Morning primping is enough to curl a father's hair

Sunday, February 17, 2002

You can hear the screams almost every morning.

No, it's not the Inquisition in our home. Becca and Bailey are getting their hair curled.

It's amazing how quickly our daughters can get dressed when they want Joni to curl their hair before they go to school.

Normally, it's a chore to get them out of bed and ready for school. But since they have started getting their hair curled in the morning, they've become quite speedy.

This isn't Olympic curling, that sport on ice that has all the Nordic types excited.

This is curling American style.

Our daughters never cared much for all the curling when Joni was using her old, hot roller set.

Besides, Becca's hair would never stay curled long. It played it straight.

But things changed recently when Joni bought a new "Twister" curling machine that involves glowing, Gummie worm-like things that you use to tie up your hair.

There's nothing like girls with curls unless it's watching them walk around the house with those worm things in their hair. They're thrilled to go to school with curls, even pig tails, anything but straight hair.

They want hair with pizzazz.

Boys aren't that way in elementary school. They don't mess with their hair like girls do. Of course when I was going to school, my hair was cropped short. There wasn't anything to curl.

But it's clear that curling is great sport for girls.

Even Joni loves to give her hair some curl. Of course, it's difficult these days because our daughters are hogging the curling machine.

You've got to like a device that allows you to snap in curls without having to put your hair up in rollers. It's almost like drive-through curling.

It's not an Olympic sport, but personally it's far more interesting than delivering stones in the real game of curling.

Bailey, however, actually might like the game because it involves sliding stones. Bailey loves rocks. She pockets them like some people pocket money.

Of course, she's just a nature's kid. Rocks, trees and leaves are collector's items with her.

When Bailey checks books out of the school library, she almost always comes away with a book on animals. The other day she checked out a book on squid. I think she liked the pictures.

But even as a 6-year-old outdoors girl, she likes a little hair styling. It's important to look good even in kindergarten class.

Of course, by the end of Valentine's Day, she was looking a little bedraggled. But you can't blame her. Those Valentine's parties can be tough on kids. Classroom games and all that candy take its toll.

Becca, at age 10, has learned to take all these classroom parties in stride. She came home with a ton of Valentine's cards crammed into her backpack and a fake heart tattoo on her arm.

Meanwhile, I'm still learning about hair curling. I'm not brave enough to try to curl my kids' hair.

It's something I leave to Joni. Just trying to put their hair in pig tails or a pony tail is a major challenge for me.

The other day I practically assaulted Bailey's hair. Repeated attempts at hair styling only mangled her hair more.

I gave up and let Becca arrange her sister's hair.

If it involves more than a comb and hair spray, I'm at a total loss. I've decided it's best to leave the hair styling in the hands of the girls.

They clearly are all curled up with the styling gene.

Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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