Last night, Neve got out of the bath, and I realized that she hadn’t gotten all the shampoo out of her hair.
It was bedtime, and the kids had already driven me and Joe a bit crazy – they’d both been acting like Kelly Ripa on meth, all afternoon – so we needed a quick fix.
“Let’s go to the kitchen and do that thing where you lie down on the counter, and I rinse your hair out in the sink,” I said.
Neve happily agreed. She loves doing this. She thinks it’s fun. And she likes hearing about how my own mom washed my hair like this when I was little.
In my childhood home, my neck and lower head would rest on a folded up towel at the kitchen sink’s edge. My mom would cup one hand over my hairline, to shield my eyes, and work the sink’s nozzle with the other. Then, after massaging shampoo onto my scalp and rinsing it out, she’d squeeze as much water from my hair as she could and hold it bunched in her fist as I sat up on the counter. The dry-me-off-like-a-dog phase came next, where Mom opened up the towel onto my head, gripped it, and then vigorously rubbed my scalp, so that my whole body vibrated. I often uttered a low tone that would start to sound like a motor, and this would make me giggle.
As I rinsed Neve’s hair with our nozzle, she said, “Did you wash my hair in this sink when I was a baby?”
I said, “Sweetie, I gave you your first baths in this sink. Your whole body fit in here, and I’d soap you up and sing to you.”
“Was I this small?” she asked, holding her hands about 8 inches apart.
“You were bigger than that, but small enough to fit. OK, kiddo, the shampoo’s all rinsed out.”
I squeezed the water out of her hair and helped her sit up. “Now do the doggie thing,” Neve said, beaming.
After every bath now, Neve comes to me with a towel and asks me to dry her hair like my mom dried mine. I do. And she giggles helplessly. Continue reading