Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

A Little Off The Sides Please: Contemplating a Toddler's First Hair Cut

Genetics is a funny thing. For nine months after conception, couples ponder the possible pairings of their DNA hoping for a favorable outcome. We calculate the chances of every single chromosomal coupling of our genetic material, wondering how our children will look, act, and even sound. We think back to the teachings of grade twelve biology and the ground breaking work of botanist Gregor Johan Mendel and his theories of heredity and inheritance and attempt to surmise who our children will be, only to realize we can only predict this with a modicum of certainty. We follow the laws of predictability trying to figure out how dominant and recessive genes will either work together or work against one another to produce offspring that will either represent the best of two family trees or the worst of two individuals. How stupid are we?

Frankly, without knowing your family genome to a tee you have as much luck predicting the genetic code of your child as you do winning the lottery. In other words, unless you're exhuming your ancestors for blood samples or giving in to the latest version of Frankenstein science (paying big bucks for a designer baby) you're just going to have roll the dice. Well, you could both just get a simple DNA test done, but where's the fun in that?

Having a child is a gamble, and not knowing what you're going to get is the best part of the whole process. Like you, I spent hours pondering what my child would look like, so much so that I often got so hung up on the same queries- brown of blue eyes, penis or vagina- that I didn't even stop to worry about something as inconsequential as hair type.

And, so the day came and my daughter was born. I looked down to see this baby girl that looked exactly like me, except for one interesting curve ball- her hair. So I had to ask: "What's up with that?" How do two people, a guy with thick brown wavy hair and a girl with dark black ringlet curls, produce a baby with a thin layer of sandy blonde locks that is straight on the top and curly in the back? When the hell did Grandpa Munster sleep with my wife?

It's the most ridiculous hair EVER! You can't comb it. You can't straighten it. And you can't hide it under a baseball cap (we've tried- she won't have it). The only time it looks normal is straight out of the bath, but god forbid you don't dry it before she goes to bed - she wakes up looking like a poodle. So now, 520 some odd days in to her life, we have to make a decision: do we cut it, or do we see just how bad it can really get? It can't get any more unruly (so we think) but we don't have a point of reference as no one can recall any member of the family, past or present, with this most horrifying of hairdos. Do we go the Celine Dion route and let her go all Cousin It, or do we shave it to look like Uncle Fester. When is it actually appropriate to ask a professional to step in and tell us the worst case scenario. What parent wants to hear the words, "We're sorry, but there's nothing we can - your daughter has Perma-perm."

"Perma-perm? Noooooooo!!!!"

But, I guess, what's really worse, putting your child through the trauma of getting her first hair cut or letting her look back on childhood photos of herself wondering why her parents didn't do something- anything-  to control this awful affliction?

It's a conundrum alright, one that cuts both ways, but I'll be damned if we don't try something, anything to save our daughter from this most mystifying of genetic debacles. After all, how bad could her first haircut be?

Cursed genes...

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1 comment:

  1. I'm thinking more Donald Trump than Grandpa Munster... Impressive! Since I've lost a good bit of my hair at this point, I always opt for letting it grow!