I know that every kid is different, and when it comes to personal grooming, there is clearly a spectrum of how much weight they give it. From my limited experience (and I know this isn’t true for everyone), boys seem to generally care way less about grooming than girls.
Grace is meticulous about grooming. Showering, brushing her hair, DOING her hair, teeth-brushing, cleaning her pierced ears, cleaning inside her ears. This girl could spend HOURS in the bathroom, and, sometimes, she does.
Then you’ve got our three boys. They are dirty. Like, really dirty. All the time. Yet somehow, they constantly seem to rail against their need to shower. They couldn’t care less if their hair is greasy enough to leave marks on their pillows, if their nails are caked in dirt, or if their clothes or even UNDERWEAR are clean. But the most blatant and constant marking of my boys disregard of hygiene is in their insistence that their hair NEVER needs brushing. Like, NEVER. On a rational level, it’s safe to say that our boys know that teeth-brushing and bathing are non-negotiable, even though they love to debate the merits of these practices as well. But for some reason, my boys think they have a little more leeway when it comes to negotiating about brushing their hair.
Most days, my boys look like this.
I often wonder what their teachers think. I can only imagine they’re chuckling to themselves when the boys walk into their classrooms in the morning. I even wonder if their friends ever give them a hard time (I am guessing not, as I know they aren’t the only boys who look like this). Regardless, I usually just let it go, and only fight it on the mornings of our annual family portrait, the first day of school, and Mass days.
I have decided to pick my battles in this season of life with my three boys. Bathing and teeth-brushing are more important than hair-brushing, so on most days, I keep my mouth shut and avoid the drama. The result is my boys typically look a little disheveled. But hey, if they don’t care, why should I? I choose to spend my energy elsewhere – and, trust me, there are plenty of other places to spend it!
Sooner or later, maybe my boys will be worried about impressing the ladies and will give a second thought to running out the door without even a quick comb through their hair. When that day comes, I’m sure I’ll be wishing they were little again, and reminisce about with those goofy flyaways and the days when my boys left the house looking like an animal just burrowed in the back of their head.