I believe in personal autonomy. Our bodies are our own and no one gets to do anything to them without our consent. This is something I also want to teach my children. No one gets to touch them or require that they do anything they don't want to do.
Not even me.
And that's where it gets hard. I draw a line around safety- no, Margaret can't decide to stop in the middle of the crosswalk while the light turns green for the traffic heading towards us, and so I have to pick her up and bring her safely to the other side. And then we sit while she expresses her frustration about that, which usually takes less than a minute but feels like 20.
But other than safety, I want to respect her boundaries.
And this is where things get hairy (pathetic pun, groan). She doesn't like her hair combed. She doesn't like her hair washed. And as I take a comb to it or pour a cup of water over it, she screams, "No, Mommy! It's my hair! Stop!"
And I sigh. She's right, it's her hair. But I really really really want to comb it. And I really really really want to wash it.
Sometimes I can woo her to the comb by promising a pony tail. She'll sit while I comb her hair and so it's not that bad. But nothing will get her to let us wash it.
I'm tempted to cut it short. She's never had a hair cut because I'm afraid her curls will get cut off an never come back. Also, she does really like pony tails and if I cut it the length needed to keep it clean, that won't be possible any more.
And as a child, my mom decided my hairstyle and I had that same hairstyle until I was 12 and hated it (mostly the bangs). I really want Margaret to get a say in this. Sigh.
Ten years from now this struggle will be null and void. Maybe I should just back down and let it be.
Now I've got the Beatles in my head.
...speaking words of wisdom, let it be...