I have to wash my hair.

Feb 18 2011

Greg and I have a large capacity for handling sick kids.

In the middle of the night, by just the light of the moon and an LED nightlight, we can change vomit-laced sheets, reroute children to new beds, stop bloody noses in less than 5 minutes flat, open up asthmatic airways, and correctly dose medications in syringes, droppers and spoons.

Our skills were honed the same way desperate parents throughout time have perfected their craft.  Practice, practice, practice.

This morning’s main event involved a child, a toilet, and a garbage can.  You can do the math.  My role included  back-rubbing, heartfelt prayers for relief, and assurances to the child that she wouldn’t die.

After we completed our bathroom activities and I had the child tucked safely back in (my) bed (note to self: wash sheets before going to bed tonight), I had 10 minutes left to get ready for work.

In the same way I’ve honed my middle-of-the-night skills, so have I perfected the art of getting ready for work in 10 minutes.  Neither is my preference, but both are occasionally necessary.

Before I had kids, I used to shower twice a day.  I know that’s extreme, but I really love to be clean.  A hot shower may be the penultimate luxury, surpassed only by a hot bath, a good book and a glass of red wine.

These days, I’m lucky if I can manage a lukewarm shower every other day.  And sometimes, like this morning, even the every-other-day shower gets preempted by a sick kid.

What’s a mom who wants to be presentable to do?

Sure, there are the usual tricks.  Smell nice by layering deodorant and brushing teeth.  Throw a little talcum powder in the hair to take away that greasy shine.

But did you know it’s possible to wash just the front of your hair?  All you need is a sink and a pea-sized drop of shampoo.

Revolutionary!  My fabulous sister-in-law, Kim, taught me that move, and, lately, it’s my #1 get-ready-in-a-hurry tip.

I can wash, dry and style the front part of my hair in less than 5 minutes.  By contrast, a full-on shower and hair-styling session will take me 35-45 minutes.

Best time-saving, look-and-feel-human tip this side of a shower.

Shallow?  You betcha.  But on these I’m-sick, you’re-sick, we’re-all-sick days, a little feel-good boost soothes the soul.