The sweet song of a lark chirping outside my window rouses me from a restful night’s sleep. As I sit up, stretching my arms wide and batting my long eyelashes, a bevy woodland creatures scamper in with my custom mouse-made dress for the day. I’m coiffed by blue jays, bunnies, and rabies-free rodents who effortlessly tame my locks into obedient tendrils and bring me my size 6 ½ satin slippers. I float downstairs to the kitchen where I burst into a musical number with my enchanted appliances, which have made me a piping hot cappuccino with perfectly steamed milk in anticipation of my arrival. Avery and Lily frolic downstairs on Bambi’s back and alight in their high chairs with giggles and smiles and clean diapers. Noel, dressed in a crisp white uniform complete with golden epaulettes, kisses us each on the forehead on his way out the door to slay dragons or other such beasts. Our fairy godmother flutters through the air, waving her magic wand and liberally dispensing pixie dust, insuring a nothing less than gleefully happy day.
My day actually begins a little differently. When I wake up in the morning, my hair stands straight up as if I were electrocuted in my sleep. For the first ten minutes of consciousness, my right eye refuses to open, so I stagger around with only my left eye open and hair standing on end until I make it into the shower. Usually Noel is the only person who sees me in such a state, and he’s used to it by now. Sometimes he chuckles as I shuffle past, but then he gets the one-eyed scowl. Please do not show up at my house unannounced before 8 AM. You’ll be standing on the porch a long time before I manage to get myself in a presentable state. The biggest question of the morning is always,
“How much time am I going to invest in my hair?”
Sunday-going-to-church hair includes shampoo, conditioner, a wide tooth comb, a round brush, a blow dryer, a flat iron, and five hair products.
The other end of the spectrum involves water, comb, and a multitude bobby pins. After the hair issue is settled, usually with an army of bobby pins and a plaintive prayer to God along the lines of “Lord, it’s not right to change a woman’s hair after 3 decades,” I find some reasonably clean clothes and my size 10 Crocs. Yes size 10. My mom has size 5 ½ feet, so it’s really an injustice. I would like to clarify one point. I wear the cuter, ballet flat style Crocs, not the big, clunky clogs.When I get downstairs, I down a Slim Fast in one gulp while waiting on the coffeepot to finish brewing. By this time, Lily has started screaming bloody murder. I run back upstairs to retrieve her. The absolute best part of my morning is the look on my girls’ faces when they see me, hair tamed and both eyes open. It’s pure joy! I tote Lily downstairs and get her set up with her bottle in her high chair, then run back up for Avery. Breakfast includes some mixture of organic brown rice cereal and baby food and always ends up being some horrible color. By now Gigi is barking to be let outside or inside or needing water or food or something. The only part of the “Disney” morning that is even remotely accurate is Noel kissing us all goodbye. He may not wear epaulettes, but he always looks sharp. After breakfast, I take on the job of cleaning up the girls. They always end up with food on their foreheads, under the chins, up their noses, on the back of their necks, behind their ears, and sometimes in their armpits.
After this first round of cleaning, I take each child individually and burp her. I bounce her, pat her, twist her, and gyrate her until she expels her gas and possibly some of her breakfast. Usually by this point in the day, one of them has pooped. My life seems to contain a great deal more encrusted baby food, spit up, and poop than the lives of Disney characters. Cinderella may have scrubbed some floors, but I don’t remember her trying to keep a baby from sticking her foot in the poopy diaper she just removed. Snow White did a lot of cooking and cleaning, but I’m fairly certain none of the Seven Dwarves ever threw up all over her. Disney may not be putting out a totally realistic portrait of the life of the modern mother. Oh yeah, the princesses aren’t moms, and the stories end with the weddings. I may not have a talking tea pot or dress-making mice, but I have hair to cover my scarred scalp, feet to carry me through this world, and thank the Lord in Heaven a rodent-free home. I’m not so sure I want the life of a Disney princess anyway. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t trade my less than enchanting morning for a Disney morning, because my morning is real, and it’s mine.
Now Avery has something to say.
So a lot of you are probably thinking I make a big deal about my hair. You just might think I’m exaggerating about the whole “situation.” I will call your bluff. I will put my money where my mouth is. Here is a photo I took of myself on Sunday July 22, 2012 at 7:30 AM. This is the real deal folks. No kidding. I really do wake up like this. This was not staged or posed, obviously. How many of you are willing to publish a picture of yourself first thing in the morning? Should I receive some award for courage and honesty? Perhaps.
Now here I am at 10:30 AM, before walking out the door to church. Not too shabby, right? Just five hair products, 3 utensils, and 3 styling tools later, and I look pretty good. Artfully tousled? Perhaps.
Seriously people, less than one year ago I had STRAIGHT hair, straight like the caucasian woman in a Pantene commercial! The Lord sure works in mysterious ways.
If I can transform myself from picture #1 to picture #2, it’s all because of Kharissa Stevens, stylist to the stars, and the detailed instructions she gives me on how to style my own hair. Seriously people, if you live in Houston you need to go to her. This is not a paid endorsement.