The kids take forever to get ready for Bataillon, youth group, church, or any outing. It drives them crazy that I will sit around in my play clothes until 10 minutes before we leave. Personally, I see no reason to get showered and changed an hour before departure - I'm only going to get peed on by a baby or have sos pwa spilled on me and I will certainly get all sweaty again. They just do not understand.
Sometimes, they take matters into their own hands. Krystel gave me a vehement lecture one Saturday before Bataillon.
"Go take a shower. And then comb your hair! Do you even own a comb, you slob? Comb your hair, and then put on some clothes. Your shirt has to have sleeves and your skirt has to go beyond your knees. No tank tops, no shorts! Wear closed-toe shoes. WHAT? You didn't bring anything other than your flip flops!?! Sacrilege!! Well, fine. You can wear them but you have got to remove the toe nail polish first. And for goodness sakes, Keziah, DO NOT BRING YOUR CAMERA!"
Bryn was in one of the other rooms having her hair done by Jeanine and a host of assistants. Jephycca started to work on my hair and at my request, braided it into 2 French braids. I like French braids and I happen to think that I look good in French braids. A little childish, yes, but since I don't want any Haitian men to fall in love with me, I don't think that's a problem. Then Bryn walked in sporting a very pretty and creatively concocted do.
"Whoa!" Jephycca gasped. "We have got to redo your hair and make you look just as beautiful!" So Jephycca got my comb and slaved over my hair for 10 minutes. She finally stopped tugging and rubbing and called the girls to look. "Wow!" they all gaped in amazement. "Keziah, you look so beautiful! You have to go to Bataillon like this. Promise you'll go like this?" So I did. Then they took a photo of me to show me what I looked like.
Oh, HELP! A side pony tail! Are you kidding me? This is the style that makes me look "so beautiful" and I just promised to go out in public like this? Yikes! I had 5 minutes before departure, so I went into emergency plan 203B: I thanked the girls enthusiastically and then went into another room, plopped down on a bed and got involved in a very animated discussion during which I accidentally messed up my hair by banging my head on the pillow. By the time the girls noticed, it was too late to fix it. Phew!
The boys take a little less time to get prepared, but that is only because they don't have hair to style. They do brush their hair - God forbid they would go out in public without brushing their hair which has grown out of control since they got shaved 6 days ago - but at least they don't straighten it and braid it and put little barettes into it. What takes them forever is getting everyone showered in the one shower, choosing clothes, matching shoes, and locating belts.
If I were Haitian, I would opt for the super short hair like Merline Jean. I could never put myself through the agony of straightening my hair with a red hot tool that was obviously borrowed from the torture chambers at Auschwitz. I swear, Youdemie enjoys putting Krystel through this persecution that threatens life and limb.