Monday, November 1, 2010


Lily has a very interesting relationship with hair. Not the hair on her head, which is an exciting mess in itself, but hair on other people's heads.

She has always loved feeling different textures with her fingers, but I believe she finds hair hair to be the ultimate supreme texture. I know it's a thing with babies that they like silky textures and will stroke them to soothe themselves. Lily? Give her some grit and she's happy as a drug addict getting her fix. You can see it in the way her eyes slacken and her head drops as soon as she has her hair.

Having long hair is key. My hair comes just past my shoulders in the front and whenever I hold my sleepy baby close to nurse or rock her to sleep, her free hand goes straight for my neck area. She gropes around until she can find a handful, a strand or clump to clutch in her fist. With the ends toward her thumb, she presses her thumb against the fistful of hair as if she's clicking a button.

Besides the fact that I'm the only lactating human in the household, this is another reason I'm usually the only one who can help get Lily to sleep. Erich, for all his luxurious curls, does not have grabbable strands of hair which hang around his neck. And if I should happen to have my hair tied back on a given day? Well, that situation needs to be remedied quickly because this strong little kid's grasp can and will start pulling apart my 'do to get the precious combination of silky and gritty textures between her tiny fingertips.

Lily's need for hair is right up there with her need to suck. She will usually only hang onto a pacifier if she's going to sleep or is particularly tired. If we happen to be out when she's getting ready for naptime, she will absent-mindedly grab for hair. When hair is not available, she will press her thumb print rhythmically against the edge of a fingernail. If she doesn't have someone else's fingernail available, she will sweep her thumb against the fingers of the same hand.

And so we now understand one of Lily's idiosyncrasies. Just one of those things that make her unique. But! Would you have guessed that this manner of fidgeting is somehow genetic? Indeed! Her father has the exact same fidgeting mannerisms. He used to absent-mindedly scrape his thumb print against my fingernails until I made him stop because it felt creepy. He gravitates toward gently feeling textures, especially textiles, with his fingertips.

Isn't that weird? I mean, Lily's habit is mildly weird enough without the genetic component making it slightly weirder than mildly weird. That's JMVVHO (just my very, very humble opinion). The end!

ETA: Erich reminds me that his brother, Lily's youngest uncle had a hair fetish for years and years. He mainly liked to stroke it. Erich feels textures. Marry those two traits and you get Liy, feeling the texture of hair. Alles klar? Too bad, I'm really done now.

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