There are great resources out there for both of my boys' hair. Sites like "chocolate hair, vanilla care" cater to families like ours. Which I find helpful but sort of lame. I really want to learn from the source. So I email my black friends. I ask at the barber shop. I strike up conversations in the elevator. The majority of the time, my inquiring mind is well received. There is a lot of pride about hair and I can see that in Etienne. Than there is that hygiene issue. In my head I was thinking, as I pulled out a leaf, "this looks like a homeless child." I know, I crossed a line. Darn it.
So the easiest solution is to shave it all off, right? Just go back to our every other week trip to the barber shop. Keep it short and fresh. The easiest solution isn't always right. Here's why.
No one else can manage the Afro but me.
I am not saying that to seek out praise. In case you are just tuning in, my kid doesn't really find a lot of use for me. Most of the time, he seeks out everyone but me. But daddy doesn't know how to apply the right product or when. His brothers like to pat the hair, but they are too rough with the pick. This is a mama only category. Also, the big hair gets him positive attention everywhere he goes. He's already going to stand out a lot of the time in his life and I think that if this gives him a bit more of a confidence booster, than bring it.
As of this morning, it took me 8 minutes to comb the hair out. 8 minutes of Mommy and E time. That is why I am going to stop with the threatening ("if you make 'waves' in the bathroom again, the 'fro goes") and continue to scrub the tub of the debris after bath time each night.