Landmark Ponytails

Landmarks come in all shapes and sizes.

So do ponytails.

So, if it comes to that, do husbands. And daughters.

So, if you can get your husband to make two ponytails on your under-4 daughter, even if the two ponytails turn out to be different shapes and sizes (with nothing resembling a parting getting in the way), it’s still a sort of landmark, right?

Actually, it’s more than that – it’s an award-winning accomplishment. Trust me.

I mean, Amit is a pretty useful dad. He’s done every one of the nasty tasks associated with raising kids, right from disciplining them to cleaning up all sorts of things, and even bathing them. There’s really nothing he hasn’t tried so far.

Except ponytails.

He was ok with clips as long as it was just the clips. Still no parting anywhere in sight, but he managed to put the clips in so that they stayed, at least for a while. But a month or so ago, the girls became amenable to ponytails and that’s when the fun started.

I don’t really know why I’m even growing the girls’ hair (hairs?), considering I’ve never had a clue how to deal with long hair. When my hair gets long, it becomes a complete mess. And it’s a mess I hate handling – oiling, washing, conditionering, combing, arranging and rearranging… what a headache! So ideally I should have just kept the girls’ hair really short and, chances are, if they decided to emulate their lovely mother (me, I mean) they’d want to keep it short.

But on the other hand, I do envy people who have lovely, thick, long hair and I think that to get there, you have to start really young. And if you have lovely thick long hair, you can always cut it off later if you want (criminal though it might be); but if you don’t, you can’t grow it overnight.

So we’re growing the girls’ hair(s) – which means, we have to deal with “arranging” it on a daily basis. Sigh.

I’m not too good at doing their hair myself. The partings I make are far from being straight and narrow and are not always in the center of the head either. I can manage to put their clips in two or three basic orientations, but I can’t do really ornate things there, the way their daycare attendants do. And I really haven’t learnt the art of making wriggly-squirmy kids sit still while I do their hair, so however simple my attempt, it usually turns out a lot less ordered than intended.

When I tried ponytails on them the first few times, I wasn’t too sure how to go about it. About a quarter of a century ago (at least) I’d seen a very good friend of mine doing her small cousin sister’s hair. The said cousin sister had extremely long, silky hair, and she sat patiently while my friend neatly combed and plaited it. That, dear reader, was the only live demo I’d ever had. So you know what you can expect.

By now, having done ponytails at the rate of four per day for a month or so, I’m fairly adept at it. That is, I can get the hair into two roughly equal and more-or-less symmetrical bunches on the head even when the head has a mind of its own quite at odds with my ambitions. But I have to admit, it’s not easy.

It’s not half as difficult, however, as trying to persuade Amit to do ponytails. After many attempts, I finally got him to lose his ponytail virginity by doing Tara’s hair. The result could well have been displayed in the museum of modern art for its brilliant creativity, stupendous asymmnetricality, and sheer artistic exuberance. I don’t know how many admiring looks it would have won poor Tara in school. Yes; callous mom that I am, I sent her off to school like that! (Though I should add that she was quite insistent about not having me “fix” her hair.)

Hopefully this is the start of a new era: The era of the ponytailing dad!

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7 Responses to Landmark Ponytails

  1. Prakash says:

    Hey I have done it for Pragya many times, it is far far far from perfect and there were times I had carried comb in my bag and asked Suchorita to do it again. Few weeks back I even got a comment from one of the bench grannies that it looks messy and apparent that the Mother is still in office 😦

  2. Sadia says:

    How sweet! Lucas is more concerned about the girls’ appearance than I am. He declared early on (think 3 months old) that he wanted the girls to have long hair, if they were okay with it. He had me teach him to plait their hair a couple of years ago. He usually has me redo it if he does two ponytails, though, because they’re not as even as he likes.

    Melody’s fascinated with elaborate hairstyles. We did this one on both girls yesterday. (15 minutes for both.)

  3. Supriya says:

    It was to solve this problem that I cut p’s hair. Apart from the fact that it really got very hot. But P managed pretty ok till I was not available. I didn’t at the point consider it as a landmark achievement – poor P. Happy to hear that Amit has learnt one new skill this month. And don’t you mean conditioning and not conditionering? And asymmetricality (which is also not actually a word – but conveys what you want to say admirably better than asymmnetricality)? 🙂

  4. poupee97 says:

    Prakash: At least you have done it! Kudos for getting that far! 🙂

    Sadia: I saw your elaborate hairdos on them in earlier post too – and the one in the link here is just crazy! I don’t think I could do it with rope, let alone hair attached to a four-year-old head. How DO you do it!? And so quickly, at that! I haven’t even had the courage to attempt plaits yet – though their daycare aunties have graduated to plaits and I’ll have to make the attempt some day! That’s one trick too many for Amit,I think, with his big fat fingers – I’ll probably just wait till the girls can do their plaits themselves!

    Supriya: “learnt” is not quite the word I think for Amit’s one and only attempt at ponytails. Nor is “skill”. 🙂

    Conditioning – doesn’t mean quite the same thing as “applying conditioner to”, does it? It’s more of a psychological concept, like how kids learn by observing people around them. Or, it could mean “applying conditions to”. Like cushion, cushioning. I thought conditionering was more apt in this instance. Like water, watering.

    Asymmnetricality – that was a typo – but now that you have pointed it out, don’t you think that additional “n” adds a little ‘asymmetricality’ to the word itself? It’s quite pleasing actually. 🙂

  5. Supriya says:

    Pleasing? If you say so. Who can argue with a soon to be published author? 😉

  6. Sowmya says:

    Hehe, pics plz! The world needs to see the ponytailing dad in action 😉

  7. Christina says:

    A stupendous achievement indeed!

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