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Snatching Me Bald, One Snuggle At A Time

Cora’s finally settled on a lovey,
and unfortunately, it’s me.

Or, to be more precise, my hair.

I remember when Maddie was a baby and I
was frantically searching everywhere for a lovey she’d attach
to. We were looking for that magic object she could use to calm
herself in the middle of the night, thereby ensuring a few
hours’ more sleep for Mommy. I had no luck until I noticed
she had a habit of stroking my scarves; I often wear my long hair
tied back in a low ponytail with a scarf, and Maddie would pull a
piece of the scarf forward and stroke it contemplatively. Aha! I
thought, bought her a small silk blanket with a similar feel, and
after walking around with it draped over my shoulder a few days I
saw Maddie bond with what is now known simply as Silky.

We were hoping against hope that Cora would be easy and fall in
love with a silky as well, and ordered one for her immediately
after she was born (as well as the secret back-up silky, of
course). Maddie was so happy to see a silky for Cora, and keeps
waiting for her sister to make that connection as well. As we all

Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened yet; Cora enjoys playing
peek-a-boo with her silky but doesn’t turn to it in a moment
of crisis. That honor goes to my ponytail, I’m afraid, and
I’m about at the end of my rope with it.

When Cora’s afraid or overwhelmed or teary-eyed, she’ll
throw both arms around my neck and grab bury her hands in the base
of my ponytail. Head nuzzled in my neck, Cora will sniffle and
snuff until she calms down, both fists gripping a handful of hair.
When she feels ready to face the world, she’ll let go with
one hand and turn around.

With the other hand firmly gripping a lock of my hair.

And if Cora’s tired and having trouble going to sleep,
she’ll pull a thick section of hair around to the front and
obsessively, endlessly, yank on it. Not in a soothing, meditative,
put-you-to-sleep kind of way. More in a painful,
kind of way. She grabs on at the roots and tugs as hard as she can,
and sometimes it takes every drop of Mommy patience in my bucket to
keep from slapping her across the room, or at the very least, from
yelling, “Ow, you stupid kid! That $#@#ing hurts,

I’ve tried tying her silky around my ponytail, hoping
she’d segue into tugging on that inanimate (and rootless)
object for a while, but no luck. She neatly separates it out and
digs into the hair. The worst is when she’s laced in but good
and I need to put her down; all her weight goes into dragging my
head down with her, and I stand awkwardly hung upside down as I try
to unlace her fingers, biting my lip to keep from screaming. When
the little darling is especially lucky, she’ll come away with
a few strands still clutched triumphantly in her chubby fist.
These, of course, she’ll instantly try to shove in her mouth,
proving there’s no such thing as Too Close To All Things

You’d think that, as attached as she still is to her
pacifier, she’d be easy to distract from the hair, but no
– it’s one of the first ways she judges the person
holding her: is the hair in the back long enough to get a good grip
on? Is it thick and luxurious, or thin and puny? How’s the
strokeability? You can see her come to a decision and either reject
it outright, or make the deliberate decision to
“settle” for something that’s obviously less than
Mommy but good enough for Right Now.

I’m hoping this is a phase, and I keep telling myself that
twenty years from now I won’t even remember this period;
I’ll be reading back through this diary of a website with her
and say, “Gosh, I don’t even remember that! Isn’t
that funny?”

Then I’ll look at all the pictures of this time period and
think, “Oh. THAT’S why I’m half-bald in all those


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