The Battle of the Bun

The Bug is a dancer.

Her recital is Saturday, and Tuesday was picture night.  Up till this week, I have missed all dance preparations due to work. I’d swoop in just in time to turn around and leave again, missing all the fun that goes into getting a first grader ready for dance class. But I’ve the heard horror stories, and I’m a bit glad that I get to miss those moments. Let’s say that cooperation is not The Bug’s strong suit when it comes to prepping for dance. However, with my wife’s new job and my newly minted summer break, it all fell on me to get her ready.

I don’t do hair. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I can do a pony tail kinda OK, and we went through a phase where I did Daddy Pony Tails all the time. (Think of an 80s pony tail, sticking out of random places on the head. Now think of it done haphazardly and badly. That’s a Daddy Pony Tail. Try it on your kid.) So, when my wife started talking about putting in a bun with a part on the left side, I looked at her like she was speaking Martian.  This is the same woman who knows I’ve never successfully braided hair in my life.  What is this world coming to?

When the time came, she did OK getting dressed but kept complaining about wearing the hat that goes with her outfit. I don’t know how many times I assured her the hat would be cute on her and the other girls would wear one. Nothing doing.  We thought we put a hole in the very expensive and very required tights I had just pulled out of the package, but it turns out they come with holes in the feet. (What!?!?! Whose crazy idea was that?)  Then, it was bun time.

As I was combing her hair out, she grabbed a ponytail holder and showed me how she could launch it across the room.  Then, she picked another one up and flung it across the room too.  The boy part of me thought, “That’s cool! I’m so proud of you! Let me show you how to do it right.”  The daddy part of me thought, “I know who will clean this up, and it won’t be the little girl flinging these things into the curtains.” In the end, the bun was the only important thing.  Everything else could wait. It was all. about. the. bun. We’ll be finding pony tail holders all summer, but that’s OK.

The first attempt? Let’s not go there.

The second attempt? When I went to grab some bobby pins to seal the deal, The Bug decided to vigorously shake her head back and forth, ruining the bun.  I may have gotten a bit frustrated and threw the bobby pin back into its container.  That’s when I got a scolding from my daughter.  “If I’m not allowed to throw a fit, then you can’t do it either.” You know what? She was right.  I had to apologize on the spot.  And to tell the truth…It was my wimpy bun-making skills that caused the problem.

The third attempt was golden… well, maybe bronze.


It was good enough to head to class and hope someone at the studio could fix my mistakes.  Then again, maybe it would work for pictures. After all, no would actually see the bun.

Pro Tips:

  • Practice before the big game! Olympic athletes don’t start training after the Opening Ceremonies. Don’t make your first bun one that will be recorded for all time!
  • Always have backup.  So glad I had a teenager from the studio ready to help if I couldn’t do it.
  • Ez Bunz.  This product saved my life!
  • Snack time first. I almost forgot to give her a snack, and the lack of food in her belly would have made this a nightmare. Don’t forget the protein!
  • Don’t be afraid to help out. I think I forgot that girls like it when Daddy does girly stuff with them. This may not have been the time to get in the game, but I’m glad I didn’t pawn it off on someone else.
  • Never pitch a fit in front of your kid. Well, I was behind her, but you get the idea. Keep your fits private.

May all your dance recitals be pleasant and your hair experiences be a piece of cake!


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