I picked my 3 year old up from preschool this afternoon after spending the morning getting my hair colored. When his teacher was putting him in the car he said to me, "Mom, something's different about your hair." His teacher chuckled as she fastened him into his seat and referred to him taking note of my hair as "good husband material". But after she shut the door, she didn't hear him say that he didn't like the color. I did more low-lights than my usual high-lights today and my 3 year old said to me, "Its too dark Mom, I don't like it, I like your hair lighter." That pretty much cancels out any points he would have earned as a husband noticing hair.
My 3 year old is very observant, but brutally honest when it comes to my appearance. If I come out of my room in the morning in any type of exercise clothing, he will flat-out tell me that I don't look good. He has no problem telling me, "I like you better in 'regular clothes'." I often need to promise that I will shower and change into my "regular clothes" before I pick him up from school. And he always notices on the days when I am still in my yoga pants or tennis skirt in the afternoon car-line. But just the same, he will immediately tell me how "pretty" I look when I try to look nice. And he has his favorites that he likes me to wear. He actually cheered, "I love when you wear that shirt", one day when I put on the jeans and pink shirt that he likes. He's 3; imagine how great this could be for someone when he's 30.
On the flip side, my 6 year old just plain lies. He tells me what he thinks I want to hear. Maybe that's good husband material? Except, I don't want to hear that I look pretty when I know I don't; it makes me not trust his opinion. It makes me question the validity of any positive feed-back I get from him on my appearance. When my 3 year old calls me out on not blowing out my hair and says, "Mom, your hair doesn't look good wavy", my 6 year old defends me and says, "Mom always looks pretty". I know that's not true and I think I'd prefer the truth. I have a hard time accepting my 6 year old's compliments when he tells me I look just as pretty in my pajama bottoms and ripped old t-shirt as I do when I actually try. This approach could seriously backfire on him when he's 30.
So, what is good husband material? Regarding my hair, when my husband came home tonight he said within a minute of seeing me, "Did you do something to your hair today? Its darker". He took note, but note that he didn't offer up a compliment or criticism. That's my husband's material. I didn't ask what he thought and he didn't comment any further. I can count on an honest answer if I want one, a glowing compliment if I really deserve one, but I can also escape unsolicited comments that I might not care to hear. My hair might be a little too dark, my husband knows that, but he also knows that I already know that too.