The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Friday, December 03, 2004

Gee, your hair smells terrific

Between the dry winter weather and our level of constant activity these days, Julia's hair has been particularly flyaway and scraggly lately. When I got her school photos back this week, I realized she has officially become the spitting image of the disheveled child I always swore I would never be caught dead taking out in public. So I stopped at the store yesterday and picked up some kids' conditioner to see if it would help to tame the unruly mess of baby fine, not-quite-curly-but-not-quite-straight, ridiculously flyaway hair I seem to have unfortunately passed down to my daughter.

When Julia got home from school, she spotted the bottle of conditioner on the counter and knew instantly that it was for her because it looked similar to her shampoo bottle. She insisted on smelling it right away and asked me a million questions about what conditioner is and how it would make her hair look. Then she couldn't wait to get into the tub last night to try it out and was almost giddy with excitement to have me style her hair this morning. Since when are nearly-3 year olds ever excited about having their hair done? If I'd realized conditioner was the key to cooperative hair washing and styling, I'd have bought a vat of the stuff a long time ago.

Julia's reaction reminded me so precisely of my own behavior every time I buy a new hair care product that I couldn't help but laugh. I'm a marketer's fantasy -- I buy a new, overpriced brand of shampoo and conditioner nearly every time I run out of the stuff, always based solely on the attractiveness of the packaging and the scent of the product. I've been known to spent insane amounts of money on shampoo, despite the fact that it's all really just soap and water and my hair remains baby fine, not-quite-curly-but-not-quite-straight and ridiculously flyaway regardless of what the label promises. My hair always ends up looking pretty much the same, but every single time I buy something new, I'm giddy with excitement to try it out and admire the results, exactly as Julia was yesterday.

I guess all sorts of traits are hardwired into genetic code, because clearly Julia has inherited my insane weakness for hair care products along with my unmanageable hair. Good to know we'll still have something to bond over when she reaches the difficult teenage years. It's going to cost me a fortune, though...


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