Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I value my anonymity, as much as possible, so I have never posted any photos here. (I know that I'm probably not as anonymous as I like to think -- if somebody who knew me were to read this blog, they'd know me instantly. But if somebody were to google me using any search terms I can reasonably think of, I don't think that they'd find this site, and I've decided that metric is good enough for me to call it anonymous.) (Please don't disavow me of this belief.) But, it does make me a little sad that I've never been able to post any photos of LL. I'm a tad biased, but he is really very cute. (Especially when he runs to our patio door, points at a squirrel, and barks, which he has been doing on a near-hourly basis lately. Not that I could capture his barking in a photo anyway.) To fill the void left by the lack of photos, and because my mother said something to me the other day that I just have to share, I present a written description of LL. Or rather, a part of LL. The part that is currently his defining feature, aside from his toothy grin. The feature that every single stranger we meet in the grocery store must comment on: his hair.

I have really curly hair. A lot of it. If I wash my hair, comb it, and then leave it sopping wet and don't touch it again, I have Shirley Temple ringlets two hours later. (If I'm lucky; on unlucky days, I just have a halo of frizz.) S has really curly hair, too. His curls are tighter than mine, and they fight even harder to just do their own thing. My mother, my father, my brother, and S's mother all have very curly hair, so this is a family thing for both of us. I have a photo of my father when he was three years old, and a photo of S at the same age, and they have the exact same little ringlets. It's adorable.

When I was pregnant with LL, the only thing that we were even close to certain of was that LL would have dark curly hair. It was inescapable. One of my coworkers who had never met S before, and didn't know that he was Asian, asked me if I would be disappointed if the baby was born with straight blond hair. I told her yeah, a little bit, but not as disappointed as S. (I asked S if he would have divorced me if LL had been born blond. He told me no, that he probably would have blamed Dr. M. for obviously mixing up the sperm samples at the clinic. I have such a trusting husband!)

LL was born with a lot of dark hair, in gentle little waves, as expected. As he got older, though, it seemed to be straightening out. At six months, it seemed wavy but surprisingly tame. Things began to turn just before his first birthday. First, the hair on the side of his head started to curl up and out. He began to look like he had gentle little wings around his ears, and nothing (nothing) would make that hair lie flat. Then the hair on the back of his head went crazy. It suddenly started to grow like mad, and the longer it got, the curlier it looked.

We still have never cut LL's hair. At first, I wanted to try to wait until his first birthday, but then there just seemed to be no point. If it were falling in his eyes, I'd cut it, but the hair in front curls gently off his forehead, so it doesn't bother him at all and it doesn't block his vision at all. Similarly, if it looked too long in back, I'd cut it, but the back is so unbelievably curly that it never seems to have any length. When we comb LL's hair after a bath, I am always taken aback by how long it actually is -- it falls almost to his shoulder blades when straight. But as soon as it's dry, it springs all the way back up so that it's not even touching his neck. The entire back of his head becomes covered in dense, perfectly-formed curls.

Last week, we took a photo of the back of LL's head, and mailed it out to family and friends. Even though my mom had seen LL at his birthday just 3+ months ago, she was shocked by how curly his hair had become.

She told me that he looks like a cocker spaniel.

And now I can't get that image out of my mind. Especially when he roams around the house barking at squirrels. So, no photos of LL, but each time I tell a story about him, you have my permission to picture a cocker spaniel puppy.

PS -- as a general rule, I don't do memes or awards or contests or themes or ... whatever else is the hottest thing on the blogosphere on any given day. I have nothing against them, I'm just really bad at follow-through. So... apropos of nothing in particular, certainly not related to Delurking Week, could a few of my lurkers maybe drop me a comment? I have absolutely no idea who is reading these days. I don't care if the comments are anonymous, I don't care if they're short, I don't care if they're completely unrelated to anything and everything. But please, say something. Tell me why you read. Suggest a good book. Tell me I'm a horrible mother for comparing my son to a cocker spaniel. Anything. Thanks.


  1. Oh, I LOVE curly hair on little kids, ESPECIALLY boys! How freakin' adorable!

  2. I love getting a description of LL...and such a vivid one at that!

  3. Lurker here... :-)

    I can't really remember how I found your blog...but I think it was just after LL was born...or maybe just before. Either way, it was early enough that it wasn't too silly for me to go back and read all of your posts. Which I did.

    I'm a soon to be grad student and a someday mom...I suppose that's mostly what draws me to your blog...That and I like your stories.

    Anyway. Just de-lurking per request. :-)

    LL's hair sounds EXACTLY like my younger brothers hair when he was tiny. It was so sad when my mom finally got him a hair cut. He's never really worn it with any length since, so those curls don't often make an appearance. :-(

  4. I wish I had ringlets! At least my hair will hold them if I use curlers.

  5. Frequent reader, infrequent commenter... I can't remember how I got to your blog but we are of a similar age, I have a son slightly older than yours, and we're in the same broad field of science. I've enjoyed reading about your little one -- brings back memories of my own -- as well as the work and school stuff too.

  6. Another follower.. Not necessarily a lurker.
    Just a fellow lab mom who likes to see others in the same boat!

    Blog on mama!

  7. Thanks for dropping by and de-lurking. I've been reading your blog but need to go back and read the earlier posts. I do love this description of your son's hair and it gives me hope that my daughter's hair will still turn darker (my husband is Chinese). At the moment she has thin wispy hair and it is impossible to put up or keep a clip or headband in and now I'm back to hoping it may still change a bit in the upcoming months. Of course, I always wanted a baby with red, curly hair when I was little (like Annie, of course) but my mother keeps telling me that is highly unlikely ...

  8. I found your blog about a month ago, and have been thinking about it ever since. Today is my first day back. I struggled with infertility and am now 12 weeks pregnant. I like reading about your experiences and hearing your insight. Thanks.

  9. Hubby and I too would be surprised if our little one comes out with blond hair, so I know what you mean, although I suspect there will be no curls ;) Thanks for the mental image, reading stories about LL is going to be that much funnier now :)

  10. Duh, might make more sense if I finished my post...

    ... anyway, I guess I just have a thing for smart, technical people. :)

  11. We can't even get the "back of the head" photo??? Awwww... come on... I show you mine! *nudge nudge* :)

    I have very dark brown hair, and my hubby has more "regular" brown hair. I was SURE my son would have dark hair. He was born that way, but now he's blond. With blue eyes, unlike mine and DH's (brown). Go figure.

    I enjoy your intellectual reflections on motherhood. My hubby is an electrical/computer engineer,

  12. I missed de-lurking week, but I'll go ahead and comment anyway...hopefully you'll see it!

    I was referred here by Sunny in Seattle, and I'm so glad she sent me over!

    I'm working toward my PhD in a science field, and just found out I'm expecting...and my husband is half even though I've just barely started reading it seems we have a bit in common. :)

  13. Hi, my name's Stephanie, I'm just starting my M.Sc. in computer science, and I have a daughter who is about the same age as, LL, from what I can tell fom reading your blog. (I gave birth to her in Sept. 2008). I estimate that I have been reading since spring 2009 and have been enjoying the ride, thanks for all your posts! :-D

  14. Another lurker coming out of the shadows. I've been meaning to comment for the past year. I defended my PhD in biology about 3 weeks ago and have an 18 mo old daughter. My hubby is also a biologist. 6 mo ago we moved across country for his tenure track job (I'm a little more than a lecturer right now, but hoping that changes soon).
    Your blog has really kept me going during this crazy time. thanks!!

  15. wait, S is Asian and has really curly hair? No way!!! Never encountered such a phenomena! I wish.....


Talk To Me!