Nov 24, 2008

Ain't Got No Hair

"What about God?
Why am I alive anyway?
Yeah, what about God?
Nobody can take away

I got my hair, I got my head
I got my brains, I got my ears
I got my eyes, I got my nose
I got my mouth, I got my smile
I got my tongue, I got my chin
I got my neck, I got my boobs
--Ain't Got No performed by Nina Simone, adapted from the musical Hair.

"Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees . . .
Hair, flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair"

--Hair lyrics from the musical Hair.

"I am not my hair"
--Performed by India Arie.

Oh, wait, ain't got no hair, ain't flowing through the trees neither. Because Meghan the hair dresser cut it all off. What was supposed to be a trim with shears turned into a massacre with clippers. An inch or two turned into six or eight. Not my fault people, not my fault, I was clear on what I wanted but then did nothing to stop it. Amazing how one wiggly child can get nerves shaking and short cuts taken. Tsega really needed a trim, everybody kept telling me it was so. It's uneven, all that fuzzy baby hair on top, just a trim, just a little off the sides and top, it's too long . . .

After all, the beauty shop I go to has large numbers of black clients. That is where the black people in town take their hair. The owner is black. Safe, right? Yet when you think about it, I never see any black males in town, young or old, with free hair longer than a 1/2 inch. Jerry's words are still ringing my ears: are you sure she's not just going to run the clippers through it?

I don't mind brushing it out everyday, it's only 5-10 minutes out of the day and I don't mind his fussing. OK, so 1/2 hour to much longer in the tub once or twice a month for thorough comb-outs was getting to us . . . Now it's gone, baby, gone. All those wonderful spiralling curls gone, left on the hair dresser's floor. Swept up and thrown out with garbage. Tsega's magic groove is gone, gone, gone. He's so normal looking now. Yes, still beautiful, for sure. But now he looks so grown up, so man-like. I think he's ready to date. :(

And what really got me depressed? When I announced out loud that his curls will reach out and touch the sky again by the time he is three. Three!!!??? I need a drink . . .



Of course Tsega could care less and will enjoy less hair tugging in the mornings. Sira and Bereket watched with dad from outside the window and when we got back in the car, Sira pulled at his hair and cried. You (and You) next, my dear.

Nov 21, 2008

Gaping, Wagging Mouths and Tongues

My 42nd Street tap number went splendidly well last weekend and the above title was exactly the audience's response to my spotlighted performance. Ha ha. So I goofed a few times and almost tripped on a floor crack, but I was still a Star. Just ask my husband. I would go on about how great I was, but then again, my dance teacher may actually read this post and have a few words with me about humbleness and honesty. :) No really, these feet can tap!

I have been a slacker blogger, but you knew it would take awhile for the groove to return after Ethiopia. We have new people in our lives: Elmo, Arthur, and Charlie Brown. Really, the music in Charlie Brown is great all alone, but nothing like a sad kid to make me feel seasonal. It's been cold. Sometimes. I'm done with cold climates. It doesn't mix well with little ones. We go to the zoo, we go to the parks, we go to the library, we keep going because we get cranky at home and my neurons can only fire so many times.

My new hates include counter tops and drawers (the only "toys" Tsega attaches to). I am tired of telling little hands to stop grabbing and pulling on stuff. If I were to do it again, I would elect to have no furniture except floor cushions and rugs.

The library still scares me, by the way. Why is it that I imagine every mom there is caught up in thoughts about what a freak I am? Story toddler time at the library still gives me a sick feeling and it will be awhile before I attempt that again. Did I ever tell you how I once sat in a minivan crying and hoped just a little that by doing so I would guilt trip three boys into better, more socially acceptable behavior? True story. If it wasn't for the nice lady who sternly told Tsega to sit down in the wagon so mama can chase down two other boys. . . I don't want to relive it.

You know though, this triplet thing is good for socialization and sharing. I see other 2 year olds claiming toys and chairs during public play; mine, mine, everything is mine. But my kids keep smiling big in reply as if to say, OK, yours, I get it, your turn, that's OK, me wait, me next, you nice. It's so funny watching little kids interact; I mean little kids who don't know each other. I'll see one of my boys get real close to another or climb up a ladder with a strange little girl, and the other kid will get real quiet and look at him like, what is this baby doing, get away baby. To my kids its just yet another kid. Nothing to get weird about. They never play alone so no difference. I think this is also why Tsega, Bereket, and Sira all seem to prefer older kids, like ages 4 and up. They're never not around other 2 year olds. Who needs a fourth 2 year old around?

Another example. My kids at the library's play area. They shove themselves into a corner nook where the play kitchen is situated. Kids ages 4-6 are already playing in this cramped space. Suddenly I hear squeals: ewww, there are babies in here! Mom, get these babies outa here. I wouldn't go in there if I were you, there are babies in there! It's not like their diapers stank. And there are my three innocents: wide eyes, big smiles, sunny faces. You nice, you funny, me like you.

Those eyes of Sira's and Bereket's. Really, get their faces next to other 2 year olds and their big beautiful round eyes eat up the other kids'. And Tsega's big beautiful head does the same.

BTW, I realize Tsega's First Haircut is past due. I'm currently working on mustering up the courage and we are really going to do it, we really are . . . although I'm keeping it long. I am also thinking of giving Bereket (because his hair is longer than matching Sira's) an Ethiopian style haircut: nearly shaved sides, a wide tall mohawk on top, but ending before reaching down the back of his head. What do you think? I think he would look appropriately wild.

Nov 20, 2008

Holiday Picks

And you thought I was going to publish a list of my favorite ultra expensive, European hand-made, all wooden toys for Santa to read. HA. For the holidays, other than twinkly white lights, good food, and good booze (never buy cheap beer, only cheap wine), here is my list of Top Three Holiday Must-Haves. Wouldn't be The Season in our house without them.

1. Charlie Brown (music and DVDs from Halloween thru Christmas). If you do not own Charlie Brown's Christmas music CD, then you are missing out. Good grief. Great jazz, start playing it now, 'tis the season.

2. This American Life: Pilgrim's Progress. Click HERE to link (click on the word HERE, dad--no, the previous HERE, the one in blue), then look to your left and click on Full Episode to listen. Pilgrim's Progress is in Act I, about 5.5 minutes in (listen for the whiny female voice). I love it when she says: we're all black sheep in my family. My favorite saying about me and my family since I was a teenager (hey, consider it a good thing my beautiful family--my parents and brother rock, BTW--I love them to death). Talk about familial bonds and spiritual unity.

3. This American Life (and NPR's Morning Edition): David Sedaris's Santaland Diaries. Click HERE to listen. The actual episode is in Act II after the Toys R Us story. Who doesn't love a sad gay elf? Or an angry one at that (Hi Jerry--OK, private joke, sorry). My favorite part is Sedaris's accurate and poignant impression of Miss Billy Holiday.

Happy Holidays. Grab a vodka and cranberry, flip on Charlie Brown's Christmas, and warm those toes by the fire with your lovelies. I'll be back tomorrow to post way too many cute baby photos, so stay tuned . . .

Nov 7, 2008

Those Dancing Feet

The above pictures are from another’s camera taken last summer (thanks to the amazing MA). I think Sira’s gaping-mouthed examination of the tree is the same way he will sum me up, when--oh Jah, there goes my heart a fluttering again and my knees have gone week and my keyboard is getting damp with sweat—I take the stage for a showcase at the Community Theater next Saturday. For a whopping 5 weeks—not near long enough!—we’ve been learning the opening act of 42nd Street: The Audition. It is a fast, and I mean fast tap number; it’s faster from your own tapping feet’s perspective than from a flaccid audience member’s. Too fast to think and fast enough to slip and fall. The part where we waddle in place from foot to foot, penguin-like, and flap our arms furiously (watch for it) . . . kills; I gasp for air. I’ve got the feet, slower anyhow, but not so much the stamina or the memory. Help me! Oh, I mean, “Yes I Can!” (Had to get that in—you rock America!)

Hey, and the Great Miss Vickie, if you happen to read this, cast me in the 42nd Street chorus next June!

Minus the wings (phew!), THIS is what I will be doing over and over next week until at least Saturday and hopefully it ain’t over yet (no, this isn’t our class, silly!).