If only we actually wore hair clips….

by threegirlpileup

Around here, our love of hair ornaments is more theoretical than practical.  My hair is rarely long enough to need clipping, and Maggie hasn’t been interested in hair clips for a long time.  Anna–no big surprise–likes the idea of hair clips, the sparklier the better; but she rarely wants to keep them in her hair for very long.

Nevertheless, I pulled out the supplies to make beaded flower and butterfly hair ornaments, a project which has been in my mental queue for a long time.  So long, in fact, that it was in a file folder of “Good Things” saved from old issues of Martha Stewart Living.  So yes, we worked from paper directions, something I rarely due anymore. Thanks to the miracle of the hyperlink, I can share them with you without violating any copyright laws.

This was really more of an adult than a kid project, and my expectation had been that I would probably just make some for the girls, with perhaps some help from them.  Anna lost interest very quickly–both the beads and the wire were pretty small and kind of frustrating.  Maggie was interested in trying to make a flower, but it was difficult for her.  When I told her that each of the petals on the flowers I made had twenty beads, she took a minute to do the math and realized this meant she needed to string a hundred beads.  What followed was basically a series of protests–it was too hard, the beads were too small, she couldn’t possibly do it.  All of this in a kind of angry, why-are-you-making-me-do-this tone of voice.

And then she settled in.  She counted the beads, she threaded them carefully, she formed them into petals.  She asked for some help with wire twisting, but basically did the whole thing herself.  I helped her attach it to a bobby pin (the directions were entirely unhelpful on this point), and she held it up and beamed.  In a remarkably short time she moved from unbearably frustrated to entirely self-satisfied.  And we had made these gorgeous little hair clips!


I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to realize that this is a common pattern for Maggie.  When she runs up against something that doesn’t come easily, she needs to rail against it for a little while.  Or sometimes for a long while.  But if I can resist the urge to push back against her railing, to be present and calm and available to help as needed, it passes.  And if she can find a way to settle in to the task at hand and get to the other side, she positively swells with the pleasure of accomplishing something that she didn’t think she could do.

Now if only we could find someone to wear the darn hair ornaments…right now, the best candidate seems to be Snuffy (named by Maggie at age 2).  As Anna would say, she looks very fancy, don’t you think?