Every week I look forward to the weekend with ever-increasing fervor as the days march on. Because the week is so chaotic! And I’m so tired! And I cannot wait to sleep in and lie around the house and do nothing!
You would think that after all these years of having even MORE stuff to do on the weekends, it would eventually occur to me that it’s a fallacy. Weekends are a change of scene, sure, but half the time I don’t get to sleep in, and even when I do, there’s still kids to shuffle around and projects around the house and all sorts of other things that Need Doing. And it’s not all that restful. SURPRISE!
That doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be entertaining, though.
On Saturday I had a hair appointment. This was very exciting, because the last time I had my hair done was… April. (Not a typo or an exaggeration.) And—go figure!—it turns out that when you’re a bushy-haired brunette who’s naturally about 65% gray, waiting six months between cut-and-color appointments is, uh, not really advised. I’d love to tell you that if I didn’t work at home I might’ve tended to my personal grooming a little bit better, but that’s probably a lie. I am just lazy. And cheap. And my stylist is amazing, but 1) getting my hair done there takes about four hours and 2) it ain’t cheap.
Next week I’m going to a conference, so I figured it was time to shed the whole aging-Duggar-sister look and get pretty again.
“Wow, I haven’t seen you in a LONG time,” my stylist said, eyeing my 4″ gray roots and split ends with a somewhat horrified expression. There’s a part of me that believes she could really do my hair in about an hour if she wanted to, but I’m being made to do penance for waiting so long. So, the color gets put on, and she wanders off and cuts someone else’s hair, and then she checks the color, and goes to do something else, and then, of course, it takes forever for MY cut, because first she lops some hairballs off the bottom, then she has her assistant blow dry and flat iron me, then she finishes the cut by going back in to layer and thin and basically somehow leave me standing knee-deep in my own hair, despite the fact that I’m not actually, you know, bald.
I’m brunette again, plus I have about 80% less hair than I had before I went in, so I am more aerodynamic and stuff. While I was checking out, the girl at the front desk said, “I just LOVE your color!”
“Thanks!” I said. “This used to be my real color.” (Y’all know how much I love my dad, right? To pieces. But the gray is all his genes. I am more gray than my mother, which just seems unfair.)
“Oh, but that IS your real color,” she said, winking at me. Ooooooo…kay? I guess I could go with that, for about a week, until my roots start showing again….
By the time I got back home, children were doing homework and cleaning rooms and needed to be shuffled off to various places, and Otto had been busy ripping out shrubbery and moving things off the deck (because it’s time for another construction project!), and I felt guilty that I’d just been sitting around a salon for half the day. So I tried to make up for it by saying things like, “I had to have each hair individually dyed. I’m EXHAUSTED!” and “During the haircut, I had to hold REALLY STILL.” I’m not sure anyone was impressed. The children, however, kept running over to stroke my hair, as the stylist-straightening is a novelty. Normally I look like an overgrown Chia Pet, but fresh from the salon my hair is actually all sleek and glossy.
Eventually we shuffled the children off to their various destinations; Monkey went to sleep over with a friend and Chickadee got on the bus to go to a band competition. Otto and I decided to go out to dinner before heading over to the competition, so we did and it was lovely and we lingered a little bit longer than we meant to. (Because… the food! And the wine! And the ability to carry on a conversation uninterrupted by HE’S TOUCHING ME or WANNA HEAR ME BURP THE ALPHABET?) This then led to a rather, uh, brisk drive to the competition location. I kept checking my watch and checking the directions and telling Otto to drive faster.
We finally made it, found a parking spot, and jogged over to the field…
… where Chickadee’s band was just finishing up.
“Do we tell her?” Otto asked me.
“Huh?” I said. I pulled out my cell phone and texted Chickie: YOU WERE GREAT! “No! We tell her she was great. SEE?” I showed him my phone. “GREAT. FANTASTIC. WE LOVED IT.”
And then we stood there giggling like children as the band left the field. Does this make us terrible parents? I’m okay with that. I already did my penance—we stuck around until the kids came back around, having put their instruments back on the bus, and then I stood in the concession line with Chickadee for about an hour just so that I could buy her some soggy nachos. Because GUILT! And FAKE CHEESE! They’re what’s for dinner.
On Sunday, Chickadee slept late and then spent the day alternately working on the project she’d been putting off for weeks and just complaining about the project she’d been putting off for weeks. [Sidebar: This year Chickie is supposedly in an “accelerated” Spanish class, for high school credit. They don’t appear to have learned ANY Spanish at all, yet. They do, however, have assignments like “make a diorama of a Mexican house” and “bring in a puppet that looks like you.” Because…? Yeah. I am on the verge of contacting the school. Dioramas are against my religion, anyway (busywork alert!), but in eighth grade, when they’re not actually learning any course material? Yeah. No.] I picked up Monkey and took him grocery shopping with me, then we went home and he told me he wasn’t tired at all and proceeded to go upstairs and fall asleep.
By dinnertime, I was trying to imitate a side dish I’d had at the restaurant on Saturday night. Chickadee stopped working on the tiny hammock she was making to ask what it was. “It’s a yam gratin,” I said.
“A WHAT?” she asked.
“Yam gratin,” I repeated. “Yams, cheese, cream, butter… all things you like.”
“Yam gratin doesn’t sound like food,” she said, peering into the baking dish. “It sounds like… goat.”
“Yes,” she insisted. “If I had a goat, I’d name him Yam Gratin.” I marveled at the weirdness that is my daughter, and she giggled and threw her arms around my shoulders, then began to pet my hair. “Your hair is SO SHINY, Mom,” she said. “Even my goat Yam Gratin noticed!”
The moral of this story is that my family is weird and there’s no break from that, even on the weekends. Even when my hair is shiny.