This is another personal story that may well have caused a bit of the ‘crazy’ which seems to have been present for almost all of my life.
26 December 1968 21h18, Heather Lee, a bouncing baby girl, born to John and Rosemary Meyer, at the Mary Mount Nursing Home in Kensington Johannesburg. A tiny baby originally scheduled to arrive in February 1969. Born with a fabulous pair of lungs and a completely bald head! First child, first grandchild, first niece, first bald person in the family!
That was the opening sequence of my life!
This announcement was followed by a countless supply of bonnets! I was born in a time where bonnets where fashionable (and if they weren’t I’m sure my mother and grandmother would have initiated a trend).
I was, to put it bluntly ‘bonneted’ in every colour, design, fabric and shape of bonnet known to mankind. When I interrogate my mother about this, she always tells that I looked beautiful, stylish, tasteful and cute! I don’t believe her.
My shiny rotund baby face was permanently framed by the famed bonnet, in public. In private plans were afoot to ensure that my gleaming dome was eventually coaxed into yielding a head of hair most adults would be proud of.
These plans though were by no means conventional, these were desperate measures by desperate parents, who eventually got tired of bonneting their daughter.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and behind every desperate attempt lurks a good bottle of brandy. The bottle of brandy became my mother’s trusty friend, not for her consumption (I have been told) but as a spirit that would sweet talk my hair follicles into raising their lazy selves above my infant scalp.
Each evening after my bath ritual with Johnson & Johnson’s clean powdery baby products, my head would be doused in alcoholic hair remedy. I imagine that the fumes alone guaranteed a good night’s sleep for both my parents and myself. I would also hazard a guess that is was one of the reasons why close family and friends developed a penchant for kissing my head.
Having said all of that, my mother was determined to produce a well haired daughter; no daughter of hers would be allowed to suffer the indignity of bad hair days. And so my mother remained committed to this ritual, albeit a somewhat unorthodox practice. She remained committed for a full 730 days. That is will power, dedication, and sheer determination.
And then it happened, the little dark follicles appeared! One could only imagine that this was a day of great celebration and extreme relief. I believe that the brandy cure was applied for another few months just to ‘make sure’. It worked and I now have what could be called a good mop of hair (I suspect the brandy had something to do with this).
Is there a moral to this story? Oh yes there is, in fact there are a few;-
Brandy can coax almost anything or anyone into doing almost anything.
Mothers will go to extreme measures for their children.
Perseverance pays off.
A work in progress may require a cover up until it is good enough to be revealed.
If your life feels like a rollercoaster ride, hang onto your hat, scream for all you’re worth and enjoy the ride.
Finally, if you want a balanced, normal child, do not make them wear bonnets. (I am living proof of this).