Last week when I took Mea to gymnastics, it took all of my restraint not to punch one of coaches in the throat.

The teachers all come to the door, call their kids names, and then they head into the gym to do their warm-ups and start class. 

There are many classes that start at 4:30.  Five or six.  Two preschool classes, two kindergarten classes, Mea’s class, and a group that is age seven and up.  So six classes with around six kids each.  It is a bit of a cluster fuck during those few minutes of trying to get everyone with their appropriate class.

There is a girl in the seven+ class who is black.  Sweet girl, tries hard, this is her first gymnastics class ever, and from what I can see she seems to be picking up on it pretty quickly.  She is big for her age.  Her mom is easily 6’2″ or so.  She is not going to be a little petite thing, but she is beautiful, and ever so sweet.

As her teacher was rounding up the kids for her class, the teacher makes a comment about her braids & beads being gone.  “Thank God you took those beads out of her hair, it was too loud and distracting to the other kids.”

I just stared at her.  I was having a little if I could kill you with my eyes right now, I would moment.  I looked over at the girl’s mom to see if she was going to say something, but she didn’t.  Not a word.

After the girls went inside the gym with the coach, I asked the mom if she was annoyed by the coaches comment.  She said she wasn’t.  She said that her daughter complained about the beads when she was doing somersaults and such, and that she is a bit of a whiner (I think all little girls are whiners about their hair, especially if it’s their Momma doing the hairdo.)  Part of this could have been the way the girl ungracefully would throw herself head first onto the mat, but I kept that to myself.

I was pretty much pissed the entire time I sat there watching.  It reminded me of something that was said to me when Mea was a baby, probably fourteen months old.  I had taken her to the sitter’s house, and one of her friends was there that sometimes comes over with her grandkids, and they hang out and drink coffee together.

I had recently gotten my first batch of Carol’s Daughter products for Mea’s hair.  Black Vanilla leave in spray, and Hair Milk which smells like lemongrass.  I think her little curls smell divine.

We had just gotten back from my Aunt’s funeral.  I had to go to work the following day, and while I was dropping Mea off, Lolo mentioned how much she loved the smell of her hair.

Lolo’s bitchy friend says, “I hate it, I think it stinks.  Why can’t you just use Johnson & Johnson’s like everyone else.”

I was going to punch her.  In fact, I was so pissed that I turned around and walked out the door.  I was not going to lose our wonderful sitter over something that her ignorant friend said.

I like the smell of Johnson and Johnson’s too.  It is not for black babies hair.  Maybe when they are little babies.  Maybe you could get by with it if they were bald, but Mea had a full head of hair.  (Well, on the top anyway, she was a little bald on the sides and in the back.)

No coach, leader, teacher, or any other sort of adult better ever plan on saying something to me about my child’s hair.  I will come unglued.

I still can’t believe that her mother didn’t say anything. 

I was sitting there fuming and I surely had steam coming out of my ears.


7 Comments on “Beads”

  1. Holly says:

    I absolutely love it that you have violent tendencies. It’s like we were seperated at birth or something LoL Just so you know, the next time we hang out together I plan on leaning in awkwardly and sniffing Mea’s hair. It sounds like it smells devine.

  2. Becky says:

    I just don’t evn have words to respond. On one of the boards I follow on FB, a mom posted last week (I think) saying her daughter’s cheerleading coaches told her she couldn’t cheer with braides of any kind in – it had to be smooth hair back to a pony tail (a long one at that – they wanted lots of “swing”). I had a strong reaction to just reading that – and this – I have no idea how I’d react if someone said that to me about my one of my kid’s hair. Wow. Just wow.

    • Kelly says:

      I can’t believe that they would make a long ponytails a requirement. So weird what these coaches, instructors, etc demand of kids. No wonder little girls have issues with self-esteem, etc.

      Had they been talking about my kid, I would have said something. Without a doubt. The girl who has been braiding Mea’s hair for me has asked if we wanted to do beads, I have said no, but it almost makes me want to say yes after this.

  3. Jen says:

    Honestly, I didn’t understand that our hair was different until about ten years ago. One of my friends had a baby and she was fixing it one day while we were chatting and I was surprised to see the spray in conditioner being used, so I asked about it and was very nicely taught about how our hair is different. I don’t grasp why the Mom didn’t say anything. Really odd. I’d be pretty pissed off the comment was directed at my child.

    • Kelly says:

      When Lolo’s friend made that comment, I was so angry it was best for me not to say something at that moment. I did end up later explaining to her that her hair was different, and needed different product than her blond-haired, blue-eyed grandchildren.

      I would have said something at gymnastics, but the girl’s mother was right there. I didn’t feel like it was my battle. I am still shocked that she didn’t say anything. I would have said something had she been talking about Mea, and I would have called and talked to someone else. Seemed pretty racist to me.

  4. missohkay says:

    The coach’s comment is ignorant and insensitive. It reminds me of this blog I read about ballet class recently –

    And seriously, the products we use smell SO good. Curly Pudding is my favorite – I could sniff her all day 🙂

  5. libbylogic says:

    Total ignorance. That’s all it is. And rude. That said, I don’t think I could ever get Meg to wear braids or beads. It’s all I can do to run a comb through her hair and get her to wear the sleep cap.

I like thoughtful comments!

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