I think we all take the little things for granted. I know that I definitely did until one of those little things got taken away from us.
You know how when your kid is sitting next to you or resting their head on your lap? All you want to do is stroke their hair or twirl it in their fingers. It’s an natural comforting parent thing I think and it lets them know that you’re there.
For the last fuck knows how long, we have not been allowed to touch Izzy’s hair. She had this INSANE obsession. The only time we were allowed to touch it was to wash it or tie it up in a pony ready for preschool. Even that was a bit of a stretch. We could only touch her from the shoulders down.
I longed to stroke it while she was upset or sick. Her pony had to be a particular way. She was constantly touching it. There was no running or jumping allowed just incase it fell out (even though it never had). The obsession took over her life and made it incredibly difficult for all of us.
We couldn’t go swimming. We couldn’t go to the trampoline place. We couldn’t even cuddle her without her instantly grabbing for her hair to make sure it was still where it was 30 seconds ago.
One morning was so bad, we were 15 minutes late for preschool because she had the mother of all meltdowns. I’d had enough. I refused to fix her pony the way that she wanted it to be. I was trying to break the habit.
She was yanking at her hair and screamed for 45 minutes to the point where I pushed her out of my way so I could go upstairs. I rang Nick in tears because as I pushed her out of the way, she fell over and bumped her lip on the carpet. She wasn’t hurt, there was no blood but both of us had this silent moment before we lost it again.
I’d reached my breaking point and it was either take myself out of the situation or fuck knows. I just remember saying to Nick “This has to stop. This has to fucking stop. I want to smack her.” That day still haunts me because not only was this “mental obstacle” taking away my child but I felt like the worst parent in the world. For not only pushing her out of the way but for having some really dark thoughts.
I managed to get us both to an acceptable level for preschool. Dropped her off, tried to explain what had happened and that NO ONE was to touch her pony tail and ended up losing my shit it in the preschool bathroom all because someone said “It looks like it has been a tough morning.” It had. It was mentally draining and was one of those “too much days”.
It felt like this obsession would never end.
Thursday morning she came to me with a bottle of temporary colour spray and asked if we could play hairdressers. I didn’t think too much about it at the time as I was in “role play” mode. I coloured the ends of her hair with the spray. I brushed it, dried it, straightened it, braided it, twirled it in my fingers. We had fun. We went about the day as per, she showed off her hair to her aunty, we went and got juice. She laid down as I was reading to her at night and I stroked her hair.
The same thing happened on Friday. We did Thursday morning on repeat except this time, we coloured her hair after preschool. Did the drying, straightening and twirling. Everything felt normal.
I was sitting on the couch at Lunchtime on Friday. Izzy was at preschool and I lost it. Like, fucking lost it.
I replayed Thursday morning and Friday afternoon back in my head. Fuck. She let me touch her hair. She let me stroke it while she was laying down. I had an HOUR, ONE whole amazing hour of playing with her hair. I tested her again yesterday thinking it was just a fluke. It wasn’t. She was letting Nick play with her hair. I thought I was going to lose it again.
We’ve overcome what was a major mental and physical hurdle and I now feel like we can overcome anything! We can touch our child again with no uncontrollable screaming or flinching. No meltdowns or emotional pain in her eyes. Just the closeness we’ve wanted for what has felt like an eternity.
I’ve learnt not to take the little things in life for granted. I don’t know how long this is going to last for but I’m going to make the fucking most of it.
To most, this is nothing.
To us, it’s magical, absolutely fucking magical.