Monday, September 10, 2012

Goodbye, Green Hair

Have you ever read Good-bye Pink Pig by C.S. Adler?  It was one of my favorite books when I was a child.  My memory is sketchy, but the heroine of the book has all of these little figurines.  One of them is a quartz pink pig.  She's really lonely and has lots of struggles in her life, and the pink pig comes to life and is able to transport her to his world, a world full of the miniatures that this girl owns.  Anyways, she grows up a little and resolves some of her problems and realizes that she doesn't need the pink pig to take her away anymore, so she says goodbye.  Whenever I see pink quartz for sale, like at the state fair in a booth, or in a shop in Jackson or Yellowstone, I want to buy one just because it reminds me of that book.

I've thought a lot of this book over the last couple of days, because the time has come to say goodbye to the green hair that Micah has been wearing for....8 months or so?  Maybe longer?
It's obviously not a decision that has come easily.  He has felt some major insecurity, especially since Ben left for China, and my stance has historically been, "Hey, if it makes him feel more secure, and it's not hurting anyone, why not?"  And I've taken a lot of flak for that stance, by the way.
But things have come to a head in the past week.  I was noticing that, every time bathtime came around, Micah and I would have this huge fight over whether he could bring his green hair into the tub.  Every.  Single.  Night.  One night I finally gave in.  I pulled off his green hair, scrubbed his real hair and his body, rinsed him off, and when he got out, I wrung out the green hair and said, "Okay, let's hang this over the tub so that it can dry."  Oh no.  He was going to wear that hair sopping wet.

Fine.  Whatever.  Have a cold head.  Enjoy that.

But then he wanted to "nuggle" on the couch and watch "Gooby Doo" with me.  I told him I really wanted to snuggle him, too, but I couldn't do it with his green hair, because it would get me all wet.  So then he wanted to fight about that forever.  Finally, he decided to watch the movie by himself with his wet hair, rather than to snuggle with his mom.  And I had to put a towel under him so he wouldn't get the couch all wet.

The Green Hair was starting to get in the way of our life.

Second incident - he had mooshed Lucky Charms on his green hair, so I was like, time to wash it.  So Micah cried, screamed, rolled around, etc. for the whole two hours that the hair was washing and drying.  I got so fed up that I put him down for a nap. And then I did some research online about the best way to rid your child of these kinds of objects.  Obviously, there are a lot of ideas out there, but one that really stuck out to me was one that Supernanny did.  And I like her methods.  So I read up on it and decided to do it.

And I wasn't going to wait to do it, either.  Oh no.  The thing about me is, you can push and push and push me, and I'll grumble a lot, but I'll hold off for quite awhile.  And then suddenly, I'll be like, "THAT IS IT."  Ask two of our former dogs.  If you push me too far, I will do something drastic.  NOW.

Dylie was playing video games, so I asked him to hold down the fort while I ran to the toy store with the other two in tow.  Micah was sound asleep at this point in his room.  I ran to the toy store and got a toy Micah has had his eye on for quite awhile. I dug the green hair out of the dryer, marched it right out to the dumpster, and hucked that thing in.

Then I put the new toy and a note on the dryer.  This is what the note said (you may have to double click on this to see it bigger):

Isn't this ingenious?  Supernanny knows what's up.  She made it the Blankie Fairy, so I just changed things to fit our needs.  The Green Hair Fairy.

When Mikey woke up from his nap, immediately he asked after his green hair.  I was all, "Yeah, Mike, let's go down and get it together.  It should be all dry by now."  So I held his hand and we walked down the stairs.  His eyes lit up when he saw the toy - a LaLaLoopsy doll.  And he saw that the letter was to him (he can recognize the capital M).  I was like, "What is this?  What is going on?"  So I opened the letter and read it aloud to him.

It really was sad when he realized what had happened.  He immediately started crying. So I gathered him in my arms and took him upstairs and held him and loved him and hugged him and told him how happy that little baby who lives far away will be to have some green hair to take care of him.  He calmed a little bit, and we opened up his toy.  Here he is with his new toy, and a look in his eyes like, "I can't believe this just happened to me...":

He struggled quite a bit for a couple more hours.  He would keep asking where his hair was, and I would remind him, and then he would be sad and angry.  He would throw things, scream, and curse the Green Hair Fairy.  He told me how much he hates her and how he's going to kill her and squish her, etc.

But here's the thing:  he was mad at the Green Hair Fairy.  NOT ME.

So I was sympathetic and loving and just kept reminding him that the Green Hair Fairy was just doing her job.  Pretty soon, Sadie and he started playing with the LaLaLoopsy doll, and he was happy for several hours.

I was worried he would freak out at bedtime, but he was totally fine.  In fact, he said to me right before bed, "You know, I like my normal hair.  It's pretty."  I told him that, if he wanted to grow his real hair a little longer, he could do that.  And he thought about it.

But today, when it was time for Dylan and Gage to get haircuts, Micah told me he wanted his hair cut, too.  And lady at the salon spiked it for him, and he kept saying, "My hair is so cool.  I love my hair."  I started calling him Spikey Mikey.

Really, it's been easier than I thought.  If I had known how well he would take it, I would have done this months ago!  Haha!  I just wanted to do right by him.  But it was really starting to get in my way.  It was affecting more than him.  And one of the things I learned in my Love and Logic class is that we need to protect ourselves as parents.  If something is ruining our happiness and peace of mind, we need to deal with it and show our kids that we are dealing with it. We need to be good models of taking care of ourselves. 

Anyways, so far, so good.  It's so weird to see him without that green shirt on his head.  I wash his hair every day, but that was really the only time I ever saw it.  He looks so much taller and grown-up.


Kathleen said...

Good for you! What a wonderful thing to do for your whole family. I'm glad you explained this because I read your Facebook post the other day and didn't understand one little bit. Now I do!! Congratulations for making the hard decision and following through.

megan said...

Kar, you are just SO amazing!! You researched it and put so much effort into doing it in a way that he would be upset, but could live with it. You are always telling me how amazing of a mom I am, but I hope you know that you are an AMAZING mom too!! You blow my mind away all the time, in a good way:) Love you tons! I'm so glad it's been working out!! It's so weird to see Micah's actual hair in that photo!! He's such a cutie!!:)

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