The last weekend the kids were home, Dove’s curly hair was so overgrown and out of control that she couldn’t keep it out of her eyes, and she was struggling to brush tangles out of it. When I asked her when she had washed her hair last, she told me, “Wednesday.” This was, mind you, on Saturday.
I called two salons and wasn’t able to make an appointment for a haircut for her on such short notice, so she went back to Hickville with washed, conditioned, tangle-free hair, but still in desperate need of a cut. It would be four weeks before the kids were home again, and I thought surely even someone as worthless as Crow would take Dove for a haircut during that month.
I overestimated her. When the kids arrived this past Friday, Dove’s hair was a dry, knotted, still-overgrown mess. Luckily, not long after the kids had left four weeks before, I went ahead and make an appointment for Dove at my salon, thinking that surely I would end up having to cancel it…really, why do I give Crow any credit at all? If it’s for the kids and not herself, she is not interested.
Dove ended up enjoying the hell out of my salon. The kids are used to some cheap barber shop in Hickville where I suspect no one has had any true cosmetology training. As soon as we walked into my salon, Dove took a deep breath of the scented candle, and the man who greeted us asked Dove if she would like something to drink. As they brought her a glass of water, she gestured for me to bend down so she could whisper in my ear, “This place is awesome!”
She thoroughly enjoyed being waited on like a diva. She took many sips of her water from the fancy cup (and not surprisingly, had to find a restroom quickly after her haircut). I had to take a picture when the stylist placed a warm towel around Dove’s hair and started massaging her scalp and neck, because Dove looked like she was ready to melt into the chair and fall asleep!
The stylist was awesome, and she cut off a lot of hair but still managed to leave all of Dove’s curls, just tidy and neat and pretty. Dove was proud to pose for some pictures of her new ‘do, and I texted one to her daddy.
I honestly started to text a picture to Crow, thinking she would like it. Then I stopped and remembered who exactly I was dealing with. Crow wouldn’t be happy that Dove loved her new haircut. No, Crow would be pissed off that I took Dove for a haircut at all, even though basic care of the children is something she can’t get off her ass to do, no matter how much time she is given to do it. So I didn’t bother sending the picture. She could see Dove’s new haircut when Dove got back to Hickville.
I wish Dove’s hair was the most serious evidence of Crow’s neglect.
Sunflower had a small bump on the bottom of her foot the last time the kids were home. She said her mother was putting honey on it. (Crow believes that smearing honey is the cure for everything, despite the fact it has never helped anything). In the four weeks until the kids were home again, Crow didn’t bother taking Sunflower to a doctor, and Sunflower showed up with her foot looking like this:
Yes, I took pictures. Several pictures. I was so damn mad when I saw the blackened, enlarged wound on Sunflower’s foot. How does it look like the goddamn honey is helping? We called several doctor’s offices, but good luck finding one open on Memorial Day weekend. The black center of the wound has a white ring of flesh around it like the skin is dying off. By all means, though, don’t seek medical attention if you have the all-healing honey!
We didn’t let Crow’s wretched lack of mothering skills overshadow our weekend, though. The kids were very affectionate all weekend, and we laughed a lot. We went to the park, made up games, talked. The kids climbed all over Gary, trying to make up for lost time.
I just wonder what it would be like to not worry about the kids when they are not with us. I don’t think we will ever know what that feels like.