Friday, 21 October 2011

A bird in the hair is worth two in the bush?

I always swore I would never tell lies to my kids.  It was one of my firmest resolutions.  That, and always keep my promises.  But lying is so easy - those little white ones creep in and before you know it you are caught in a tangled web with only yourself to blame.

I have been blessed with little ones with abundant locks of curly hair.  Now that they are older, it is less curly, but when they were young, they looked positively cherubic with their masses of golden curls.  Golden curls are all very well, but no one sees the effort that goes into keeping them either golden or curly.  With boys, a hair wash or brush is like trying to pull hen's teeth.  From the relatively tame screeching and kicking, to the tears, sobs and tantrums, teaching a boy proper hygiene and hair care is like trying to herd cats.  

However, I discovered the perfect weapon.  And it came in the form of a library book:  Ella Kazoo will not brush her hair.  It starts off relatively innocently, with Ella Kazoo not wanting to brush her hair, and hiding the brushes and combs, and then takes on a more sinister twist as her hair begins to grow longer and more snarled by the day.  Eventually, a bird comes to live in her hair and builds a nest there, complete with eggs and then chicks.  The upshot of it all is that Ella has to have her head shaved (she actually prefers it like this, but I cunningly never read my boys that part).  

Now for the lie.  With big eyes, they asked me "Will a bird come to live in my hair if I don't brush it?"  With very little hesitation on my part, I replied "Absolutely".  And so the myth was born.  Hair brushing became easy (or relatively more so) since all I had to say was "Do you want a bird to come and live in your hair?" and they would both submit without murmur.  At times, after an especially boisterous play session in the garden, I would use the pieces of grass I found in their hair as proof of birds starting to build nests to add fuel to the anti-bird-in-hair fire if they started to show reluctance in the brushing department.

This all broke down spectacularly on the day a bird (a real one), while sitting innocently in a tree above our heads, actually lifted his tail and did a poo in one boy's hair.  Instant hysteria ensued on all sides.  Me, trying to stifle giggles while looking suitably commiserating, he taking it as actual proof that there was now a bird living in his hair.  After no end of cuddles, pats and comforting, I had to let on that no bird would ever be coming to make a nest in his hair.

Let this be a warning - no matter how creative, a lie will always be overtaken by the truth.  My birds had definitely come home to roost (pun absolutely intended).


  1. Hi there Jo,

    If you click on the "comments" button at the end of each post, a separate window opens up in which you can write a comment, and then click at the bottom where it says "post comment" and you should be set! Would really love to share your comments and observations on this site!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.