Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the two year old gave herself a haircut

I have three girls and one boy, and I never really thought too much about their hair.

I never did the pink "it's a girl" bows on any of my newborn's heads, I always thought that looked silly. I never made them seem obviously girl or boy in putting in hair pins or gel or any other adornment. I just let their beautiful baby hair do it's own thing, even when on three of them it grew upward and upward in a kind of rub your head on a balloon kind of way. I recall when my boy was about five months old and sitting up in his pram the many smiles I got one afternoon, when I decided to look in and see what all the fuss was about. I saw this tiny face big big eyes and about three inches of hair sitting sprionnnggg up, static or something, too funny. 

I remember there came a point where I thought Ok, I cannot count on that hair to do the right thing. Time for it to get cut, and a trip to my-sister-the-hairdresser's it was. He was being christened and I knew that years down the track he'd thank me when he looked at the photos. Aaron (difficult as usual) cracked a sad since I hadn't discussed the haircut with him first. Men are funny.

Anyway, as I said I really don't give a darn what my kids hair looks like half the time, we keep a hairbrush in the car for the school run. My eldest at the moment is growing out a fringe, al a violet of the Incredibles, most of the time I cannot see her right eye. She had school photos last week and was horrified that she was made to wear a headband by the photographer.

My four year old has a wonderful mass of thick hair, in every way she is strong, even her hair.  I recently gave my son another haircut, his hair is light blond, slightly wavy, beautiful, it grows all surfy looking when we let it go. I am getting better at this haircutting thing. 

On we get to the almost two and a half year old. She had thin baby hair, she hates having it combed, cries when I wash it. Me I love to smell her head, unwashed or baby doll clean smelling, I love it. At Christmas I thought I am getting fairly good with the scissors, so I sat her in the basin with chocolate, a handful of it. I snipped and snipped, I made the back shorter the front slightly longer, a cute just above the eye fringe. She looked so darn cute. It was like I'd shaped this little baby into a little girl, before my eyes she looked older even though she still only stood 3 feet tall.  

It was like that for a few months, I'd tickle the back of her neck and admire my wonderful new found cutting skills. Then she met scissors, she and scissors loved each other, she'd sit herself down for ages at a time the yellow ones blue ones green ones whichever ones she could find. Paper would mound around her, little piles, she was in heaven. Then one day she found the sewing scissors, sharper, bigger, shinier. She snipped a chunk out of the side of her hair, I gasped when I saw it. At the time I thought she'd ruined my haircut. 

Now I'd give my own hair to have it have ended there. 

The other day she found my really sharp haircutting scissors, this must have been like finding a stash of lollies to her. She hid in the bathroom closet, almost buried in towels and she had maybe 10 minutes of uninterrupted blissful cutting.

Then I heard Eliza say "Circe's cutting her hair." I left the shnitzels I was breading, I left the cake in the oven the dish water running ('cause I was multitasking). Stuff all that she was cutting her hair, that beautiful ginger blond hair. I didn't know where to look, It was like that panic you get when they've hurt themselves and they're screaming out for help, you don't know which way to run. 

That was me she hadn't hurt herself, luckily but she'd taken that beautiful haircut I'd given her and completley trashed it.

I saw the mound of locks before I even saw her head. At this stage she was turned into the closet, her head down. She knew I would be crushed, upset, and I was. I even think I said "you look horrible". I went on to to tell her she'd given herself a mullet, she didn't know what that meant, but she knew it wasn't a good thing. I actually thought of all those smiles she gets, the way she stops people in their tracks all of that, I thought  it would all stop. This hair was awful, I texted my husband saying "nothing will prepare you for the mullet."

She looked at me and said so sweetly "can't you just stick it back on." It occured to me that she didn't know what she was doing, she wasn't trying to hurt me and my stupid idea of what a little girls hair ought to look like. She was just cutting, enjoying the thrill of seeing her hair in her little hands, just as she would if it were paper. 

In those first few days after I'll admit I was even picking out her clothes differently. She's got this slight punk thing going on, even when she acts up now she looks more angsty.  this whole thing is all in my imagination, she's not acting any differently,  she's still the same little person she was before, except sometimes I think she looks slightly like she could be a coal mine kid, particularly when she's all scuffy looking.  This is all too much, I am over thinking this whole stupid innocent thing, we will laugh at this in six months time. 

A week on and  I realise she still gets all the same smiles, people still stop when she is around, it was never really cause she was cute.  It was because she's articulate, clever beyond her 2 1/2 years, she is bright sparky friendly and just wins you with a look into her big brown almost black eyes. She's even working that new look, today she sat painting in just a headband around her neck. I think I'm actually liking this new hair, It actually suits her off-beat, one gumboot one shoe nature.

Wish I could take back telling her I thought she looked horrible, you should never do that to anyone never, poor little baby. 


  1. what a lovely little face she has with those big eyes..i have a similar story but it was my eldest who cut my younger daughter's hair when they were 4 and two..it's funny now and the story is trotted out for amusement but at the time i was devastated..

  2. i think she is absolutely adorable. like a sweet little pixie. i love her painting! i do like reading your stories and this one about hair certainly made me smile. all of those things you thought and said - i am pretty sure i would have done the same. gosh she is cute. i love the last photo especially. xo.

  3. She sure has eyes that are windows to her soul. she looks like someone with lots of personality.

  4. I have vivid memories of the same thing. I cried and cried - funny how much it upsets us.(http://theideaofhome.blogspot.com/2009/03/cutting-away.html) alison.

  5. She's rocking her personal haircut! samantha x