It all started when B was just a few months old and I was still breastfeeding. He would grab onto my hair with his tiny little hand and twirl it. I thought it was the cutest thing in the world and he only did it with me. As a working mom who got so little time with my little man, anything that made me feel like mommy was special, was welcome.
Fast forward two and a half years though to a fight I had with my husband just the other night that went something like this…
“You’re not his mother, you’re his doll! I am so sick of this. Don’t you find this hair thing the least bit creepy?”
And the truth is, I suppose I do. A little. My son, without a doubt, has a full on hair fetish. He touches my hair before bed while we read. He asks for it in the middle of the night if he wakes up (“mamma, you bring your hair here please.”). He comes running for my hair when he’s feeling shy in public. And every morning he enjoys a sippy cup of milk and touches my hair while we watch an episode of Curious George (“It’s daytime mamma. I need George, milk and hair.”)
I have tried half-heartedly to break him of the mommy hair habit. I bought a girl teddy with a head of blond hair (hair bear). I bought a wig and sewed it onto one of his ugly dolls (hairy monster). As a last ditch effort, I cut a lock of my own hair and sewed it onto his monkey blanket (hairy monkey). None of it worked. And frankly, most of it would have probably seemed even creepier to the general public (especially hairy monkey).
What I found though is that the mommy hair fetish is not just about hair, it’s about mommy. And back to the beginning of this tale, it is really nice to feel special. Even if it’s only for my hair.
I know I am taking a risk here and could be making a major parenting faux pas. I might be fostering a lifelong hair creep. I have visions of him bringing home some woman who has hair cascading down past her butt and telling me she’s the one. Or worse, of him getting arrested in the mall for touching strange woman’s hair or me someday snooping for drugs in his room and finding some weird wig collection.
If any of you have a kid with a potential creepy habit or better yet, one that naturally grew out of one, please weigh in with a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether I’m doing the right thing here. I honestly don’t know…