Almost Cut My Hair… Then I Did

Ever since I decided to write this blog I’ve been humming the Crosby, Steel, Nash, & Young song that my Dad used to play me as a kid… 


Actually, I did this a few weeks ago before we went away on holiday, but I wanted some time to get used to it before I blogged. 
As some of you know, I’ve spent a great deal of this year wearing headscarves (officially a tichel) to make light of my hair coming out in clumps at the start of the year. I kept it long despite the daily winding up of balls of hair & needing Mr Geek to wash it for me because 1. I couldn’t get my arms up to shampoo & 2. The weight of my wet hair needed me to support my head with my hands. I did this because, well, I gave long red hair. That’s who I am. Until I snapped.

My GP has now put me on an extraordinarily high dose of vitamin D, which I just don’t process and my hair has recovered in as much as my scalp is covered once more. It’s also had an impact on my energy levels & I’ve stopped falling asleep mid conversation for the most part (now, it really is because you bore me).

But I wanted to look “better”. No matter how funky I made my headscarves, being in a wheelchair, they just added to the “sick” look. So I marched my family into the hairdressers & whilst the kids were having their Pre-holiday trim, I asked them to lip off 1ft of hair from my head. I had a vague style in mind & handed her these two photos announcing that I wished to have a midlife crisis & hang about playing the ukulele.

She looked at me & asked if I was completely sure I wanted to cut such long hair & if my husband minded me having so much hair cut off. I opted for even shorter. In my mind, the end result would be the catalyst of me dropping the uptight image & Boho my way through the summer with potential ukulele based nudity.

The reality was close to my mental image even if it took a while to work out how to style it (I have natural ringlets- who knew!?)

From a practical point of view washing, brushing & styling is all infinitely easier with shorter hair and the front is long enough to still be clipped up out of my face.

From a deep down emotional point of view, this is another thing that EDS took away. I can’t manage with long hair anymore & gave in. I loved my hair & to a point also loved my scarves which I will continue to wear when I feel the need to cover  (I didn’t when we went out in Germany & surrounded by women in hijab, I rather wished I had covered some days as a safety blanket). I need to set about working on the new ‘short hair’ identity. It’s still red, but not as red (or pink, or green) as I’d like it to be, but give me time…
When I get back to work, I’ve set myself the mission to tame it into looking more like this:

For those of you who haven’t come across Fleabag, search it out on Amazon (or BBC3 if you’re in the UK). Her hair is amazing. Oh, and the show is tremendous too.

So there you have it – good hair news in that it’s healthy & returning thanks to hearty vit D doses, and other hair news in that my midlife / chronic illness crisis has left me shedding any high flying career ideas that may have once been top of my Maslow triangle,  instead, with holes appearing at the bottom of the hierarchy, I’m reverting back to by teens with a life goal of obtaining that dishevelled & slightly unwell, but still oddly sexy look a la Courteney Love, and a Palmer etc. and playing the ukulele naked somewhere. Now after 2 cesareans, emergency surgeries, & a penchant for Milka, no-one needs to see that!

Just for reference, I was prattling on about where I sit on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – like the foundations of how to be a happy & fulfilled person – without the lower tiers, the higher tiers fail. Based upon this, where are we do you think?

Reduced mobility & Boho clothes are really very suited. There’s another blog right there. But for now, what was your biggest thing you “gave into” because of disability?

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I Want To Look Like The Cool Lady

BeanPole is having a pre-teen crisis. I apparently have the beginnings of an angsty tween on my hands and its all about her special style. In recent weeks, we’ve had to have ‘the talk’ about double denim, and she’s now starting to take style direction from her mother, which is frankly dangerous.

She has decided that she is ‘alternative’ and wants to dress her way, or rather the way she has decided is cool rather than the standard fashionable stuff for kids (I’m totally up for this). Cue 8 yr old pulling teenage pose…

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This also means that our current preparations for the new school year are now hindered by her inner need to be immensely cool and school uniform adjustments are being demanded. Luckily (for her, not me) their school uniform is a guideline rather than a strict adherence to specific clothing. Although while more expensive, it would certainly cause me less heartache. So instead we have commenced the ‘I want to wear shorts and tights’ argument along with the ‘I need a slouchy cardigan rather than a back to school one’. Slouchy? Ahh. You mean a chunky knit, rather than the standard school issue one. Really? You’re nearly 9! I had reckoned on a few more years!

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I can see her point. Her version is more stylish, but it’s for SCHOOL! I think I may have found an issue with having my own oddball sense of style.

Then came the glasses. The kid needs them, and the NHS will fund a certain amount. But she has a rather large head and as such needs ladies glasses. And the kid did her research. Not by looking at her peers, not by taking hints from pop stars (I’m actually quite proud of that), but by trawling through my WordPress reader and coming across the Goodnight Mush blog. On there she caught sight of a lady named Jill and made the decision that she exuded cool from every pore and must have her glasses. Im hoping that this woman that we have never met, but who is now influencing my baby’s self image sees this imitation as flattery rather than all a bit creepy! We ended up with something very similar, although they are full rims as her right eye requires something akin to a bottle in thickness and an ongoing argument over her not being able to maintain a Betty Page fringe (I do from September to about Easter, then get lazy and grow it out over the summer).

So what do I do with a kid who is fighting for her identity? I make a list.

I will – Let her adapt her uniform mildly – she can have shorts. The cardigans will be a compromise.

I will not – Buy her DM boots for school (mainly because they’re £90!)

I will – (and have) cut her hair into a more grown up style with some feathering and a bit of an emo fringe.

I will not – allow make up under any circumstances. No way. Not yet.

I will – apparently part with £75 for the ‘right’ glasses.

I will not – try to make her change her style unless it’s inappropriate for her age. I’m actually quite proud that she wants to be individual.

I may need to apologize to women thousands of miles away for my child obsessing over their fashion choices.

I may also need to take a trip to the Laines in Brighton with her. She and I need to do some shopping.