The Life Of Curls.

Curly hair may be a blessing to some, but to a teenager who was just about to start secondary school…it was purely a head of hatred.

It didn’t help that my two older brothers used to tease me by calling me “mop head” or “wild hair”. Nor the fact that at 8 years old, a girl in my new gymnastics group told everyone in the class not to talk to me because my hair was “weird”. After that, it really wasn’t long before I had decided to quit my new hobby!

It was tough in the school playground, also. It was at the time of the Spice Girls boom where we often played ‘which spice girl are you going to be?’ during break-time. Personally, I always felt I should be Baby Spice because she was my all time favourite. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I put this idea forward to the girls, but I never won. All I ever got was ‘No, I want to be baby spice, I’m blonde’, or ‘my hairs straight…you should be scary because you have curly hair’. Gee thanks, although fair point – I guess!

There is one regret that I’ll never live down and that was allowing myself to get my hair braided on holiday. You know the one where they wrap a section of your hair in the different coloured string, then complete the look with various types of beads? Yep, I had that! I was walking around for weeks with one rather long and straight hair-braid, just hanging freely against the backdrop of my crazy head of hair. Unfortunately, I do have photo evidence!

It sounds silly now, but at the time I just didn’t feel normal. I was so envious of all the other girls my age who seemed to all have gorgeous straight hair that would sit perfectly in a plait or ponytail. My hair couldn’t do that and I couldn’t help but feel so different!

….Then secondary school arrived.

I very clearly remember my first morning of year 7. I woke up, brushed my teeth, got dressed, sorted my backpack and left the dreaded hair until last. I remember just staring into the mirror thinking what was I supposed to be with this crazy bird’s nest sat upon my head. I literally had no idea where to start and that’s when I regrettably stumbled into the bathroom looking for inspiration. I now wish I had powers to change what was about to happen next!  

Suddenly, I spotted my brother’s pot of green hair gel sitting on the side of the sink. ‘That’ll do’ I thought. I reached for the jar and stuck my whole hand in, discovering a pool of a rather thick, sticky slime. I rubbed the gel between both hands and proceeded to use it by scraping back my hair. The front of my hair was then neatly slicked back, whilst the remaining fluff ball was messily tied up into a bun located to the back of my head. Not only was I suddenly sporting an interesting variety of textures, but I now owned a very stiff head!

Entering the world of secondary school opened my eyes to more beautiful girls with long, gorgeous straight hair and that’s when I started to develop a very unhealthy complex. One day a rumor started that my hair wasn’t naturally curly and I apparently used to wake up at 3 am every morning before school to curl my hair…really?!

No matter how many people complimented my hair, it was always the negatives that stuck with me. So then when I reached year 8, my Mum very kindly paid for me to have my hair chemically straightened at Toni & Guy. I was so excited that I convinced myself this would be the cure to end my curls. However, although this helped to relax my hair, it really didn’t do much else!

It really was a tough ride, until that one day, where I was introduced to the most incredible invention known to this planet…the mighty hair straighteners! Apart from my wedding day and the day that Harry was born, I think this moment might have actually been the best day of my life! Since then, my life has changed and I am forever grateful and thankful to the creator of GHD’s.

Gone were the days when my best friends use to brush my hair so much that I could barely fit through a door frame, whilst resembling Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons! Sleepovers then suddenly became about straightening my hair and regrettably, plucking each other’s eyebrows! From then onwards I would spend a few hours every other day trying to get my hair dead straight ready for school the following day, I was obsessed! Therefore, you can imagine the panic over the first time my GHD’s decided to die. That is a day I shall never forget!

I will also never forget the time I had my hair done in a salon where believe it or not, three different stylists took it in turns to straighten my hair because it was taking so long. I was in that salon for 5 hours!

Finally, at the age of 26, I am now able to fully embrace the curls. I am at a point where I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with my hair! A few years ago I got bored of the constant straightening and realised that it just wasn’t me anymore. I started to miss the madness and the volume but most importantly, I eventually learned that my hair was, in fact, a blessing. With special thanks to my GHDs (I still use them), my wonderful hairdresser, argan oil, Aussie products and spray in conditioner…I am now a very happy Curly Cath!

Just a little blip.

This week has just been ‘one of those weeks!’

Picture this. Wednesday morning at 4 am. I’m bent over the toilet being violently sick. Meanwhile, Harry has woken. He seems distressed and has a tickly cough that’s irritating his throat. He is therefore also sick, but in his bed and all over his bedding! Ry has to get up for work in two hours but he’s dealing with Harry all on his own because I currently cannot leave the bathroom. He then proceeds to strip Harry’s bedding, whilst Harry is sat crying out from the bedroom floor. I can hear the commotion but I am unable to assist. Then to top it all off, Ry suddenly jolts his shoulder from lifting up the mattress and ends up spending the rest of the week in agony.

Fast forward to Saturday and it seems that I’d developed a 48hour stomach bug earlier on in the week. I am much better now, although I am now catching a cold that poor Harry currently has. Harry has literally just recovered from a cold that he developed only two weeks ago, which we believe he caught from a soft play area. He has since been back and to my disbelief, has caught yet another one. I know you can’t wrap children up in cotton wool but I can’t help but dread taking him to these places because I know he’s just going catch a new bug. On the plus side, it’s good for his immune system and I do adore seeing him interacting with other children. He just has so much fun, and so the illness is just something we will have to deal with.

Harry also has croup alongside his cold, which causes a nasty barking sound when he coughs. On Thursday night he woke up struggling to breathe and was making the strangest noise when inhaling his breath. This is called the ‘strider’ noise, which is typical with croup. This has happened before, so I was able to recognise the signs immediately. Without panicking, I opened the window to get some fresh air into his lungs and to my relief, this eased the symptoms almost instantly. The Dr told me last time that if it happens again for anything over ten minutes to call an ambulance, but I’m very pleased it didn’t come to that.

We visited the Dr yesterday who prescribed Harry some steroids but only to take them if he has trouble with the breathing again. It was just helpful to know we had something in place for over the weekend in case his breathing deteriorated again. Last night we raised one side of his cot mattress which I believe really helped. Though he did wake up with a high temperature and shivering at 2 am but with the help of the mighty Calpol we were able to control it and all get back to some well-needed rest.

I am currently sat with a rather warm, feverish-eyed boy on my lap watching Mr. Tumble on C-Beebies. Although he looks and seems poorly, he is still smiling and dancing along to the music..what a trooper!

Before Harry, I used to regrettably find Mr. Tumble dressed as a clown a little creepy. But, I love his passion and I love how he encourages children to learn that no matter a disability, we are all equal. The disability may make us unique but with the help of Makaton and body language to communicate, you can still happily live your life to the full. You can have fun, and you can still achieve goals. What a great moral for Harry to learn and grow up with.

It has been a tough week and we’re all a bit shattered, but it’s only a little blip on the grand scale of things. Overall, Parenthood is amazing. Yes I’m tired, and yes I don’t feel 100%, but neither does Ry and neither does Harry. We will get through it likes we always do.

These last few months have seriously been a lot of fun though, and have probably been my favourite part of being a Mummy so far. Since Harry turned one in March, we’ve welcomed his new baby cousin Emily into the family. Harry’s taken his first steps and even added some new words to his vocabulary. He’s learning constantly and copying everything we do – this is definitely the time to watch what we say! He now barks like a dog and meows like a cat…totally mind blowing! The one noticeable change that really sticks out though, is how much he can understand. I find it amazing that although he cannot communicate verbally, he’s still able to answer our commands and achieve tasks we ask him to do. He dances to music, he waves to everyone, he claps every time I say ‘clever boy’ and he makes a kissing sound when we ask for a kiss. He can also be a little naughty and will test us for our reactions, the latest has been the dreaded biting stage! There are always obstacles to cross but it’s absolutely fascinating and I am thoroughly enjoying every single second of this journey.