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Liberty Spikes

Thing One hates all forms of conformist fun at school.

He’s always been that way.

Never one to take part in anything extracurricular.

Doesn’t want to be a part of a club, group or team.

Absolutely, positively not interested in school dances, mixers, gatherings.

And has never once in all his years of school experience wanted to participate in a Spirit Week event at school.

Until last week.

His high school had 70′s, 80′s and 90′s day on Tuesday.

And my little nonconformist decided it was the PERFECT time to go to school looking like a punk rock star.

He wanted liberty spikes in his hair.

He wanted a Union Jack t-shirt.

He wanted a studded belt.

He wanted to go all-out in his representation of punk.

We didn’t have time to shop for the t-shirt and belt (that’s what happens when you wait until the last freaking minute to decide you want to be a punk rocker for a day), but he did his research on how one might spike one’s hair and came up with a simple solution: Elmer’s School Glue.

Yes. I kid you not.


So, Monday night, we undertook a three hour transformation of his hair.

We started with brushing out every single tangle.

At that point, he looked a lot like Cousin It from the Addams Family. (Pictures are not fantastic…they’re taken from my crappy little phone).

cousin it, liberty spikes, teen hair, rock star hair, hair style

Is my baby boy under there somewhere?

I know he’s in there somewhere.

Just where?

And can he breathe?

Apparently, yes. Because he’s still alive.

how to put liberty spikes in your hair

Don’t even think about it, Mom. <Whoops, my finger hit the shutter button>

Next, we sectioned the hair and tied it up with ponytail holders.

And I snapped his picture. Even though he didn’t want me to. So, it’s a bit out of focus. And still crappy because it’s still my camera on my phone.

But you get the idea.

And then we began the arduous task of taking each of those sections, massaging copious amounts of school glue into them, and using the blow dryer to dry them at gravity-defying angles all over his head.

We didn’t stop for dinner.

We didn’t even make it to basketball practice for Thing Two.

We just glued and dried. Glued and dried.

We tweaked and twirled.

And in the midst of all this hair-based craziness, I thanked God once again for sending me boys. If I had had to do hair on my little girls, I would not have been happy. I don’t have the patience for this crap.

But, he wanted to participate in Spirit Day.

And by God, I was going to make it happen.

Three hours later, we declared it “good enough.”

punk rock hair, liberty spikes

Yes, those spikes are 10 inches tall!

liberty spikes, punk rock hair, school spirit day

Punk Rock Lives!

After all was said and done, I said, “Wonder how you’re going to SLEEP in those.”

His answer? “Don’t worry about it, Mom. I’ll figure something out.”

And he did. He slept on his face.

I must admit that during this process, I was significantly worried about what people might think of me as a parent.

What kind of mother lets her child (much less HELPS him) put Elmer’s Glue in his hair to express his individuality?

Finally, I settled into the idea that the kind of mother who does so, is the kind who understands that her child is a unique individual, with strong opinions and beliefs of his own, and the right to express those as long as he continues to be a respectful, compassionate member of society.

Under all that hair and glue, my son is.

And that’s Enough.

Side Note: After all that work,
he managed to talk me into letting
him keep his Liberty Spikes
for the remainder of Spirit Week.

Rest assured, though, that now,
he’s back to looking like Cousin It.  


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{ 51 comments… add one }

  • angela January 30, 2012, 8:12 am

    I love it! I’m so happy that you not only encouraged him to be himself but helped him do it :)

    Thanks for linking up with JBE.

    • RChicken January 30, 2012, 5:04 pm

      It was great fun…I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Tania Elfersy (@PurpleLeavesRed) January 30, 2012, 8:48 am

    OMG! You got results!!! Good for you for investing in his SPIRIT for the week :-)
    Tania Elfersy (@PurpleLeavesRed) recently posted..Banish Mom Guilt

  • Jen@mamaZEN January 30, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Lol, this is so funny! I remember my own Punk Rock days (they were brief…) and the guys using glue in their hair. Memories…. Thanks so much for stopping by mamamZEN today! I am a new follower :)
    Jen@mamaZEN recently posted..Today Is My Feature on SITS

    • RChicken January 30, 2012, 5:00 pm

      Glad you stopped by :)

      I couldn’t believe glue worked so well. And it came out fairly easily!

  • Kate F. (@katefineske) January 30, 2012, 7:49 pm

    WOW! How fun! So good of you to remember your camera during the process… I ALWAYS forget to document those types of moments… (not to mention the sight of the camera often makes my kids crawl away from me!)
    Kate F. (@katefineske) recently posted..The Forbidden Question

  • Leslie January 31, 2012, 5:21 am

    Ah, I remember being 15 and all into the 90s punk movement. I moved on before high school was over, but still look back on that time with a bit of fondness. You did a great job with his hair…and it’s also nice to know it’s back to normal!
    Leslie recently posted..{Roundup} Super Bowl Printables

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 6:31 am

      I am SO glad it’s back to normal. It was getting crusty by Friday (ewwwwww….). Thanks for stopping by my madness!

  • Vinobaby (aka Kerry Ann) January 31, 2012, 7:09 am

    OMG–I Love it! My little long-haired son would be so jealous. I just cant imagine having your patience to do that…or the patience to scrub it all out. Rock on, Mama.
    Vinobaby (aka Kerry Ann) recently posted..Scalloped fingers with a side of mandolin whine

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 7:11 am

      Well, truthfully, we had to SOAK it for 15 minutes before it would even begin to melt. I think he’s finally “glue free” after several more showers!

  • Runnermom-jen January 31, 2012, 7:11 am

    This? Is awesome!! As is that hair. It sounds to me like you’re a wonderful, supportive mother…and anyone who can’t see that? Well, just ignore them ;)
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..There is Joy…

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 7:18 am

      Awww…thanks! He’s always been quite the handful. It’s been easier to guide him to safety and success than to demand that he conform.

  • Sara January 31, 2012, 7:13 am

    Oh the fond and not so fond memories of the crap I did to my hair in high school and the things my parents put up with.

    Congrats on your SITS day, btw :)

  • Sara January 31, 2012, 7:14 am

    Oh the fond and not so fond memories of the crap I did to my hair in high school and the things my parents put up with.

    Congrats on your SITS day, btw :)

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 7:17 am

      He wants dreadlocks next. Don’t know if I can go there. We shall see!

  • Eric Storch January 31, 2012, 7:25 am

    Way to go! I would have done the same thing. In fact, I took my Thing 1 to a Megadeth concert this past Sunday night. And though I had strong mis-givings, I let him go out onto the floor, fight for a spot as close to the stage as he could get and headbang to his heart’s content.
    Eric Storch recently posted..Gigantour 2012

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 7:29 am

      I figure as long as we’re close by, to keep them relatively safe, it’s best to enjoy these things (and explore the world they want to see) together instead of just throwing them to the wolves. Good for you for doing the Megadeth thing. Not sure I could go there. Foo Fighters, yes. Megadeth, probably not. ;)

  • Jenn@Fox in the City January 31, 2012, 8:10 am

    What kind of mom does that . . . an awesome mom!!! Good for you for not only letting him but also supporting him.
    Jenn@Fox in the City recently posted..Blogging : Is It Just for Us Narcissists?

  • Ronni January 31, 2012, 8:41 am

    “What kind of mother lets her child (much less HELPS him) put Elmer’s Glue in his hair to express his individuality?”

    UM…an AWESOME mom!!! I’d totally do that for my son!!
    Ronni recently posted..Let’s Talk About Food

  • Missy | Literal Mom January 31, 2012, 9:56 am

    That. Is. Awesome. I had no idea how people actually did that with their hair! Thanks for linking up with JBE!
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..Bring the Clean (Living, that is) in 2012 – Week 5 – Caffeine

  • Melissa January 31, 2012, 9:59 am

    Just subscribed to your Twitter feed, and saw this post! Had to read it, based on the title alone. :) What kind of mom? The best. The kind whose kids know she’s got their back. Well done.
    Melissa recently posted..Grocery Shopping With Kids

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:58 pm

      Thanks….hopefully, he realizes how Liberty spikes equate to love…

  • Dakotapam January 31, 2012, 11:23 am

    I love it! My Dakotateen is kind of a nonconformist as well. I always assumed I’d have one who would be happy to sign up for everything at school. But not yet. To make matters even more complicated, he has a super flexible as many hours a week as he wants after school gig that pays as much as I was getting paid working outside the home. So, he pretty much wants to work. And make money. Go figure.
    Dakotapam recently posted..Microwave Popcorn on the Cheap

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:51 pm

      Life sends us crazy twists and turns, doesn’t it? Glad he’s motivated to make a buck, though. That will prevent the “live on mom’s couch until I’m 40″ syndrome!

  • Karin @Mommy's Paradise January 31, 2012, 11:43 am

    You are one cool mama. I always wondered how the punks did those spikes. But always sleeping on your face, hmm I couldn’t do it.
    Karin @Mommy’s Paradise recently posted..The bucket lists

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:48 pm

      Me either. I’d suffocate. But he managed, somehow. I guess he could equate it to us doing crazy things to ourselves in the name of beauty (ear piercings, spanx, waxing…)

  • Pam January 31, 2012, 11:58 am

    What a good mom you are to encourage his individuality! (My 18 year old daughter told me about the Elmer’s glue for spikes a few years ago!) Stopped by from SITS.
    Pam recently posted..Valentine Tussie Mussie

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:47 pm

      It was crazy, but worked. Thanks for stopping by :)

  • Christine Brady January 31, 2012, 12:07 pm

    This is awesome – I laughed out loud at the process – I too, have a little nonconformist, mine is 8 though.

    This is an amazing tale of giving them wings and bonding!

    Great post!
    Christine Brady recently posted..20 Tips For a Killer Headline

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:46 pm

      Ah, the role of the mother of a nonconformist…it’s a balancing act. Want to encourage their growth, and keep them from getting themselves in hot water with what they want to say/do. It’s a fine line!

  • Cynthia January 31, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Besides spikes you created a fabulous memory. He will remember it all his life and will tell his kids all about it.
    Cynthia recently posted..Christina Aguilera sings At Last at Etta James Funeral

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:45 pm

      I hope so. And I’m so glad we have pictures to prove that it really happened!

  • Miss Marina Star January 31, 2012, 12:59 pm

    I think it’s actually the greatest sort of mom who helps create her son’s punk rock hair!
    Miss Marina Star recently posted..What I Am

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:42 pm

      Thank you. I’ve just ordered my Mom of the Year trophy. In lime green. ;)

  • Mindy January 31, 2012, 1:57 pm

    FANTASTIC HAIR! You are a great Mama. He will never forget you helping him do this!
    Mindy recently posted..I’m stir-crazy and blogging. ramble ramble ramble.

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 5:39 pm

      I’m going to remind him at every opportunity. Hey, kid…remember when I did your hair in spikes? You OWE me. So, let’s see…there’s dog poop to be collected in the back yard…and the garbage can needs to be scrubbed out…and…and…and…


  • Andrea @ The Penny-Roach's January 31, 2012, 3:48 pm

    What kind of mother lets her son do this? An awesomely good one :)
    Andrea @ The Penny-Roach’s recently posted..Legos For Girls

  • Katie E January 31, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Um, an awesome mom! He looks cool – and Elmer’s Glue is so clever. I wouldn’t have thought of that. I do have girls, and their hair can definitely be a pain, but I mostly let them do what they want with it.
    Katie E recently posted..Ready for a Cell Phone

    • RChicken January 31, 2012, 9:13 pm

      Elmers glue does so many things! Liberty spikes, splinter removal, arts and crafts…maybe I should get them to sponsor my blog?

  • Pam January 31, 2012, 11:05 pm

    That is awesome. And I am totally showing this to my little guy after breakfast tomorrow. I am okay with pretty much any kind of hair. Rather have crazy hair then so many things. I dare not mention or it will sure bit me in the butt later on in life.

    My son styles his hair like Elvis on one side and John Lennon or Paul McCartney on the other every single morning. Now, I don’t feel so alone.
    Pam recently posted..6 Reasons Why Moms Need GTD

    • RChicken February 1, 2012, 6:39 am

      Who knew boys could be so hair crazy? Love it :)

  • Leighann February 1, 2012, 7:24 am

    I love that you encourage his being unique.
    My brother spiked his hair just like that in high school, he also painted his nails and died his hair. My mom bought him the polish and took him to the salon so he didn’t ruin his hair on box dye.
    My brother is an intelligent, independent, university grad who owns his own successful business now.
    Leighann recently posted..No Emotion on an Emotional Day

    • RChicken February 1, 2012, 7:41 am

      I think loving the person inside, and allowing kids a chance to be themselves, does create a stronger, more independent adult in the end. Your brother helps me see that I am on the right track. So glad you shared that detail with me :)

  • Elena February 1, 2012, 7:32 pm

    Oh my goodness!!!! You are seriously an awesome mommy!!! And go him!! That is a serious statement (and I love that he came up with a way to sleep–I thought he might just say that he could go without sleep!). love this.
    Elena recently posted..Preparing to Host a Snapfish at Home Party

    • RChicken February 1, 2012, 9:01 pm

      At first he said he’d pull an all nighter. I was slightly concerned, but then remembered that this is my kid who must SLEEP. So, let him come up with his own solution. Never thought he’d sleep on his face. Crazy kid!

  • Jamie February 2, 2012, 1:12 pm

    I commend you for being that kind of Mom, truly. What a lucky long-haired boy you have!!
    Jamie recently posted..proud mama

    • RChicken February 2, 2012, 3:26 pm

      He’s a pretty good kid. Makes it easy to let him have a little rebellious side.

  • Jackie February 2, 2012, 4:01 pm

    How freaking awesome! Both you and him. :)
    Jackie recently posted..Life is but a song

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