Monday, October 20, 2008

Crash course in hair care

My goodness it's been almost another month. I'm getting behind again. I am one happy guy. My wife has returned from spending 4 days in Minneapolis at a Women of Faith conference. So my 4 days of playing "Mr. Mom" have ended. Now don't get me wrong. If I do say so I am a fair hand in the kitchen so feeding myself and our 2 children was not a problem, especially with the Schwan's driver coming every other week and a stop at the Burger King we definitely didn't starve. I also manage to do a bit of cleaning on occasion so the house wasn't a total disaster either.

This certainly wasn't my first time alone with the kids and I've always enjoyed it. It gives me an excuse to take some days off work and spend some quality time with the young'ns. What made this time different was that it was the first time beauty skills were involved in the list of job qualifications.

Brianna, our oldest, happens to be a 12-year-old girl. Or, as she likes to call herself, a "pre-teen". Suddenly the morning routine has evolved to much more than simply spraying some "no-tangle" stuff in the hair and combing it. Maybe bunching it into a pony tail if I really wanted to get fancy. Brianna recently lost several inches of golden tresses to donate it to "locks of love", a program that makes hair products for cancer patients. Shorter hair does not a good pony tail make. And being a budding young woman she is now suddenly gotten interested in make-up, boys, and demands to look her best every day.

So I had to go through a crash course in hairstyling from my beautiful wife. I took copious amounts of notes and stressed out the days leading up to the morning she left for Minneapolis. Spending nights tossing and turning, waking up in cold sweats, having nightmares about my daughter screaming that I'm the worst father ever. Okay, maybe that last bit was a slight exaggeration. But only slight. I was stressed out to the max. And those of you that know me personally know that I am generally not one to get stressed out over things. This is a new and very uncomfortable experience for me.

Last Thursday morning was my first trial by fire. Now I am truly not one to brag, but I majored in Computer Science in college and have worked as a computer professional for 18 years. People have said I can take a stubborn computer and make it start behaving with a few keystrokes and mouse clicks. But if you take my fingers that are so comfortable with a computer keyboard and mouse and put a hair dryer and brush into them, suddenly it feels like I'm learning how to write or feed myself for the very first time.

But I am as stubborn as I am inept at hair care and refused to give up. My daughter was counting on me to deliver her to middle school in all her radiant beauty. After much sweat, crying, and gnashing of teeth I managed to get her looking fairly presentable. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the stinging criticism that was sure to follow and asked her, "well, how did I do?"

She looks at herself in the mirror and nods her head, "not bad Dad."

SUCCESS!! unbelievable overwhelming success! Some of you might think this was barely a passing grade but for someone who spent the earlier part of last week hardly sleeping from worry, it was like a tremendous load had just been lifted. Flush from my success I realized that I would survive the next 3 days, my daughter's hair might not be up to my wife's meticulous standards but if Brianna says, "not bad", I'll take it.

Please understand I love my wife very much and miss her deeply when she's gone. And I was happy to have her back again not just because I could hang up my beautician's hat, I was truly happy to have her back home again.

But it was sooooooo nice to get up this morning and have me be the only person to worry about getting ready.