Betty Duffy

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bed Head

This morning I went to the Mass at my kids’ school and sat in the back with the baby. My first grader walked in with his class and caught me off guard by displaying the kind of bed head that can give you a bad reputation all the way up through high school. “Remember when Duffy’s hair stuck up like three inches above his head? It’s called a comb, man.”

You’ll forgive me for not doing something about it this morning before we left for school. I didn’t realize that what looked like a little innocent bed head while he noshed on his bowl of cereal, would translate into a full on rooster's comb when compared with the tidy little heads of his peers. Plus, I had diapers to change, lunches to make, breakfasts to set out, shoes and belts and socks to find, then the gung ho march out to the car with five kids and car seats to fasten.

When he came to sit with me at Mass, I was distracted throughout the entire thing, not only by fussy infant, but by how I might be able to tame his mane. I tried a little spit on my palm to no avail. I contemplated the Holy Water font. If I asked for blessings over him in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, would it curb the mildly sacrilegious flavor of doing one’s hair with Holy Water?

I directed him back to the font at the sign of the peace, but he balked, until it was too late to use the water discretely. All the older folks in the back had turned around to flash us a smile, nod, and wave of peace. And we smiled and nodded back, then I pulled him into the women’s restroom.

“I can’t go in here Mom.”

“No one’s here. Don’t worry, you’ll thank me later.” and I yanked him a little harder, filled my palm with water and began to baptize him in the ladies room sink. Water dripped down his face and onto the shoulders of his shirt.

“Mom!” He pulled away so that he was holding the ladies room door open while I held his arm.

And then his teacher approached, “What are you doing?” she said to my son.

He looked at me helplessly, then his teacher rounded the corner enough to see me.

“Just a little bed head surgery here,” I said.

So what would you have done in this situation?:

1.) Ignore the bed head. It is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass after all, and first graders have a short memory.
2.) Use the Holy Water. God won’t mind, and the older parishioners who may be offended by it will probably be dead in a year or two.
3.) Ladies room. He can’t be trusted to go in the men’s room and do his hair on his own. He’d spend an hour in there for minimum outcome and then you’d miss Communion.
4.) Stop micromanaging your son’s life.
5.) Home school


Gina said...

number 1 with an addendum---hand the kid a comb and tell him to use it after mass.

mrsdarwin said...

I would have done exactly what you did. The teacher ought to understand if she has kids.

Kaighla said...

lol. homeschool

Emily said...

Let him ride the embarrassment wave all the way until high school. We all still remember who wet their pants in first grade. Eventually he'll either embrace his white and nerdy genes or figure out how to use hair gel. This is my approach to the development of body odor at our house: I have spoken to the preteens, demonstrated how to wash the armpit thoroughly - with soap, showed how to apply deodorant properly, and now it's up to the kids to be teased until they figure it out.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Emily but if I had been in your situtation I would have taken him into the bathroom too and when the teacher said somehing i would have sighed and said "uhhh...this is what i get for letting my husband get the kids ready" and then start nervously laughing like a hyenna.

i've heard buzz cuts prevent bed head and also provides an easier environemnt for lice checks.

Anonymous said...

that last comment was me, megan

Betty Duffy said...

You win Megan!