My hair is nicer than Barbie’s and its about time

When I was 6, I received ‘Quick Curl Barbie’ for Christmas. Likely because she had curly hair like me. I didn’t have friends who had curly hair, they all had the lovely long straight blond hair of the 70’s. The kind that Jan and Marcia Brady had. I was a curly head brunette kid, who looked like a boy because of my short locks (Thanks Mom!).

Quick Curl Barbie was beautiful for one day. She had  synthetic hair with strands of wire woven into it. This was to ‘hold’ the curl in place – kind of like weaving pipe cleaners through your hair for that Pipi Longstocking look. Barbie came with a pink brush, comb and curling wand. Give those tools to a 6 year old and soon the beautiful Barbie had rats moving into her hair. The ends became all matted and knotted. Basically it looked like crap for the rest of the Barbie’s natural life. Funny…so did mine!

Quick curl Barbie #4220
Quick curl Barbie with new hair

Quick Curl Barbie the next day

Quick Curl Barbie the next day

Some time between starting this blog back in 201o and today, I lost my curl. I no longer have the tight curls of my youth except for the nape of my neck. Those critters are still curly like my baby curls. If I don’t flat-iron my hair, I have thick or big hair. It’s still straight but just bigger. Swimming made a mess of my hair and my hair dresser reprimanded me regularly. I decided I needed to let my hair grow out so I could get a proper cut. My hair had become the exact same as Quick Curl Barbie. Wiry, stiff and a weird not blond colour. It had grown past my shoulders – only when I straightened it could you tell it was that long, and I was tired of the ugly hair. Time had come for an appointment to cut it all off.

I went into the stylists and told her what I had been doing and why. Then I said, “I trust you, do what you need to do to fix it and I want to look sassy because, quite frankly I need hair to match my personality.” She told me she loved it when she was given free rein, and off to the sink we went.

Hair Stylist – “So tell me, how blonde were you as a kid? Because the blonde is holding up really well!”

Me – “I have never been blonde in my life”

HS – “um…yes you are.”

Me – “WTF? 45 and NOW I get the Long Blonde Straight hair of my dreams? Oh sweetie, that is GREY hair mixed with my BROWN hair.”

HS – “If we add some foils of Dark Brown and Blonde, use your natural colour as the base, you will look like you have always been blonde.”

Me – “Do it.”

So not only do I have the best cut I have ever had in my life (from a girl who was BORN IN THE 90’s!!), I now have long straight hair and will look like I am a natural blonde with highlights and lowlights by Thursday. Dreams DO come true.

Suck it Barbie, my hair is now NICER than YOURS.

What you SHOULD do for Mother’s Day, I double dog dare you.

Last week I gave you a list of things you should not do for mothers day. Mostly because in my past I was the giver of those types of offerings. Not cool I know, but I blame my dad.

Okay, maybe that isn’t fair either. I have no excuse, I was just thoughtless. Perhaps I wasn’t as thoughtful as I could have been.

I am now a changed woman! Motherhood did that for me. I am envious of those of you who already own the thoughtful gene. It has been work for me, but I am now considered in some circles as thoughtful. About time too, I am now middle aged. I am a slow learner.

To be fair, I often had my thoughtful moments, but my taste wasn’t always appropriate.

When I was 5 I was crafter extraordinaire. I recycled junk and made the most amazing things. I often would take empty tissue boxes and create stunningly hip and fabulous, not to mention groovy, Barbie furniture. Between you and me and the hundreds of people reading this, I never waited for the tissue box to be empty. I emptied it myself, then needed to find a way to dispose of the stack of 4″ tissues without being caught by my mother or grandmother, better known as the Tissue Gestapo.

Sometimes the tissues would be blankets for my Barbies. Sometimes I would use a hair elastic and make Barbie ball gowns with the tissue. I would juggle 3 pieces at a time (my brother taught me how – he can juggle anything). And sometimes I would make bouquets of flowers. Those were the days when tissues would come in UNenvironmentally friendly pretty colours such as pink or blue. The 70’s was bad for the environment but all about clashing colour! For a 5 year old, this was awesome! 5 year olds think all colour works together, and are willing to prove it to the world!

I knew Mother’s Day was approaching because I am thoughtful like that my Kindergarten Teacher told me. We had made cards in school with our handprints on them. I thought my mom should have a gift too because she was the best mom ever! When I caught a salmon, she buried it under our tree to make it grow. Okay, it wasn’t a salmon it was a jackfish – grandpa lied. When I brought home cases of artwork to show her, she placed it in a special spot in the attic for my kids. I learned years later the the “Attic” was a euphemism for “the farm where puppies for to die play”. She always had my hair cut short for ease of care. This required bows be sewn on my undershirts to PROOVE I was a girl. Very thoughtful of her to make sure I had bows on those shirts…my mom WAS THE BEST!

Now because she was the best, I thought long and hard about an appropriate gift. I looked at my stack of tissue, multi colour of course. and decided I would use the same technique I used previously in bouquet making and make a corsage for church! She would LOVE it!!!!

I would explain to you how to make it but it’s too confusing…google is your friend.

All I am going to say is MY flower was bigger and more… more… um… bigger! Than those flowers you can make via those websites. My flower came with a safety pin so my mom could pin it to her dress Sunday morning and show it off to all the other moms and prove to those moms that HER daughter loved her best!

I know you must be weeping with sentiment at this moment and possibly regret because you weren’t as thoughtful as me. It’s not too late. You can make your mom a beautiful tissue flower too. In fact, I double dog dare you.

The Edmonton Tourist contributes a weekly colum every Monday to the Scarecrow Festival in support of ABC Head Start. This mother’s day post was originally published here  at the Edmonton Scarecrow Festival.

When I Grow up I Want to be a…

Having snack with my students is HILARIOUS. Seriously, if I could do this all day, my life would be perfect.

Lately the conversations have been about future careers. You know the kind, “when I grow up I want to be a…” Last year the best career when to a the boy who wanted to be a Transformer. He was serious, had a plan of action and had no doubt that it was possible. If you asked him that same question every day, he would reply in the same exact way with a deadpan expression on his face, “A Transformer.” Nothing in the world was more important or serious to him then that. It is his passion.

This year we have two young gals who are equally as serious. One rambles on and on about when she turns black, she will be Michael Jordan. She honestly believes this will happen. She is sure once she turns black, she will grow tall. One must also assume she will grow some man parts and become Michael Jordan. If there is some way she can become Michael Jordan through talking about it, it will happen. It is her favorite topic of conversation and she continues to talk about it even when no one listens. It is her passion.

The other young gal is the sister of the Future Transformer. She also takes career choices quite seriously. I was told in no uncertain terms that she was destined to be a Barbie. WOW. The feminist in me wanted to cut her down at the knees. But the nurturing teacher accepted her decision as fact and proceeded to grill her on her plans.

Apparently, if you watch Barbie and the Mermaid it explains the whole process. Between you and me, there is no WAY I am sitting through Barbie and the Mermaid. It was bad enough listening to it second hand from a 4 year old. From what I gather, if you wish for something hard enough, put the work in, and be willing to wait, becoming a Barbie is a cinch! I told her my daughter is a Barbie. She looked at me and smiled very seriously. Then she said, “being Barbie is nice, can I see her picture?” So I showed a picture of Chatterbox that resides on my phone. She has blonde hair and is quite tiny for a teenager. The aspiring Barbie nodded her head and agreed that Chatterbox was indeed a Barbie. Clearly, being a Barbie is HER passion.

When I was 4 I wanted to be a super hero, artist, the best jumper, and Scoobie Doo. I never had an inkling that I would be where I am today. I was pretty sure I was going to be 4 forever. It fascinates me these children are so passionate about their fate and destiny. Sure lots of kids want to be something cool, but it lasts for a few days at the most. Not months. These kids are amazing. They make me laugh with their seriousness, and plan of action. They know what they want and how they are going to achieve it. I hope this mindset lasts within them, because when the really figure out how they are going to pay the bills when they are adults, their focus on the goal will get them everything they need.

Children like these ones bring me hope for the future generations. We all could use another Michael Jordan and Transformer in our lives. Heck, we can even use a Barbie or two. At any rate, their passion and conviction are inspiring.

It’s Smash Up Time Again!

Two days before Christmas! I am I have someone wrapping gifts, finished the baking, made my dish for Boxing Day, and I had time to read some blogs! I took a stroll down to Australia to visit my friend The Oracle, he was talking about other stuff to blog about when he brought up favorite Toys. That made me think about the Toys in my Brother’s Closet.

As a kid, we were never showered with gifts during the year. Come Christmas morning we were SPOILED ROTTEN! If it was on the list, my mom did her very best to find it for us. I got a brand new box of crayons every year, usually a new colouring book, new jammies and something fabulous from the Sears Wishbook.

I had great things, like Fischer Price Little People homes, my Baby Tender-Love who I fondly named Baby Tender Loin,everything Barbie and a Snoopy Snow Cone Machine. However, the most favorite toy of all was not even mine. Was it the Six Million Dollar Man with the bionic arm and eye? Nope, that was awesome and my brother never let me hold it, never mind play with it. Then there was his Light Sabre, it GLOWED IN THE DARK! There was only one, and no, I never got to touch it. Then there was all the Star Wars Action Figures, I was only allowed to be stupid Leia with the cinnamon buns on her head. No the Best Toy he ever owned had two parts, he needed me. I was the red and he was the blue. No it wasn’t those Rock’em Sock’em Robots, it was Smash Up Derby!

Awesome isn’t it?

We would sit in the long hallway downstairs next to our rooms. Set the ramps up in the middle and cheer when the cars hit each other, which was seldom. It took FOREVER to put the cars back together. I loved it when he asked if I wanted to play. Being the best blackmailer in all the world, my Brother would say “I will let you play if you set up and clean up or no deal” So I looked in the mirror and saw the word “chump” on my forehead and always agreed. I loved that toy and I would do anything to play with it.

As I think about the gifts my offspring will open Christmas Morning, none hold the same excitement as Smash Up Derby. Well, at least not for me. I have a feeling they will be thrilled with their gifts. Just like every kid who opens up a gift on Christmas morning.