Poor Ken

When my daughter was young my mother-in-law made a bridal gown for her barbie doll. She thought it was beautiful.

“Who is she marrying?” I asked her.
“Ken,” she replied. “As soon as I find his head.”
A metaphor for life, don’t you think?
When our son was born we thought we were so tricky. We had one child of each gender – it felt like hitting the jackpot! My daughter was almost four when her brother arrived. The long time between them was not all by choice, sometimes nature makes these decisions for you. It was good for me to have one child who was independent before I had another.
As time has gone on I have at times been a little sad about having a long gap and different genders. My children love each other, but have often existed within their own worlds – separated by maturity and gender. They each have their own circle of friends.

Recently I have started noticing them having conversations about life, quoting movie passages to each other, remembering funny experiences and laughing together. I like it. My daughter can still be bossy toward my son, but he just mocks. My son can still be gross to my daughter, but she is usually able to ignore.
Yesterday I could hear them chatting. Intrigued by the smell of toasting hair I went looking for them. Could these be my children? Have I entered a parallel universe?

I’m fairly certain that this was her idea to straighten his hair, but he willingly went along with it. He has to bend right down for her to reach. By this time next year he will be looking at the top of her head. The relationship will have to be renegotiated then!

He patiently allowed her to play Ken dolls until it got to the hair spray.

She sprayed once, he yelled, “That smells like crap! I’m out of here.”

She spent the next ten minutes chasing him through the house. Balance was restored in the universe.


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14 responses to “Poor Ken

  1. Fairlie

    Your daughter looks like a whiz with the straightening irons. I’ve yet to master mine. There’s generally more of the toasting hair smell and less of the sleek, smooth end result when I try…
    There is more than six years between my two girls…and although they do inhabit very different worlds at the moment, they often meet in the hairstyling world!

  2. h&b

    Interesting post. I often think of the ages between siblings and the dynamics of other families, good and bad.

    But I could also hijack your comments on the subject 🙂

  3. Tracey Petersen

    fairlie – the straighter is a tool used by my daughter on an almost daily basis
    h&b – hijack away, very interested to hear your thoughts!

  4. meggie

    I was reminded of the age difference between my younger 2. They are 21 months apart, & of different genders. Have always been chalk & cheese, but at times of stress or family crisis, always there for each other. And now, the very best of friends, though still both very different people.
    My brother & I have four years almost, between us. As kids we fought & found our differences insurmountable, almost. As adults, we are as close as siblings could be, & almost have telepathic connection.
    A glance can bring a wealth of recognition! And, sometimes almost obscene laughter, as we read each other’s minds!

  5. stompergirl

    I’m glad the straightening tongs could serve as a bonding tool for the 2 of them! Who’da thunk?

  6. Molly

    I remember my boys, in their long-haired stages, letting my younger daughter braid and otherwise play with their hair……how quickly that time vanished and they scattered.

  7. Vicki W

    Your daughters comment about Ken’s head is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time!

  8. Em

    Very funny! I’m with H&B… I often things about the spacing between siblings and genders etc. For years I was obsessed with having the perfect space between my children… but of course there isn’t one. My first two are 3 years apart but they could be 10 years apart a lot of the time. My second two are 3 years apart but often seem much closer…

  9. Anonymous

    remember this –
    Ashleigh, “Ken is stupid”
    Grandma, “Why?”
    Ashleigh, “His pants won’t stay on and his head falls off.”

    NOW that is a metaphor for life!

    (stoopid new blogger is not letting my comment through under my name)

  10. My float

    Poor vilified Ken. First he loses his head, then he loses his will to live and gets ditched by Barbie.

    Love the pics of the kids. I can’t believe your son went along with it. Brave soul. Speaking of photos to wield as weapons for an 18th or 21st brthday present, I’m thinking this might be among your collection!

  11. Aunty Evil

    Poor Ken indeed, imagine having all those biceps but the one muscle you do want to have that’s working and big and bulgey is just a mound.

    As for your kids, it is in my opinion (and we know that’s the one that counts) that it is more important for them to forge a good relationship now as they enter adulthood than it is at any other time of their lives.

    I love pics of your kids, they are gorgeous.

  12. Tracey Petersen

    Meggie- I share a look like that with my sisters, it can get you into trouble!
    stomper – at least they’re using them in a friendly way
    molly – I can’t imagine that this situation will be repeated regularly in our home
    vicki – read sussanah’s comment – it gets funnier
    em – I am close to my sister 7 years younger than I am
    sussanah – I had forgotten this, Peta remembered though
    my float – vanity will make him do things like this once
    aunty – I love that you said that, You are right, the timing is good for them now

  13. Anonymous

    Shame i dont even have that hair anymore
    lousy hairdresser


  14. Anonymous

    I can still straighten it

    There’s just a larger chance of me actually getting your ears too. You don’t need those.

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