You know how sometimes you feel like you're saying the same thing over and over, and nothing is getting through to your child?
And then one day, something happens that makes you realize they've been listening all along.
I was folding laundry when my curly 7-year-old, Emma, came running into the room full of excitement. She told me to sit down because she had a story she wanted to read me out of her "Highlights" magazine. I couldn't imagine what it could be about. Horses? Cats? Candy?
She began to read "Sassy Noodle Hair. The story is about a little girl named Sass who was going to be in a wedding, and she asks her Aunt Ella to straighten her hair.
"Nobody wants curly hair these days," says Sass.
She idolizes Tina Marie, a little girl in her class with straight blonde hair - a girl who will also be in the wedding. Her aunt tells her she should appreciate her beautiful curls. But she finally gives in and straightens her hair. When the little girl arrives at the wedding, she looks for Tina Marie.
"I could see a girl with the same dress as mine," Sass says. "She was standing with her back toward me, and talking to a group of people. But that girl couldn't be Tina Marie. Because there, spilling out of her tiara, was curl after springing curl. I stood trying to make sense of it all."
Of course, it was Tina Marie.
"She learned to appreciate her curls," Emma told me. "You need to put this story up on your web site so kids will like their hair."