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They Say “Nay” to the Pony

They Say “Nay” to the Pony

Unofficial scientific research alert – boys don’t like pony tails.

At least mine don’t. And I’ve got three of the younger set, uninhibited by societal constraints. Unlike my trained husband who might just shrug and say, “It’s fine” to avoid confrontation, the boys tell it as they see it – the truth, in all its naked, cellulite reality.

Like when Michael was five and met an older neighbor walking in the street.

“Wow, you’re 90!” He exclaimed and the lady’s face lit up.

“You’re almost dead!” He continued and she seemed to die right there.

Or, like last night while snuggling with little Julius at bedtime, he’s happily squeezing my stomach, plumping it into a nice pillow. “Mommy,” he says adoringly, “your belly is so squishy like your boobies. I just love them.”

Thank you Julius.

For creatures who don’t notice the clothes I place before them, or that I’ve been asking them to do the same thing for five minutes, they seem to see things others don’t.

“Mommy, why does your stomach fall down like that?”

“I can’t go in the kitchen, what you’re cooking stinks soooooo bad!”

“What’s that big red bump on your face?”

And my ponytail? Michael, my most articulate child, says it best, “Mommy, you don’t look as pretty like that.” Well, thanks for sugar coating it, honey.

I’ve supported the pony look back in many incarnations; the banana clip, the scunci and scrunchies, the hair clips and clappers -anything to pull back my hair. I have even resorted to using those ridiculous ‘silly bands’ when desperate. (At least they’re good for something.)

I think of it as the hairstyle for the aesthetically lazy and/or overwhelmed, both me. I mean who knows what would happen if I just let my hair run wild at the supermarket? I might just pick up regular milk instead of low fat, organic or fricken Oreos instead of Annie’s Bunny Crackers.

Although the boys don’t like the style, I still wear it daily. Generally no one notices, but that’s only because I’ve realized that no one really notices me at all, but when they do, they don’t like it. 100% of the time.

Yesterday, Julius put a necklace he made at camp around my neck, then stepped back to survey his work. His expression read like an unsatisfied artist scrutinizing a canvass. “Take your hair out,” he ordered and I complied. He mussed with it a bit, and then smiled before finally nodding in approval. “Much Better.”

Whenever Tyler looks up from his haze enough to notice that I’m wearing one, he’ll wrinkle his nose and point. “I don’t like those.” When I go in to snuggle before bed, he’s apt to pull the band from my hair. “Better.” He’ll sigh.

I don’t know why, but I decided to stand in front of the mirror and I really study the look. I mean three boys were out and out saying they didn’t like it, I should it take under consideration.

Look A with hair down – I’m young and carefree, pretty and relaxed. I smile.

Look B with hair back – I’m busy. I’ve got things to do. Hurry up, I’m saying. This is serious. Chop chop! I’m a librarian, a school teacher, an ugly mom. Ew!

I flung the band from my head. They’re right. How could I not have seen this before? I blew the curls away from my eyes. Probably, I just didn’t care. And there again was the truth, I realized, and I tied back my mop, because ugly or not, I ain’t putting this pony out to pasture.