“Paige Madison, go to your room!” That’s how my Thursday afternoon started with my six-year-old when she got off the bus. Turns out her return home from school came complete with a note from the teacher. Her second time in trouble at school in as many days.
I don’t know what it is about the thirty or so days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this certain time of year, Paige just loves to hunt trouble.
And don’t tell me to try to tell her Santa’s not going to come. We’ve tried that. Don’t tell me to have a message sent to her from portablenorthpole.com that she’s on the bad list. We’ve tried that too. I’ve begged. I’ve pleaded. I’ve bribed. I’ve disciplined. All to no avail. There’s just something about this time of the year that begs her to find mischief.
So, she was upstairs in her room sulking. I was downstairs, blissfully ignorant. She would be spending the remainder of the night in her room, as far as I was concerned. And that actually worked.
Until she made her way downstairs to give us a kiss goodnight. And then, I saw it. Very short, very unkempt pieces of her hair. Like it had been *gasp* CUT! My eyes widened. My jaw dropped. I sucked in air rapidly.
“DID YOU CUT YOUR HAIR?!” I screeched. I had been sitting next to my husband who was totally zoned out, doing his own thing, until that very moment. His head snapped up like it was attached to a spring.
She dropped her head and avoided eye contact. I think she actually thought I wouldn’t notice. “Yes, Mom,” she mumbled.
I’m not sure what the thought process was here. I’m in trouble, so let me cut my hair?? That’ll solve all the big world problems. Not sure…
“Paige, get out of my face. I cannot be held responsible for my actions if you don’t leave this vicinity immediately.” She didn’t need to be told twice.
The next morning, I was still angry and slamming around the house. She came downstairs to get ready for school. Dear husband was still putting around the kitchen, getting ready to head out the door and head to work, where it’s more sane and quiet (he works at a prison).
“I’m going to have to bring her to the hairdressers before school!” I finally decided out loud.
“Don’t bring her to the hairdressers before school! Pull it back in a pony-tail!”
“I caaan’t,” I whined. She didn’t even have enough for me to get it all back.
“Then make her go and look all ridiculous!”
Men. They just don’t understand. Sure, she can look all ridiculous, but then the teachers will be bemoaning the poor, vagrant child, who is so obviously without a home.
Meanwhile, she was in the corner grinning like the Cheshire Cat because she gets to be late for school AND she gets to go to the hairdressers. Which she has recently decided is the most grown up thing ever.
“You think this is FUNNY?!” I shrieked. She wiped the smile off her face quickly.
When we got to the hairdressers at 9:00, she was already over a half hour late for school.
“Can I help you?” the young girl chirped.
“Uh, I need help,” I said desperately. Like I had just walked into an ER instead of a hairdressers.
“Who’s getting their hair cut to today?” she said, ignoring my desperation and trying to get me back on track.
“Paige,” I replied, nodding my head to Paige, who could not contain her glee.
“What are we doing with her today?”
Do you not have eyes? “Uh, we had a self-inflicted haircutting,” I told her. The other girl who was working clamped a hand over her mouth to stifle her giggles. I rolled my eyes in a way that said, I know it seems funny, but really, this is my life.
The hairdresser and I pulled and tilted and parted until we finally figured the only way we were going to make this seamless, was to give her bangs and layers. THAT should hide all the missing hunks.
So she went to work.
And twenty minutes later, Paige hopped out of the chair looking like this:
Not bad. Certainly not what I had in mind for a child who just a month ago had long, curly, flowing locks down to her butt. I told her if she cut off any more, we would have to shave it to get it even. And I would also be cutting off her fingers.
“With whatever I used to cut my hair with?!”
“Yup!” I leave her with the horrific thought of me trying to cut through her finger bones with those plastic, kindergarten scissors. That ought to keep her out of trouble.
Well, at least in the hair department.