When the kids recently spent a week of their summer break with us, I was puzzled by the brazenly green cast in their hair. What the…? Has anyone in their other household ever heard of shampoo, baths, or clean water?
I thought that surely, removing that green from their hair must require monumental effort, complicated treatments, extensive time and energy. Why else wouldn’t the effort have already been made to remove it?
But…within two days of rinsing their hair with clean water before they went swimming and washing their hair afterward, all of the green coloring was gone. That made me sad: essentially, minimal basic care resolved the problem. For their hair to be so green in the first place means that even the most baseline care wasn’t being administered before they got to our house.
Green hair is, of course, merely a relatively minor symptom of a larger, encompassing problem. Green hair, ragged fingernails rimmed in black grime, knotted hair, clothes either two sizes too big or two sizes too small, bruises from “rough-housing” (so the story goes), and the fact that the kids are unnaturally and rabidly infatuated with TV and fast food leave me wondering how much actual parenting they receive outside of our home.