In a child’s life there is a moment when they use scissors on paper and they also go to the hair salon, where they get their hair cut with scissors. My kids and I am certain many others…I think my kids are special don’t get me wrong…inevitably put the two together and try a DIY haircut. (when I went to write DIY accidentally wrote DUI and I think they both are equally bad ideas) So this is a compilation of self haircut stories.
I will start with my oldest because she did the most drastic DIY haircut. She’s an overachiever so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone. She was two and a half when her baby brother was born. We lived in a duplex apartment. I was busy with the baby and she was in her room playing quietly and I was thankful. I was exhausted and really needed a break. I finally got the baby down to sleep and my sweet little munchkin comes walking out of her bedroom looking for some love and food, mostly food but love too because I’m a lovely lady. And I know that I am a lovely lady because this is the first thing out of her mouth. Nothing suspicious about that at all.
Little daughter “Oh mommy you’re a lovely lady!”
I smile and look up at her. She looks different. Anyone who has ever had a new born you will understand the haze you have around your brain. You think, but it is all distorted like you are living in a cartoon. I’m staring at her and my daughter at two and a half (closer to three) had these beautiful long ringlet curls in her dirty blond hair. I would put it in pig tails. When I looked at her she had one pig tail and one bunny tail. I walked over to her and I take extra time looking at her trying to figure out what in the damn hell happened to her other pig tail. Upon closer inspection I see that she lopped the entire thing off. So I say “What happened to your hair?”
She looks back at me and says “You don’t even see it.” I am not sure how many times this has worked for her, but it sure as shit does not today.
“I see it and I am asking you what did you do?” I am close to her and I am certain that my face is a face of horror because she tries to smile but she can’t. She starts to look worried too.
“Is it noticeable?” she asks
“Yes.” I say calmly (not calmly more tiredly which can pass as calm)
“Can I see it in the mirror?” she asks like she doesn’t believe me.
I take her to have a good look in the mirror. She is sitting in the mirror smiling and turning her head from side to side and she laughs…..fucking laughs….and announces that she likes it.
I try to keep my cool and try to find the appropriate words for ‘there is no way in hell you are keeping this “Sonny and Cher” haircut.’ I am trying to find the words that a two and a half (almost three year old) will understand. I then do a smart thing. I take out both pony tails. There she is with some weird sideways mullet and she laughs again. I know that its funny now and that hair grows back, but when your kid does something like this and then laughs you are out of options for teaching them a lesson. Learning from this mistake was going to be a little harder because she thinks it is fucking hilarious. I being overtired and unequipped for this parental nightmare looking at me and I say “You don’t want your hair to look like this do you?”
She is admiring herself in the mirror and laughing and really thinking that this is a good time. She looks at me and she sees how upset I am. I guilted her into getting her hair cut at the salon. When she came home it looked like she had a bowl cut because there wasn’t much the hairdresser could do with it. She then goes into the mirror all smiles with her bowl cut and says how much she loves it. She keeps this haircut going until she is five. She was so impressed with her decision to lop off a pig tail that she had convinced herself that this bowl cut was the way to go. Her cousin, that she was closest to, was super excited because she finally turned into a boy. when she started to go to grade school she realized that she wanted long hair like the other girls and I will tell you that even at twenty-four she has the longest hair. She hardly ever gets it cut and she keeps it extra long. Go figure!
The next story starts with an egg of silly-putty. My youngest daughter is convinced that she is royalty and that one day her real parents are going to show up and tell her that she was a real live princess in fact. (Thank you Disney) She is at school and they do a treasure hunt or there was a book fair or some young boy gave it to her because he wanted to marry her (Yes all of these things happened in her lifetime) but either way she ended up with an egg of silly-putty. She is in the car and I see her with it and she is stretching and creating jewelry with it. She then stretches it out and I say to her “Be careful to not get that in your hair because we will have to cut it out.” (I will stop right here….I’m an asshole for saying this. This is not the way to parent…do not threaten with haircuts and solutions. That is all)
I am now getting my youngest daughter ready for dance and I am putting her hair in braids and as I do so there is a chunk of hair missing in the very center of her head. I am stunned and I ask “Did you cut your hair?”
She shakes her head No. I say again “I can see that you are missing some hair back here and the options are, you either cut your hair or you are balding. Which is it?”
She says “Why am I balding?” do you see folks why I am writing these things for you to learn from….I gave her options and I could tell the hair was cut it was all pieces and chunky and not at all a bald spot. She was going with terminal illness rather than truth.
“I can tell you cut your hair. Why don’t you tell me about it?” I say
My youngest, let me paint you a picture, she is tiny and she has thick dark brown wavy hair. She has big blue eyes and rose petal lips. She is the vision of an angel and she is sweet and kind and she lies every fucking chance she is going to get in trouble. It became such a problem that I start giving her prizes for telling the truth.
She turns to me with the look of “Puss in Boots” you know the one where he holds his hat and everyone falls for it…well he learned this from her. She is the master of innocent and cute. She looks at me all big blue eyes and innocence and says “My brother did it. He cut my hair and he threw it in the cat box. He told me that if I told on him I was in big trouble.” She leads me over to the cat box and shows me the strands of hair in the cat box. Sure as shit there is hair in there. There is proof and the story seems to match up, but why? Why would a preteen boy do this? And why would she let him. I’m no detective but this seems fishy from the get go!
These words came out of my mouth in such an angry fashion. I will write them and I want you all to practice this at home to see if you can say this with a straight face. I Yelled with great conviction “Did You Cut Your Sister’s Hair and Throw It In The Cat Box?”
He starts laughing because he thinks it’s a joke. (Which to be fair he and I have the same sense of humor and the two of us are not allowed to shop at Lowes anymore because we heard a man was looking for “PVC Nipples!” and lost our figurative shit. Then we walked around the store asking for “Ball cocks” and other inappropriately named things they sell there.) My son is all good natured and laughing and I am not. I’m pissed because this is actually happening in my real life right now. Someone has cut my precious princess’s hair and defiled it by throwing it in the cat’s toilet.
He then says “NO! Mom, why would I do that?” which is a reasonable thing to ask. But how the fuck should I know? I don’t know why you kids do things!
I look at the little cherub who is now hiding behind me for protection (academy award goes to….) “He’s going to get mad. He told me not to tell.”
My son is not the same temper tantrum two year old…he was very chill as a boy and now at nine or so he is really just a kind gentleman. He is there looking at her and I see the confusion on his face. I look at her and I see the fear on her face. Who is telling the truth? (it’s him. definitely him, it’s so clear now but then I didn’t know) I parent like a pro and I say “You both go to your rooms and when whoever did this is ready to tell me the truth come find me.”
The little one cries “What about dance?”
“You are going to have to miss it.” I announce
She looks at her brother and like a fucking mob boss she says “You tell her right now that you did it so that I can go to dance.”
He looks at her and says “Yeh, no that is not happening. I didn’t do it.”
She gets right into his face and she says “I can’t believe you would let me miss dance.”
“I didn’t do it.” he says.
She begins to cry because if she wants to go to dance the jig is up. “I did it. I cut my hair and threw it in the cat box. I made a necklace out of silly-putty and I put it on and then it got stuck in my hair. I’m sorry mommy! I’m sorry.”
I look at her and I say “Don’t apologize to me, you were selling your brother out. You are going to have to apologize to him!”
She looks at her brother and I see that it takes everything out of her but she apologizes to him. I then tell her that because she told the truth she could go to dance (hey I paid for that class) but when she got home she was going to have to change the cat box. She said she would rather miss dance. Nope that is not an option. (again I paid for those lessons and that is punishing me at that point) When she got home that night she was so tired and she didn’t think that she even knew how to change the cat box. Her brother offers to help her…by telling her what to do and also by making her miserable. He would say things like “First you get the little scooper….I can’t believe that you threw your hair in here. Next….I mean really why did you even want to wear a silly putty necklace?…….”
You see it all worked out. Kids cut there hair sometimes and for whatever reason…maybe because it is more permanent than that thought it would be, they try to be ok with it. Or they throw it in the cat box….those are the options I guess. By the way did she think that I would think that came out of the cat? Oh no big deal…the cat is shitting long strands of human hair. Let’s carry on with our lives.
Moral of the story: No scissors ever…just kidding. Hair grows back. Don’t stress about it. My oldest daughter was so proud of herself and I really should have embraced that better. Just because I thought she wouldn’t fit in, I was all like, ‘lets go fix this.’ I really should have been a little more understanding. It’s just hair. Social norms had made me a neurotic parent for a long time. I learned along the way to accept your kids and allow them to grow. Unique is a good thing. Also Lying is a natural response to some and it is difficult to deal with, it was just a phase my youngest went through. She is very honorable now. Being a parent is so hard and if it is hard on you just imagine what it does to your kids. My children have grown leaps and bounds and I was not a perfect parent. Do not sweat it so much. Enjoy them and spend as much time with them as you can. They are learning and growing and one day they have to be sent out into the world. Let them know they are ready and help them to get there. Then cry because you will miss them! Lastly I will stress this again, do not threaten them with solutions and haircuts, because I was being all dramatic so that she would be careful she thought that was the only way to go. There was so many other ways to get it out. Skin so Soft may have worked.