activities of daily living · beauty · slice of life

Sometimes Mama Know Best

I barely had my towel wrapped around me after my shower last night when Isabelle, dressed in a fuzzy robe and a turban towel, demanded a ponytail.

“Could you give me a minute to dry off?” I asked.

“Sure,” she replied.

She left the bathroom for a few minutes. When I called her back in, I said, “I will put your hair in a loose bun, but I’ll need to finish it up once you’re in your PJs.”

That was fine by her. Or so she claimed.

Ten minutes later, she walked into Ari’s room with her hair looking like this:

No way could she sleep like that with a bun off to the side of her neck. OUCH!

“Let me redo your hair before I tuck Ari in.”

“No, it’s fine like this,” she replied.

“Your hair is disheveled. It’s going to be a frizzy mess tomorrow morning. Are you going to do it yourself when that happens?” I asked. (She never does her own hair. It’s tricky given that it’s extremely curly.)

“I will,” she said.

“Then that’s fine. You can keep it like that. But don’t come to me tomorrow morning begging for me to do your hair because you didn’t want me to put it up [in a high bun] tonight.”

“I won’t,” she stead in a tween voice.

Yeah right.


This morning, I walked downstairs and noticed a bush of frizzy curls sprouting from Isabelle’s head. I couldn’t resist. “Nice hair,” I said after I said good morning.

“Yeah, I know. It’s a mess.”

“You should’ve let me redo it last night.”

Isabelle nodded solemnly.

“Good luck getting it done this morning.”

Isabelle’s eyes widened in disbelief that I was actually going to make her do her own hair.


I was finishing breakfast when Isabelle reemerged from attempting to put a ponytail in her hair. It was a HOT MESS. I knew she had a Zoom speech therapy session at 8 a.m. Even though she’s had the same speech therapist since she was two, I didn’t think it was necessary to make Isabelle get on a screen looking like she didn’t groom herself.

“Do you want me to redo your hair?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she replied.

“Do you think you should’ve let me put it up in a high bun last night so it would’ve been easy to put in a ponytail this morning?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Isabelle said.

Sometimes mama knows best.


Left: This was the ponytail Isabelle created after attempting to do her hair this morning. Right: The sleek ponytail I created after wetting her hair and brushing it out.

I doused Isabelle’s hair with water from a spray bottle. Once it was wet, I brushed it out. (Note: NO MATTER WHAT: NEVER brush curly hair when it’s dry!) I was able to pull it back into a sleek ponytail. Isabelle seemed satisfied when I was finished since she looked like her well-groomed self again.

Going-forward, I’m pretty sure she won’t resist a hair redo at night!

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19 thoughts on “Sometimes Mama Know Best

  1. I felt your line about never brushing curly hair when it’s dry deep in my curly-haired heart. I’m glad she relented and let you help her—the balance between independence and support is so tricky!

  2. My stick-straight hair self longs for not only the curls but someone to smooth out my hair so I don’t have a disheveled zoom look.

  3. Experience. The best teacher. It gets harder when it’s life decisions like cars, college majors, and investments…but I’ll bet with moments like this, it will turn out fine!

    The pictures made the piece more understandable! I have no hair. 🙂

  4. Great slice, Stacey. You captured how stubborn kids can be and I would have done the same thing as you. Your daughter’s hair is beautiful!

  5. Kids and hair. I hope you get to once in a while do Isabelle’s hair even when she is an adult. My oldest sometimes asks me to French braid her hair when she is at home, and it creates a tender feeling in mu heart.

  6. It’s a tricky age! I gave up on the hair a long time ago. Claire has curly, fine hair, but a lot of it! If she doesn’t keep it in a ponytail or braid it looks so wild within minutes. I’m sure Isabelle will want you to keep helping her out.

    1. Yes! But I’ve been telling her she really needs to learn since there will come a time — in the not too distant future — when mommy will travel for work again. She must learn how to do her own hair or she will risk her father doing it in my absence (& that will not be good).

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