I spray her entire head with detangling matter and set about the task of turning a bird's nest into a respectable head of hair.
This activity is far too close to the category of undoing knots, which is spouse's department. Life is too short to undo knots. I refuse to undo “knots” I just snip them out. I am allergic to knots. Tangles are a subdivision of knots. I have long since delegated this category of tasks to spouse due to his superior skills, both fine motor and patience.
She has decided to let her hair grown long. I have not decided whether to permit this course of action, or not? I am still dithering on my proverbial fence, weighing up the pros and cons. My daughter is under the impression that she has a choice.
I wish to avoid the situation that I found myself in a decade ago with senior daughter. Yards of thick hair, a veritable rope to challenge Rapunzel. Too much for a teenager to manage. I didn't have the time to teach her how to manage her ever burgeoning follicles, nor the patience. I recall evenings spent with organic free range brown shelled eggs, whisked into a poultice. A natural hair conditioner. Nothing out of a bottle for that one. Holistic and organic, before it was fashionable.
The result was scrambled eggs in a metre of hair, because the rinsing water was just a tad too warm. The hysteria, the tears, the cleaning the bath. The status of being the only person granted permission to snip fragments off the ends, a mere shaving, so as not to lose the 'length.' Never again.
“Tell you what, at the weekend I'll teach you how to wash it, so that you don't have any tangles. [translation = snarls]
“O.k. Daddy did it all wrong!” she moans. [translation = multitasking parents delegate different jobs]
“No, not really, it's just that Daddy's hair is very short, so he doesn't know much about tangles.”
“Only ripping them out!” she snarls.
I brush gently with the occasional tweak and immediate apology. It's time consuming, especially at this fraught time of the morning. I leave spouse to cope with the boys and guide her to another room, out of earshot from their screaming. [translation = put on your socks campaign] We sit quietly, brush, tweak and chat. Minutes pass. Quiet minutes, apart from the tweaking and squeaking. I'll be short of time this weekend. Short of time then, short of time now. It helps me to remember that a decade ago, maybe I chose not to teach her big sister how to cope with her own hair, hard to say now, it was so long ago. [translation = one continent and several lifetimes]
It’s so important to teach all of them ‘life skills,’ I really shouldn’t show favouritism. Maybe I will be very busy this weekend. Maybe I won't teach this one either. Surely that would still be fair, to someone?