Picasso Meets Toddlers and Tiaras
During the month we stayed in Houston in 2009, one of the activities we did was Tuesday Art Class at MD Anderson. And by “we” I mean Rachael. I used it as an hour of free babysitting and ran off to do important stuff like eat chocolate.
I picked her up after one of these classes and the ladies were all excited to show me Rachael’s painting. It was quite good I thought and very true to her “style” at the time of giving girls blonde hair and elaborate dresses. To this one she added a halo on top and the little town of Bethlehem below. A Christmas Angel. In watercolor. The ladies asked me if they could keep her angel and I said sure.
Rachael was five.
About 8 months later I got a call from someone saying that her little angel made the first cut in the voting rounds for Children’s Art Project and would I give my permission to have it made into a sample card so it could go up for the final vote. Of course I said yes and I asked how many made the first cut. They said 50 pieces of art. And approximately 25 would be made into cards. So I asked if I would be able to vote and they said I could and I’m thinking, “Heh. I’ve got a blog. I’ve got a lot of Facebook friends. We’ll stack that vote!” I like to play fair.
I knew the voting would happen around January so I figured I’d get a call or a sky writer or some sort of indication that it was time for me to rally all my people to vote for my kid and when I heard nothing I thought, “Hmm. I bet they have a Facebook page and there might be information about it on there.” Sure enough, they totally have a page and when I went to it my heart sunk.
Voting had ended the week before.
Not one troop was rallied. Not a single person who is totally biased for my daughter spent a week “voting once per day” (as I had planned). I actually felt like throwing a little tantrum. How could I not be told! She wouldn’t stand a chance if I couldn’t secure her an advantage! I was so sad. I felt like I had failed her.
Then in March we got a letter.
“Dear Rachael, We are so excited to say Congratulations on being chosen as a designer for the 2011 Children’s Art Project Holiday Collection!”
WHAT?! FOR REAL!!??
We were all so excited for her! There was jumping up and down and squealing and calling Grandmas and just a tiny sense of shame that I thought she needed my help so much, overpowered by an incredible sense of pride that she was chosen by total strangers.
We were invited to a small ceremony honoring the Designers and of course we were going. A couple weeks before the event I received a call from one of the people in charge asking if we would mind having her photographed for the catalog. THIS JUST KEEPS GETTING MORE EXCITING!
Okay. So this is a big deal and I knew I needed to get her something nice to wear that wasn’t too trendy because I didn’t want her to be all, “WHAT did you put me in MOTHER?” when she is a teenager. Also, I needed something with sleeves because it’s a Holiday Catalog and nothing screams CHRISTMAS like a tank top. Problem was it was middle of Spring in South Texas where winter ended in 2004. I could not find anything that didn’t look like it came straight off the set of iCarly or the beach. Trendy and sleeveless. That was what every single store was selling. I was getting panicky.
After looking in a LOT of stores and starting to feel downright pageant mother-ish, I did finally manage to find something I thought was perfect and moved on to the hair. I consulted with several friends who have talent in this area and the general consensus was that whatever I try, I should do it beforehand to see if it works. So, to bring out her beautiful curls, I decided to try curlers that she would sleep in.
I desperately wish I had a picture of this but she refused to allow me to take any pictures of her “grandma” hair. Trust me when I say it was adorable and hilarious at the same time. I got these “velcro” curlers and when I asked the lady how they stay in the hair she tells me that you just roll them up and the hair holds them in. Okay, easy enough. I go home, wash her hair and put 24 of these little curlers in her hair, told her to not move an inch in her sleep and I love you baby, sleep well!
Then I went into the bathroom to pick up and decided to read the packaging these wonder curlers come in. It says, “For fine hair, do NOT roll more than once around the hair.” Heh heh. I’m sure they didn’t really mean that. Too late now!
In the morning they have not moved one millimeter. They are in EXACTLY the same place as I put them the night before. Huh. These things really hold.
You have no idea.
When I started trying to take the first one out I cannot explain how quickly I realized the perilous situation we were in. Not only were they firmly and tightly stuck in her hair, the fact that she was a CONSCIOUS and SENTIENT being was going to pose a problem. Those things hurt like a Mike Foxtrot coming out and I HAD PUT TWENTY FOUR OF THEM IN HER HEAD. I had not gotten one out and she is SCREAMING in pain. I’m crying and I really and truly believed I was going to have to cut them out of her hair and she would have to be hairless for the catalog. I was so upset I didn’t even think of the irony in that. Think of chewing a 24 pack of gum, rolling your kids hair around each chewed piece and then yanking it out one strand at a time. It was going to be like that.
To be continued….