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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No Longer Cousin It

My daughter? Is obsessed with one thing and one thing only on most mornings (well... other than asking if her non-birthday dress is clean). The Tongginator feels very concerned - from the moment she wakes up until she climbs up the bus steps - about the quality of my hair styling.

I swear she would make me attend beauty school if she could.

To be fair, I'm not all that great at styling her hair. It is long. It is very, very thick (almost all of the Tonggu girls have LOTS of hair... we think because they are part Hakka). And there is this cowlick on the back of the Tongginator's head that one of my Korean-American cousins calls The Asian Swirl.

Ah, yes, the infamous Asian Swirl.

If your child has one, then you know exactly of what I speak. It's the cowlick that rests just so on the back of the top of the head. It pushes all of the hair forward, so that said hair grows down in front of their faces as babies, which causes all of the mommas to cut bangs just before or just after the second birthday. Except then the hair continues to fill out, creating what I call The Super Thick Bang Action. (Er... scratch that. When I reread that sentence, it didn't sound so good.) Approximately six to eighteen months after that unfortunate bang cut, the now hang-wringing mommas begin the laborious and angst-filled process of Growing Out Their Children's Bangs.

We finally arrived last summer.

Or so I thought.

Because now my daughter must believe she is kin to Cousin It. Whenever I pull her hair into a ponytail (which is often, seeing as how I'm always running late and never attended beauty school), the Tongginator insists on one huge chunk of hair remaining loose, so as to fall into her face. She loves to push said chunk of hair behind her ear... CONSTANTLY. And, to make matters worse, every time she does this, she asks those around her, "doesn't this make me look pretty?"

Ah yes, the joys of having a humble child... and one who is focused on inner beauty rather than outward appearance.

*excuse me while I bang my head against the wall for a moment*

It took me a couple of months to figure it out, y'all, but I finally have it. Shockingly, the Tongginator does NOT believe she is somehow distantly related to Cousin It. Hey, it COULD totally happen... did y'all know that Eva Longoria and Yo-Yo Ma are relatives? Not that I thought of either of them when I thought of Cousin It. Because I totally didn't. I mean, who thinks of such talented and attractive people after they think of Cousin It? Not me. Of course not me. But they totally are related... Yo-Yo Ma and Eva Longoria, I mean. Yep... he's Mexican.

(Just kidding.)

(About the Mexican part. They really ARE distantly related.)

Can y'all guess WHY the Tongginator is obsessed with having that chunk of hair fall into her face? I'll give you a few hints. And you'll probably guess it within a moment or two, even though it took me four! stinking! months! to figure it out.

1. The Tongginator likes to push the hair behind one ear.
2. When that is not an option, the Tongginator likes to blow said hair chunk out of her face.
3. Our kids' movie collection is rather small when you subtract Veggie Tales and the vast array of Mandarin language DVDs. It includes Tinkerbelle, Mulan, The Princess Diaries, Cars, Ratatouille, Curious George and The Parent Trap.
4. The Tongginator looks more like the person she's emulating than Eva Longoria looks like Yo-Yo Ma. Except, of course, that she's real and NOT an animated character. Except she IS kind of an animated character. But not in that way. Anyways, you get my point.

Have you figured it out yet?

*crickets chirping*

If you didn't put Hair Chunk and Disney Princess together, then you obviously haven't seen the movie Mulan in a while (or... ya know... ever). Yes, y'all, the Tongginator believes her Hair Chunk Styling Look causes her to resemble Mulan.

I can't believe it took me four! stinking! months! to figure that out.

I guess I have to stop calling her Cousin It behind her back.



Carla said...

I was trying hard to picture it, but with the knowledge of Mulan...ah yes, I see it now.

and Princess? she has a double crown...err...2 of those infamous Asian swirls. Her hair has no choice but to push forward into her eyes. I'm trying my best to train her hair now to sweep beautifully to the side. Hair bows help, and Princess will now keep them in because the only other option is the hair is in her eyes.

The Source said...

What do they say about "great minds?" Because we've been calling one of our twins "Cousin It" for about a year. Other nicknames include "Shaggy," "Mop," and "Hugh." As in Hefner. Because...unfortunately the boy lives in his red bathrobe 24/7. Calls it his "school uniform." All he needs is an ascot and a pipe.

I have to agree with the Tongginator...she is as lovely as Mulan! And I'm completely envious of the amount of hair that child has! It's just not fair!

And I sure have used an excessive amount of "quotation marks" in this comment.

Sarah said...

My Hakka girl has lots of hair and a HUGE swirl on the very back top of her head that makes all of the hair on the top of her head grow straight into her face, as well. My hairstylist has warned me not to do bangs as they'd just get bigger and bigger and would be horrible to try to grow out. Hannah has to have a ponytail on the top of her head at all times, or it all pulled to a side with an elastic. Clippies can't hold this hair back.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I guessed Mulan right from the moment I read about the large chunk of hair ... probably because she is my favourite of all Disney princesses! (Seriously, she goes off to war and saves all of China—way cooler than being pushed around by some snotty stepsisters and a stepmother and just waiting for a fairy godmother and drippy prince to rescue you.)

I've been waiting for my two-and-a-half year old's bangs to grow out for months. Almost a year. No cowlick for her, just lots of stubborn hair that wants to always do its own thing. Which could also describe her, come to think of it ...

Aus said...

Well - if we ever 'saw' T's face (couldn't help but tease a little) then maybe we could offer an informed decision about how much she looks like Mulan.... :) Regardless - Cousin It? Never!

hugs - aus and co.

happygeek said...

What a hair-raising experience. Mind you, what do I know? I shave my boy's heads and had to google Cousin it.

Kim K. said...

Actually...that's pretty darn brilliant. I'm getting close to having J's hair chopped off again. The battle of the ponytails is driving me nuts.

autumnesf said...

Wow. I thought the super fine, won't stay in anything, flyaway wispy stuff MM has was bad. I think I'm changing my mind. No cowlicks our way.

And I totally got Mulan!

bbmomof2boys said...

Oh...is that what it is, the Asian swirl? Now I know why her hair grows forward to her eyes!! And trust me, if I don't have it pulled back she is constantly swiping her face to get it out of her eyes! I haven't cut her bangs yet but I have cut the wispy hair that grows so it doesn't look too bad. Here hair is NOTHING like your T's - its thin but its finally getting longer!!!

And Mulan? Haven't seen it yet? I know!! Can you believe it? With 2 boys its not hard to. Right now she is into the Land Before Time series...and she is actually laughing in the right places! Go girl!


ps - I don't hold the fact that you can't style her hair against you! hahahahahaa!!!

Patricia/NYC said...


OK...yes...Kiara has the Asian Swirl...we are growing out the bangs & have arrived...she does THE SAME HAIR CHUNK THING!!!! And 3 guesses on what name I have given her???!?! Yep...COUSIN IT!!!

I swear, I could have written this post (although you are much more funny & articulate! lol!)

Michael, Melissa, Ainsley said...

My DD favors short hair - not liking the feeling of wet hair on her neck but the only style that she finds acceptable is one pony tail that consists of her bands a little from the sides directly in the middle of her head - if it's off she protests. Sigh. She loves Mulan 2 with the other princess and regularly sings I want to be like other girls.

Georgia Peach said...

In response to: "does this make my hair look pretty?"

I love, Love LOVE that she asks this question! May I assume that she asks ANYONE who is around. (ie: friend, family, stranger, cashier at Target...etc?) Love that kid! We need to make a trip to visit y'll because I have a little pea who comes from the same pod.

Myrnie said...

So funny :) Sometimes I think the "doesn't this make me look pretty" question doesn't mean "gosh I'm beautiful" but "Now I look like the person who society told me was pretty." Which makes me sad, still. E did it a lot right after we cut her hair- we said she looked beautiful, and she immediately assumed the hair cut made her beautiful. Such a slippy slope!

Love Letters To China said...

Oh you have your hands full don't you? She sounds adorable! I'm having my own hair issues around here. I actually posted about it today on my blog. I wish these little girls would stop growing up so quickly. What has our world come to?

Happy Wednesday to you!

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

I think my daughter and your daughter would play well together. . .except Kady is younger than The T. . .and we live Hours from each other. . .and we don't really know each other in real life. . .although if we did, I would be THAT mom that you didn't really want your dtr going to her house. I digress. My point is Kady is SUPER girly. I'm not sure where she gets it, because I'm a total tomboy. I subscribe to the wash and wear hairstyle, rarely wear dresses, and have been known to wear (nice) jeans to church (don't tell my mom!!). I always wear makeup (my one girly quality) but that has more to do with having pale, splotchy skin. . .so, our girls could totally sign us up for a "teaching mom's to be girly" summer camp. . .

Aunt LoLo said...

Ok, the Asian Swirl had me giggling. The ONLY thing I can do is pigtails. Uneven ones. Every. Single. Day. That, or a barrette at the corner of her face.

And It's been way too long since I saw Mulan!!! Ming Wai hasn't even seen it yet! (If it doesn't involve pink, she's not interested. *sigh* Totoro, in Cantonese, is an exception. Because, on days when I just can't take it anymore, her choices are to be locked in her room...or watch Totoro in cantonese. Heh.)

Michelle said...

OK, need side-by-side comparison to get the true vision of her Mulan-esque "do". (hint, hint) ;)

The Drinkwaters said...

Our daughter is two, and we have succumbed to the bangs, there was no other choice. Her hair was starting to break where the barrettes and elastics were holding the hair back, and we were using the soft elastics and barrettes.

It took about two weeks before she wasn't trying to swipe the hair off of her face. I don't even want to think of the growing out the bangs phase...sigh...

Sylvie is still too young for Mulan, but I'm looking forward to see if she identifies with her!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post! I live in Idaho and the "fashion" for teens is exactly what you have discribed...so my beautiful treasures from China (11&14) who have the Asian swirl, constantly have hair hanging in their face :( They don't even try to blow it away. Oh, and growing those bangs!
Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

My blond daughter, whose hair is very long at the moment, still always wants a chunk of hair showing. It's not Mulan; it's just style. ALthough who doesn't like Mulan?
Loved this post! And yes, I bet she does look pretty with her hair that way!

Michal said...

Tonggu Momma, you have me cracking up with this post!
First of all, now I have a name for that swirl on the back of Ev's head though hers kind of pushes hair to one side so she has what I call "lopsided thickness". Second of all she is from Jiangxi Province but has brown hair and it is not thick by any stretch of the imagination. She is blissfully unaware of this though.

Just today I had to force two tiny braids into her hair so she could look like the girl from Castle In the Sky. That was not easy and her hair has been in a frantic state of entropy since about 2 seconds after I put the last bobble in place.
She will also swish her hair about Farrah Fawcett style and demand that everyone in a 2 mile radius comments on how long her hair is. Ummm, it's not even past her chin.

Mei Ling said...

Mulan <3
Ratatouille <3

"Except then the hair continues to fill out, creating what I call The Super Thick Bang Action."

... LMAO.

I didn't even take that in the Other Mature Way until you suggested it!

The Gang's Momma! said...

I DID know about YoYo Ma and Eva Longoria. I'm totally in love with that show. And with Who Do You Think You Are, too. LOVE them.

And LadyBug is in the Hair Hunk stage. ALWAYS with one swath artistically draped somewhere over an eye or an ear. And I use the term artistically oh so loosely!