Just to give you some history on the hair journey that led us to Nana's:
When Emma was a few months old we started out doing the "cocoa puffs":
And then earlier this year she graduated to "fro and headband":
Emma always looked adorable, but she was soon ready for something different in her coif. When she wore jeans and a t-shirt, people often mistook her for a very charming little boy. Store clerks were always saying, "Hey, Buddy!" Someone even mistook her for our six-year-old nephew on one occasion.
So my husband took her to see "Nana," a local hair braider/weaver in our town. The idea of sitting in the chair and letting a stranger touch her hair sent our daughter into a screaming rage. Fro and headband remained the style, and we just tried to keep her wearing skirts and pink clothes.
A few weeks ago we decided to try again. I took her into Nana's salon to see about making an appointment. Emma entered cautiously with me, remembering her previous trauma. But this time she let Nana comb out her hair as a test, so we went ahead and made an appointment for the following day.
I prepared Emma all the next day, telling her that she was going to have her hair braided, and that her hair was going to be really pretty. She appeared to be a little nervous, but when the time came she readily complied, got into the chair, and sat like a little angel for THREE HOURS while Nana sectioned off her hair into little pieces, then wove in some longer locks and braided them. It was a painstaking process, but Em did not utter one complaint, no matter how hard Nana had to tug on her hair. She did not squirm. She did not ask for a drink or a snack. She actually napped through part of the process. Nana (who has been braiding since she was a young girl herself) marveled that she had never been able to work on a three-year-old this easily before.
When Nana was finished braiding, she took sections of braids and wrapped them around a curler, then dipped them in boiling water to make little ringlet curls. I was the nervous one this time, but luckily Emma remained still and patient.
Finally the moment came to show her the end result. Beautiful, long braids with curls at the end. (For those who read Ramona the Pest as a kid will appreciate the term, "boing-boing" curls.) Emma stared into the mirror and smiled.
Knowing that Emma has been historically incapable of sitting still for five minutes, much less three hours, I found myself learning a lesson as I watched this miraculous event.
How did Emma endure three hours of sitting still and letting her hair get tugged, piece by piece, with no entertainment? Three hours is like three eternities in Three-Year-Old Land, so why wasn't there a single peep of complaint?
The answer is simple: she knew the purpose of the experience, and she was willing to endure whatever it took to achieve that end.
I know -- vanity isn't the most worthy of pursuits. But this was a (literally) cute way of illustrating the value of staying focused on the prize.
Romans 5:1-5: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope in the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
James 5:11:"Behold, we count them happy which endure; Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
Doctrine & Covenants 121:7-8: "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over thy foes."