When we got a referral for an older boy and a baby girl, I breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t have to instantly start braiding hair. I figured I’d have a few years before my precious girl asked for her hair to be long and smooth or until she was disappointed that it didn’t look like the Cinderella’s. I thought that we could just use the clippers on a boy and keep it really short. I never imagined that he would care. I was wrong.
Yes, Ayub is having issues with his hair. He has made it clear that he wants it to look like Dad’s. On our first trip to Ethiopia, he spent a lot of time running his hands over the top of Andrew’s hair. That should have been my first red flag. He never paid attention to my hair, even though it was long. He was already thinking then that he’d like to have Andrew’s hair cut.
Now, he spends time in the bathtub pouring water over his hair and flattening it with his hand until it’s relatively smooth. But then, when he gets out of the tub and we dry him off, he gets angry that we’ve messed up his pretty hair. He will touch Andrew’s sideburns and then his own and tell us that he wants them the same. Ummm….not gonna happen, kid.
So, being the avid children’s book collector that I am, I turn to literature to try to help him be proud of who he is. I found this book, by the same author as I Love My Hair and ordered it as fast as I could:
The description talked about a young boy, Miles, who had some apprehension about his first trip to the barbershop. Since the theme of Tarpley’s other book was loving the hair you’ve got, I thought this would be a perfect read for us.
Turns out, a big theme in this book is Miles’ decision about what kind of hair style he would like. And guess what? He decides he wants his hair cut JUST LIKE HIS DAD. (Sorry if I gave away too much and spoiled the suspense.) That doesn’t help me. At all. It is a sweet book, with themes of friendship, pride, and family. It has beautiful water color illustrations, similar to the previous book. For the average toddler, it would be a great book to read before a haircut.
But my little boy will never have the option of having dad’s hairstyle. It’s just another in his long string of losses.