautiful curls on one side. Not-so-many beautiful curls on the other side.
Having learned from my dreadful mistakes, I now have a carefully designed set of steps to follow before a brush of any sort can come near her head:
1. Catch the dreaded tangles before they become official rat's nests (the most crucial step).
2. Keep the "No More Tangles Spray" far, far, away until the appropriate time
3. Hold Avery down and begin carefully detangling hair with fingers (think unknotting a ribbon or untangling a necklace)
4. Ignore screams of pain. Ignore pleas for mercy. You are on a mission. It's for her own good.
5. Rake through knot with fingers until dissipated.
6. Brush through hair and THEN spray with detangling product
7. Fluff and scrunch
8. Bow and go.
Avery asks me a million times during the process, "All Done?". I wish.
A sad, long, painful process for both of us to be sure, but definitely worth it.