Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Head Case

I had to shampoo my toddler's head three times this afternoon, scrubbing her scalp vigorously and pinching her thin hair between my fingers to wash away the oily residue. I had covered her head in sunscreen, and now I was paying for the deed. 

My daughter has disliked anything on her head for most of her life. Born in March, she cried when we put hats on her even as a newborn. Unfortunately, living in Alaska demands that newborns (especially five bound bald ones) wear hats in the winter, which doesn't typically end until May. We dealt with the crying; it was par for the course for the first four months of her life. 

Some time around five months she quit resisting head coverings, and I was thrilled as I accessorized her outfits with colorful bows and matching beanies. Around ten months she remembered that she didn't actually care for anything touching her head, and now she had the coordination and dexterity to match it. Though it was the dead of winter, she whipped hats (and of course headbands) off her head as quickly as I could put them on. I crocheted a hat with straps to secure it, and though it was warped and mangled by her fierce pulling, it stayed on. Unfortunately, her sun hats straps have velcro, and she has discovered it is no match for her previously unknown strength. 

And the hats come off. Every time.

Thus I found myself in today's predicament: unwilling to stay inside when the sun was shining brightly and the thermometer declared it was above 70, and unwilling to risk a sunburn on her oh-so-exposed scalp beneath a ridiculously thin matting of hair. So I squirted a small puddle of the thick, white shield into my hand and reluctantly spread it on her head, trying to rub it in and around her face while she looked at me with an expression that was more shocked than concerned. When I finished, a young boy nearby asked me why my child's hair was white. I explained to him my decision, and he looked unconvinced that it was completely necessary. After all, it looked completely ridiculous.

A few hours after the smearing, after three thorough scrubbings, the hair was mostly back to normal. A patch on the crown of her head escaped a thorough mauling and remained crusty and tangled, but otherwise evidence of the dousing was gone.

Good to know, since I have a feeling we will be repeating this again tomorrow. 

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