Saturday 10 December 2016

Diary of a demented mum: The Wolverine is busy destroying her hair before school begins

Published 28/03/2011 | 05:00

Of late you've noticed a scorched odour hanging around the upstairs hallway as you dash out to work.

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The source, however, remains a mystery.

Then one morning you wake up with a stinking 'flu and pull a sickie.

As you lie there snuffling and listening to Morning Ireland, the unmistakable odour of singed hair wafts through the open door of your bedroom.

Despite your high temperature, your peeling, blocked and streaming nose; despite the aches surging up and down your body you struggle from your bed of pain and set off to investigate.

The Wolverine, you discover, is neither packing her schoolbag nor straightening her uniform prior to hurrying downstairs for a healthy bowl of porridge.

Far from it.

The uniform is still on the floor in a heap while the Wolverine is busy destroying her hair.

The reason for the pungent scorched odour and the recent, puzzling deterioration of her mane of silky golden hair into a dry, straw-like tangle of frizzy split ends is now clear. She has invested in a hair-straightener.

She has wielded this rod of torture, secretly purchased with a Christmas voucher, against her increasingly exhausted tresses every single morning since the holidays, she reveals with pride. And some evenings. And prior to going out. And, eh, when she thought her hair looked a bit frizzy.

The temperature of some hair-straighteners can exceed 220C, you lecture. This can significantly damage hair. Excessive heat can make the hair frizzy and when the Wolverine tries to control the new frizz by straightening the hair even more, she only damages it further, causing yet more frizzing, thus requiring further straightening.

"Oh God," she cries, dramatically clutching her temples, "Too much information."

"Stop burning your hair to a crisp and go down for your breakfast," you order.

Oh, she says insouciantly, she's given up breakfast.

Breakfast makes you fat.

"No it doesn't," you argue, panicked.

"Pfft, yes it does," says the Wolverine dismissively.

Anyway, she's tired of the hair straightener. It takes forever.

She's decided to start back-combing her hair instead. It boosts volume, she says in a professional tone.

"But back-combing is terrible for your hair," you protest.

"Too bad," she says. "And Ma, please don't print out loads of newspaper articles about back-combing. No offence, like, but it's too much trouble to read them."

You stagger off feeling an overwhelming surge of home-sickness for the days when you were the daughter and Mum was the Mum. For the days when you didn't have to be responsible for everyone and everything. Bring me home, Mum, you think hopelessly. I swear I'll be good.

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