Bonding with my daughter
Having two cubs is amazing and I have no favourite! But as my daughter was born first, we spent a heck of a lot of time together; our bond is strong.
When we all lived together, one of her absolute favourite things to do was to catch me snoozing on the sofa, jump up next to me, scooch in and promptly fall asleep. We both found it so very comforting and even now she still likes to sleep in my bed.
She was born with hair; lots of lots of hair! She is a magic mix of ethnicity. Whilst I am of Jamaican heritage, her mum is a mix of Mauritian and Scottish which gives her the most gorgeous skin tone and thick, curly hair.
We’ve now established that if her locks aren’t combed through at least every other day they begin to knot. If it’s really left unchecked then it will matt. This is a big no no.
Over the years I’ve taught myself to do various things with her hair; I can plait, comb it; comb it then plait it. I’m thinking of starting a salon for Afro-Caribbean, Mauritian-Scottish women, but I fear it may be too niche.
I research everything I do, and I do mean everything. Where I had books on martial arts, physical training, the SAS (bloke’s staple) and nutrition, I now have books on making things out of cardboard, children’s stories and hairstyles. I love it!
Since the split we don’t do the sofa thing so much; she’s getting too big anyway but we do bond while we do her hair. It’s not a quick routine so we have to plan these things! Our routine goes a little something like this:
- Run a bath; argue about what toys go in
- Don’t overfill bath, as we’re going to be doing some serious shower work
- Try to convince my son that we’re not washing his hair and acquiesce that he can observe from the sidelines
- Wet her hair thoroughly, using the shower then apply shampoo/conditioner
- Acquiesce and place my son in the bath, after he decides that it’s more fun in than out
- Massage her hair, finger combing any knots out gently
- Leave the shampoo in while they both try to empty the bath without using the plug hole
- Rinse thoroughly
- Convince them to get out of the bath
- The trick here is not to dry her hair fully at this point.
I kissed a lot of frogs before I got to the panacea of hair products for ACMS women.
The magical properties of shea butter! natural afro-caribbean hair (and skin) is prone to dryness. I find this shampoo and conditioner really works well when allowed to sit in her hair for a while. Finger combing can really help at this stage.
The essential step; don’t dry the hair fully then apply globs of this stuff. I’ve yet to apply to much and again, the trick is to gently massage it into the hair before leaving it to work its magic.
I’ve learned the hard way that a towel over the shoulders protects everything from the Soul Glow effect.
Separate the hair into quarters or more. Grips and clips are handy if you don’t have hands the size of dinner plates or you have a really bad memory.
Finger comb again any knots that are still evident. Time to comb!
This comb is a multi-directional thing and easy to grip. Something else I found interestingly difficult with any amount of moisturiser; use the towel…
This part is vitally important. Do small sections of the hair at a time. Grip near the end at first to expose about an inch of hair. Comb out towards the end, both on top and underneath. The grip is to stop the pulling sensation on the scalp.
As the hair becomes more free you can work your way back towards the scalp. You’ll notice the hair falls into the most beautiful curls.
Move from section to section until it’s all combed through.
Is not a pictured here! You may have noticed that I tend to use stock photos of people rather than my actual children. Objects I take are ok and you may get the occasional blurred shot or background shot but that’s it.
The whole process can take an hour or so; plaiting takes longer as this is an add on from this stage.
I find that distraction is your friend at this stage. A 90 minute movie works wonders and keeps them both static. ish.
I’ve just noticed that the headline image is a woman and boy. Oh well; you get the picture.
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