Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hair Again

That whole letting go thing? It didn't work. I guess I went into it with this secret hope that by limiting the location in which Annabelle could mess with her hair, it would become so inconvenient for her that it would curb it. It didn't. Mostly because, try as I might, limiting it to that one chair in the playroom just wasn't realistic. She continued to pull whenever I didn't have my eyes glued to her, which is a lot of the time given all the other little persons and things that also require the attention of my eyes.

I would like to be the sort of person who really could just let go. Let go and let her own this. Stop getting frustrated about it, stop getting angry at her for doing it, stop letting my heart break a little every time I see her twisting and pulling her hair. I wish I could be the sort of parent who could just say "C'est la vie, it's your hair, it looks darling in a little pixie cut, shall we find a nice barrette for it?" But I'm not that parent. And it does frustrate me, and sometimes make me angry, and it always breaks my heart just a little.

These pictures were recently sent home from school and I could see in it how much shorter her hair is on one side. And it just made me want to cry.

So I cut her hair again to even it all out. This is probably the shortest it's ever been.

She's such a darling girl. I mean, look at those sweet, petite little features. Such a cutie. And the way she effs with her hair? Makes her look like a little orphan boy.

So I started putting tape on her pulling finger again.

But a few days ago, I discovered that she's still pulling despite the tape. I thought that wrapping her hair around her index finger was at least partly a sensory thing for her, that she got some sensory charge out of the feel of her hair on her finger, and thus I've always assumed that taping her finger would stop her from doing it. And in fact, it did seem to at least help for a while when I was taping her pulling and sucking fingers before - her hair grew longer than it's probably ever been. But for some reason, now, the tape isn't stopping the pulling. Very calmly, I asked her to show me how she's pulling her hair even with the tape on, so she did.

A little while later, she came to me and very shyly, but earnestly, she said, "Mommy, I want to tell you something." And then she whispered to me, "I don't want to suck my fingers or pull my hair anymore." And this made me want to cry. Even this broke my heart a little. Because she's feeling bad about it. (My fault, no doubt.) Because she's growing up and talking about her feelings . . . sort of. Because this has become such a big issue in our house that everyone is conscious of it. Because she felt like she had to whisper it to me.

So she and I talked about it a little. We brainstormed together about things she can do with her hands instead of pulling and sucking whenever the urge hits her. And we settled on these stuffed animals:

See how furry and soft they are? She's named them Francie and Fluffsie. The plan is that she'll rub them and squeeze them whenever she feels like sucking her fingers and pulling her hair. I don't know if this is the answer, but maybe it's a step in the right direction. And her finally being motivated to stop is also a big step.

I also ordered this book from Amazon: Stay Out of My Hair. Which hopefully will have some much needed guidance.


Crittle said...

That last picture is just darling. I sincerely hope this helps.

diane rene said...

I am sorry that you are still dealing with this Lisa ... we are still having the same issue here as well. Falyse is starting to feel some regret over the pulling too because she wants to be able to wear her hair down to school, and my answer is always, when you stop pulling, I will stop the ponytails.

so while I wish I had some magical words of wisdom for you, I don't. but I can let you know that you are not alone :/

Cate said...

aw, Lisa, I'm sorry.

fwiw, her school picture looks adorable to me, and I wouldn't notice anything off about her hair. She just looks like a cute girl with short hair.