I love being a mother…

Because I get to play with their hair. Yes, just like me and my dolls a long time ago. Mind you, I am no good at the styling thing. I never quite achieve the effect I am going for. Even with my own hair. Even with google images shown humbly to the Congolese hairdresser.

One of the insurgents has never been the touchy feely type. Even as a toddler Small daughter seemed perplexed by hugs.

But even she quickly runs to fetch the multicoloured array of combs from their bowl. She lets me oil and comb her hair, and I praise its thickness. “Your hair will be ready for braiding by August,” I assure her. She is going to be a bridesmaid.

She is still smiling like a satisfied cat when the other insurgent pipes up. “What about mine?!” I am still thinking of an encouraging but truthful response when her sister speaks up.

“Hmmm, well, it’s brown”, she says disdainfully.  She is referring to the fact that Baby daughter’s hair makes a strange contrast to her dark skin.  I quickly lift up the bottle of hair oil when I see the little one’s eyes begin to fill with tears. The truth will have to be postponed.  “See, horse hair can be brown. Your hair will grow as long as these girls’ hair in the picture. You will be a beautiful flower girl!”

The hair oil label claims it contains keratin and horse hair, or something like that, so we have been applying it religiously. We have also eaten a lot of those green things we normally try to pick out of our food.

If wishes were horses…little girls would grow long locks of brown horse hair!

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