When we first decided that Asna shall be the flower girl, I had only one request – for her to keep her hair long for an updo. She was excited at the idea of getting her hair styled for the first time.
Since she entered primary school, though, Asna hair has never touched her shoulders. Although she yearns for longer hair, Asna’s not good at keeping herself groomed, so my dad makes it a point to cut her hair whenever he thinks they’re too long and messy.
“Asna, if you want to be a flower girl you must keep your hair. It must be long by the end of the year.”
“Hear that, Babah? You cannot cut my hair anymore because I’m going to be the flower girl!”
Anyway, after a few months I came back home to find her hair shorter.
“Why did you cut your hair?”
“I didn’t! Babah cut it!”
“Why did you let him cut it? How are you going to do your hair with this!”
“I told him not to cut it, but he cut it!!!”
She had this idea that being a flower girl is a demanding task, already discouraged to become the flower girl and now, further demotivated by shorter hair.
“I don’t want to be a flower girl anymore.”
“It’s okay, you have a few more months to grow your hair.”
“Nevermind. I don’t have to be the flower girl. I’ll stick with short hair.”
She was acting so defeated, it was irritating. Then I tried using negative motivation to get her to stop being a quitter.
“If you don’t become the flower girl, your cousin will become the flower girl and wear the nice dress and you’ll just be sitting on the table like everyone else.”
She maintained saying “nevermind” at my other threats and left my room.
Since she was not responding to threats, I talked to her once more. This time, I used another approach.
“You know Asna, I’m only getting married once. So on my wedding day, I want you to look really nice and walk on the aisle with me. I want my one and only little sister to be the flower girl, not anyone else. I’m really counting on you, you know. Can you help me out and be the flower girl, please?”
She was staring at my, wide-eyed and gave it a thought. It worked.
“Yes! I will be the flower girl!”
Although Asna’s hair was cut several times more, she remained excited at the idea of being the flower girl and continued thinking that her hair would grow longer in time.