4-Year Old Wants to Go Green....Green Hair That Is

Monday, September 14, 2015

"Mama, can I have green hair for picture day?" my 4-year old says in her sing-songy voice.

Normally, you'd expect this question from a tween, or a teenager.

"Um, maybe like a braid or something would be good?" I say.

"Okay, mama. But, I really wanna be pretty like you."

Officially, my heart melted.

Three reasons -

A. She wants to be like me. (I currently have green hair).

B. She thinks her mom (me) is beautiful.

C. She thinks her mom (me) with green hair is beautiful.

I'm elated on all accounts.

Picture day in preschool is indeed loooooomminnggg.

The teachers have been talking about it, emailing about, and even sticking stickers to our children's clothes that read PICTURE DAY IS TOMORROW. WEAR BRIGHT COLORS. WEAR YOUR SMILE.

We get the picture, it's picture day. Mmmmkayy?

Before the green hair request - I really hadn't planned on making my daughter look different than any other day. I didn't plan on a dress.

I wasn't gonna style her hair special. Who's got time for all that? For real.

I was not about to wake up early on a school morning to do anything that involved primping. I gotta primp my own damn self (this involves swiping a deodorant stick across my stubbly pits).

It's a miracle we get out of the house on time most mornings.

Picture day would indeed look like any other day for my daughter - cotton Gap play clothes, a messy ponytail, stained socks and sneakers.

However, when my daughter asked for green tresses - I totally toyed with the idea of dying her hair. I mean, the sticker said, WEAR BRIGHT COLORS, right? Give her the green light?

We still have the green Halloween hair spray paint from last year in the closet. That would work, but it stains EVERYTHING.

Okay, option 2 -

I have like copious jars of Manic Panic sitting in my bathroom that I could take and just slightly dip her ends.

Did I mention my daughter is 4-years old?

Yes, dear readers, I know it's a bit cuckoo to consider coloring my 4-year old daughter's hair ANY color, let alone "crazy", I mean, vivid colors.

I get it.

But when your mini-me shows desire to be you - and wants to copy you, especially with something so stylistically unconventional - you will swoon.

See, it's one thing for my daughter to compliment me on my eyes or my blingy rings. But, it's even better when she says, "Mama I wike your wips!" And my lips are bright red.

Or "Mama, I wike your nails." And my nails are blue or black.

Or "Mama I wike your hearts," and she's pointing to my tattoo on my wrist.

In the suburban town where I live - these types of unconventional styles are pretty few and far between. It's kind of a capris/yoga pants, flip flops and vanilla anything kinda town. The only real "different" person she sees around here, is me - her own mother. And like that other mom with purple hair and piercings at library storytime last week.

So because my kid likes bright red lipstick, black nails and tattoos- does this mean I'll consider giving into those requests as well? Absofuckinlutely.

Okay, maybe no lipstick to school. We'll save that for the weekends if she wants to experiment.

If I find time, I'd love to paint her nails black or blue.

And duh, fake tattoos only.

I come from a long line of creatively accepting muthas. My own mother let me go to school with multi-colored pipe-cleaners in my hair (don't ask), a jewel in the middle of my forehead (Gwen Stefani was my inspiration) and a spiky dog collar around my neck.

It was the fullest expression of myself at the time. My mom let me go for it 100% (sans desired piercings in tongue and lip).

Truthfully, if it weren't for scary language in my daughter's school handbook, I would totally color her hair and not think twice about it.

I'm choosing to pick my battles with these schools my kids attend. I don't like everything they mandate. I feel most of it is bogus, and stifles kid's creativity. Let me say that again, most US standard, public schools educate our children OUT of creativity.

But, I feel strongly that I have to reward my 4-year old daughter somehow for thinking about beauty in unconventional terms. Green hair could be just the start of her acceptance towards all different types of standards of beauty - different body types, different skin colors, different textures of hair, etc.

I will reward her this weekend, after picture day. With green hair chalk, and a camera. Chill out, green hair chalk washes out.

We'll gussy her up with green hair, and whatever the hell she wants - and take shameless selfies. All in the name of redefining beauty.

Do your kids exhibit unconventional styles? Would you let your kid color their hair a "crazy" color?

Share in the comments section below.

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  1. My 4yo wanted rainbow hair. I bought her clip-in extensions from Amazon.com. Super simple, no mess, no chemicals, self-expression.

    1. Yes! Okay, THAT is genius. Looking them up today. You rock! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Green Phoenix ThreadsSeptember 15, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    I am that purple-haired mom in the conservative town. My 3-year-old loves our colorful lifestyle (we are artists). She is obsessed with Spiderman and The Avengers, so I made her a Spiderman Princess Dress and super hero dresses for preschool. Let the kids express themselves, I say! I see too many uptight people walking around. We need more color, joy, and creativity in our world.

    1. Okay, so you're in the same boat I am. I never have a problem with kids expressing themselves at any age. What other people label as distractions - doesn't even register to me. When a person has colored hair, piercings, or "different" style - it's not on my radar - unless I like something on them and want to give a compliment. Yes! Color, joy and creativity. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. I am a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 2. Let the kids color their hair, wear mismatched socks, butterfly wings, and karate clothes. We impose so many rules on people - it's a wonder any of us can breathe.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree. We are a rule-based society, it's exhausting for adults - it must be for kids. Nothing is left open for interpretation or expressive freedom. Ugh. Thank you for commenting.

    1. Hey, I also live in the burbs of ATL....evidently you have a fan base here!

    2. Okay, that's hilarious! I try not to advertise that I'm from the burbs of ATL,(so embarrassing) so don't tell anyone ;)

  5. I've always let my kids do what they will with their hair over the summer months, usually bright pinks and purples (all over hair color). Unfortunately, only "natural" hair color is permitted at school, which is why my 13 year old's hair is dyed dark brown instead of Manic Panic's Rock-and-Roll red. It's only hair; anything they do is eventually going to fade or grow out anyway, so why not have fun with it? I don't feel like "myself" without my bright reds and hot pinks, I'd be a hypocrite if I denied my children that expression for themselves.

  6. That's a cool compromise. They can color their hair during the summer - I like that. "Natural" hair is only permitted at our school too. And you're right - I didn't want to sound like a hypocrite - with the "do as I say, not as I do" bit. Thank you for the idea and for commenting!

  7. I'm a new mom with tattoos and facial piercings. I live in Marietta, GA which is filled with conservatives. I had a man stop me in a store and tell me. " You aren't setting a good example for your child." I actually didn't realize what he was talking about at first, but he was more than happy to explain that my tattoos and piercings aren't appropriate. There was a woman standing next to us and she told him, " well, hopefully she raises her daughter better than you were raised". Lol
    I think it is great that you are encouraging your daughter to be who she wants. I wish my mom was as awesome as you. :)

    1. Funny, we're both livin' in 'burbs surrounding ATL! My town is very much filled with conservatives as well. I cannot BELIEVE a man said that to you. I'm horrified! But, thankfully, you had a sassy, smart woman there to back you up. You sound like an awesome mom yourself. To living life less ordinary,and more colorfully - Cheers mama


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