Three weeks ago, Little Miss and Little Mr are staying with “Aunty” (not a real Aunty, actually my Best Friend) whilst Himself and I do some serious driving for Himself’s business. Approximately One thousand kilometres there, two days business stuff , load items to bring back and then approx one thousand kilometers back home.
“Aunty” doesn’t have children herself, but is Godparent to ours… and has a stack of treats and nice outings planned for the kids. No problem there. All is well. Then on the day we are driving back home, the phone goes, (Himself is driving at the time, so I’m in the passenger seat, on the phone) Conversation goes as follows:
(Best Friend) “Do you think your son might like to go into the Military?”
(Me) “Well, he’s only Five, so plenty time for that kind of decision, but I suppose, if he really really wants…”
(Best Friend) “Ok, Well I need to warn you that he’s taken a few steps in that direction already“
(Me) perplexed, “Howso?”
(Best Friend) “His hair is short“
(Me) “ Oh, yes I know, he went to the hairdresser last week and they did it shorter than normal“
(Best Friend) “No, no, I don’t mean that, I mean he’s given himself a haircut. A very short haircut. A very very very short haircut. Crew-cut, actually shorter than that, Flat-top? Whatever it might be called, anyway, very short“.
(Me) laughing by now….. “ooooh you mean you left him alone with scissors????” (I mean seriously, a five year old… I know better) LOL, Very clearly she’s realising that she should have known better too.
(Me) “Tell me about the damage.…”
(Best Friend) “Well, he cut so much off the top that I was forced to cut the sides to match, even then, there are some almost bald patches, where he got really close, it still looked strange because the short bits were so short, so I got out the trimmer and trimmed it further until it looked less lop-sided“
(Me) wiping tears away from my eyes “what does He think about his handiwork? “
(Best Friend) “He thinks it great… well, at the moment at least he does.”
(Me) “Ah, Fine, he’s going to have to live with it, it will grow and he will have to realise that he can’t just wish his hair back tomorrow if he’s changed his mind.”
(Best Friend) “you aren’t angry?“
(Me) ” Gosh no, you know my policy on hair for the kids… he can have it how he likes it, he has to live with it. No complaining from him. You remember when Little Miss took a chunk out of one side of her long hair and we had to shorten it to even up the other side as well, she was about his age when she did that too, if I remember correctly.
…O.K. seems to be his turn now, one-self inflicted savage haircut each, is that a rite of passage for Five year olds?”
( Small Note of explanation) My hair policy is as follows: My hair was always cut as my Mother wanted it when I was a kid, I hated my hair-cuts with a vengeance, I looked awful, it was very short, certainly never fashionable or suited me: Hence, my kids may choose what they want as far as cut and style (school doesn’t allow colour) as long as it falls within school rules for hair, for the rest they can decide what they want and if they hate their own choice then tough, no need to come complaining to me.
(Best Friend) “O.K. but be prepared for a shock when you see him…”
(Me) “yep“… ( still laughing) “This one’s going to be one to remember isn’t it ?“
(Best Friend) “Ohhhh Yes, for a long long time“
Fast forward to Himself and I arriving back in The Hague, we immediately go to my best friend’s place to pick up the kids. Yes indeed child, you managed to cut yourself a haircut… So much so, that he hardly looks like the Little Mr we know anymore. I keep doing a double-take to check that it really is him…
I keep wanting to feel it, it’s soft but spiky … he doesn’t like me doing that.
Once home the full reality starts to sink in… apparently it dawns on him that the hair he lost at Aunty’s doesn’t in fact magic back when he gets back home.
He’s not quite so sure about his new look any more. I reassure him that it will grow, and in a little while he will have his “old” hair back. I remind him that if in the next weeks he turns out to prefer it short, he can have it cut again, but that we would prefer that then hairdresser did it please. Either way he can choose.
So what bought this on?
Possibly it’s the fact that hair washing and this child are like dynamite and fire at the moment, he hates getting his hair washed, Himself feels guilty because apparently he told him last week at the hairdresser that if Little Mr’s hair were shorter then there would be less hair to wash, thus hair-wash times would be easier.
Himself wonders if he accidentally sowed a seed of an idea in his remark…
I don’t think so at all. I have noticed that Little Mr has been going though a stage where scissors are a complete fascination in the last month or two. He keeps asking for them ” to cut stuff” But when I ask what, he hesitates, thinks for a little too long and then comes up each time with “paper” .
Which paper? I mean precisely which paper do you intend to cut please? (there’s never any around when he asks, so together we find some that is acceptable)
I sit close to him supervising the paper cutting while working on the laptop. It doesn’t matter what I’m working on, my Mama Radar is on…. I’m sneaking regular looks at him and I’ve twice caught the scissors gravitating towards his hair. Very close indeed. I’ve stopped him twice and both times he looked guilty. I think it was just a matter of time before (a) he grew out of this phase or (b) he got the opportunity. I just never thought to mention that he probably shouldn’t be left alone with scissors. I would never in a million years leave the kids alone with scissors. I assumed she wouldn’t either.
I forgot.. she doesn’t have kids.
She hasn’t had the experience of building up the Radar… smelling when things are not OK in the air or seeing that “look” innocent mischief about to happen. The young are good at getting into trouble but less good at covering their tracks. Learning to read the signs is a parental art form that builds up slowly over time. Just like when you enter a room and a kid is sitting on the floor trying to hide something, and loudly says ” Go way!”
Go away is the last thing you should do…. the phrase” Go away” from a kid in our house means “I’m right in the middle of doing something naughty that I know I will get into trouble for”… It’s like a neon sign….
Now I find out that there is more to this hair-cutting business too… more damage.
Little Mr also cut a hand-woven tablecloth that my Best Friend picked up on distant travels, (an expensive one-off hand woven tablecloth that she watched being made …Ouch) He cut it in two places. Yes, that bit was pure accident, his paper was on the table…. Probably the excitement of being alone with scissors. (sigh)
Little Mr can write letters of the alphabet, so his next task is for me to help make words and he can write a ” Sorry” letter to Aunty in his best handwriting.
I’m pretty good at tiny stitches, maybe I can repair it…. otherwise I’ll at least pay for the damage.
Lessons all round eh.