Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Be Like Heather

Hanna was sitting on my lap in front of the computer.  I think she was begging for "Phigeas and Ferv" (Phineas and Ferb) and I was telling her that we were not going to watch any shows.  I think I was trying to organize our finances, or trying to write in my novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  Suddenly I paused in whatever I was doing, my attention diverted by the sound of scissors snipping behind me.  I trust my girls with scissors, they will spend hours cutting shapes out of paper, and I have never had any trouble with them aside from the time Hanna cut a bunch of tiny holes in my favorite of her dresses.  But I had a very stern discussion with her about that, and after she was grounded from scissors for a while I let them have their scissors back.

Am I naive?

Am I too trusting?

Or is this just one of those inevitable childhood things, like falling off your bike and scraping your knee, or dropping your ice cream cone and picking it up and eating it anyway?

I listened to the sound of the snipping for a second, because something odd about it had alerted me.  I could not identify what was unusual about it, so I turned around in my chair.  Hallie was holding my favorite paintbrush*, and had clipped it all the way to the nub.  She could hear the sadness in my voice when I asked her why she did that.
"I don't know." She softly said.  I sighed, took the paintbrush away from her, and then took all the scissors. (There were five pairs on her little table.)
"I think these scissors will go in time out for a little while.  That was mommy's favorite paintbrush, Hallie."
I wanted her to know that she had ruined something special to me, but I didn't want to make a real big deal out of it, because after all, it is just a paint brush.  She still seemed inordinately sad to me, more sad than she should have been given my fairly laid back response so I tried to cheer her up.
I said we would watch Phigeas and Ferv, after all.  They both sat on my lap cuddled close, and I kept trying to get Hallie to smile.  It was a hard sell, and I couldn't figure out what exactly she was so worried about.
I scooted them off my lap so we could go eat lunch, and as I bent to stand up from the chair something on the floor caught my eye.
There were piles of long, blond hair strewn across the carpet.
It was not a lot of hair, but a couple good sized clumps here and there, all of varying lengths.
I inhaled sharply, but a quick glance at Hallie and Hanna's hair had me thoroughly confused.
Whose hair is this? I demanded from them.  They were quiet.  "I don't know," was their universal response. I tried over and over, and got nothing from Hallie but "I don't know."

Hanna began offering up other theories. "I think it was Ashley**.  I think Ashley came over and got the scissors and cut off all her hair."
I told her that wasn't possible, because the hair was not there a few minutes ago, and Ashley hasn't come over today.  Hanna continued to offer the Ashley theory, completely unperturbed by its absolute impossibility.  Hallie had retreated into absolute silence.  I pulled Hanna to me and ran my fingers through her hair.  I couldn't find any uneven spots.***
I did the same to Hallie's, and I could not find any in hers either.  I kept looking.  Finally I gave up, and we went upstairs to get some lunch.
We were sitting on the couch, and Hallie was still in a very somber mood.  I pulled her onto my lap to try and cuddle her into smiles again.  I did not know what was bugging her.  I looked at her dark brown eyes, so like her daddy's, and it hurt me to see her so sad and not know why.  As I looked so closely at her face, some of her hair was pushed forward, caused by static? and I could see wisps that were only as long as her ear.
I pulled her around.  Chunks of her hair on the right side of her face were missing.
"I don't know." is all she would say when I asked her why she did it.  Then I asked her why she told me she had not done it.  "I don't know."

I told her that is called lying, and lying is not a good thing to do, and did she lie because she thought I would be mad?  She would not stray from her now oft repeated line, "I don't know."
Hanna offered her idea, "Maybe it was just gas."

I was wavering between being upset by the hair cut, and upset by how sad she was.  It is in moments like these that I don't know what to do as a parent.  I told her we would go and get a haircut when Heather woke up, to fix her hair.  I asked her what kind of a hair cut she wanted.

She said, "I want my hair to look like Heather's."

Well, that's not going to happen.  I don't know how short we'll go, but I tell you this.

I will be crying.

*Don't get excited by my having a "favorite" paintbrush. I realize that implies some sort of talent, but all it really means is my girls love painting and so I sit with them and paint sometimes, and my paintings look barely better than theirs do.
**The name has been changed to protect the actual friend that Hanna was blaming.  I don't know why Hanna kept blaming the girl.  She is one of their favorite friends, and we really love her.  I don't know if her mom reads my blog, but I know that people she knows do, so... name changed just in case it would make anyone feel awkward to know that my children were blaming them.
***Any unusual, unexpected uneven spots.  Hanna's hair is still growing in, and I don't keep it trimmed to be even with the new growth, so there is a lot of uneven spots, but none that looked like it was caused by giving herself a haircut.

She'll understand when she's older why it made me cry, that she wanted to go from this hair:
 to this hair, great as it is: 
No offense to you, Heather.


  1. If it was Lydia who was being blamed - you are welcome to change it to the original name. I think it would be funny :)
    Maybe they can just taper her hair around her face and then you won't loose length.

    1. It was not Lydia, I really don't think the mother of this little girl reads my blog, which is why I almost thought it would be more weird, you know? Like I'm talking about her behind her back? Although I will tell her the story next time I see her. Because I think it's funny too.

  2. So do you think that is why she actually cut her hair, because she wanted hair like Heather's? Or do you think that just upon having hair length options opened up to her, she picked Heather's?

    Her hair is so beautiful.

    Her hair still will be beautiful. I'm really interested to see how it looks. I can't imagine her with any hair other than her long hair. Aren't you glad you already had the family pictures taken? :)

    And it kills me how sad they get when they know they've done something they shouldn't. I just want to talk to Jill about it, but all she'll do is be mopey. Sigh.

  3. Unfortunately this is a part of childhood. I still remember my brother cutting MY hair when I was little, and I recall my little sister, Amberlee, cutting her hair almost to the scalp, so she could look like our brother, Robbie. (I was so offended she wanted to look like him and not me!) I can completely understand how devastated you must feel. I would cry if Annibelle did the same thing.
    (Wishing you lived near Indy still so we could see you on our Thanksgiving trip. Boston's blessing is the Sunday after Thanksgiving and you're always welcome to come!)

  4. I was totally on the edge of my seat the whole time thinking she had cut Heather's hair. I just figured she was down there too. So I was somewhat releaved when it was her own hair. But then I was super sad at how sad she was (for disappointing you, or whatever she was feeling) and how, like you I would struggle with being mad v. just not wanting her to be sad anymore. I would totally cry too if I were in your shoes. I'm so sorry! I'm with you on the tragedy idea. I really almost cried when my roommate cut my hair shorter than I wanted. And I'm 28 years old. But it grew on me and hair does grow after all. And like Mimi said, at least you had your pictures taken already. :)

  5. I thought it was going to be YOUR hair. LOL

    People doing something they shouldn't doesn't hurt just them, it hurts the people around them too. I think it's okay to try to teach that to kids, but don't lay it on too thick because some kids are more sensitive than others.

  6. I don't know why, blame pregnancy if you wish, but my heart was aching the whole time I read this and still now afterwards. I thought it was your hair there for a while! I love her long hair, but I think she would look stunningly cute with a little a-line bob :D... I don't know if you know what those are, but they're a little shorter in the back than the front... sigh, I feel your pain! Hang in there :)

    Start at 1: 16: 48.
    You're welcome. :)

  8. Heather has more hair than you did at her age. :)