Five words you never want to hear from your eight-year-old daughter:
“I cut my own hair.”
Those were the five words I?was greeted with on a recent phone conversation with my daughter.
“And Dad said he’s going to have to cut my hair like a boy to fix it,” she hurried on. “Please tell him to not make me cut my hair like a boy!” she pleaded near tears.
I was stunned into silence.
My own chop job when I was around Maddie’s age suddenly flashed before my eyes.
Please, God, let her have not ruined her beautiful, long, golden locks, I silently prayed.
“Maddie, tell me exactly what happened,” I said as calmly as I?could.
“Well...” she began. “It all started when I?was brushing my hair. It was one of those circle brushes with the holes at the end. Do you know which brush I’m talking about?”
She was stalling to buy time.
“Go on,” I?told her.
“Well, it’s like the one that you have, except ours is actually red instead of black. And I?think it may be a little smaller. No, maybe it’s the same size.”?
I was beginning to lose my witts. Whenever Maddie buys herself time, it isn’t for a good reason.
“Maddie, I?don’t care what color the brush is,”?I told her. “How bad is it that your Dad is going to have to cut your hair to look like a boy to fix it?
Even closer to tears she finished the story explaining that she got the brush stuck in her hair and no one would help her remove it and the only way to do so was to cut it out.
“So talk to Dad and tell him not to cut my hair like a boy,”?she said. “Pleeeeaaaaaassse Mom?” she whimpered.
“Is he there?” I asked hesitantly.
“No, but you can call him at work,” she said. “He won’t care.”?
I couldn’t place my finger on it, but I?was certain I wasn’t getting the full story.
Maddie has a God-given talent of getting herself in precarious situations. Later that night I?called her Dad’s cell phone and left a message saying that Maddie had called me concerned about a hair-cutting incident and having to get a haircut like a boy to fix it.
“I don’t think I?have all the information,” I told his voicemail.
A while later her Dad called to clear the air.
The truthful part of the story was that Maddie had indeed gotten a brush tangled in her hair. The rest of the story was that instead of asking for help to untangle it, she cut the brush out and then lied about the chunk of short hair in the back of her head saying that she didn’t know what was happening, her hair must be falling out.
Later, a brush still full of long fine hair, a scissors and six-inch chunk of hair were discovered in the bathroom by her dad and stepmom.
When confronted with the crime scene evidence, she cracked under pressure and admitted what she had done. In an effort to abolish the behavior her Dad had told her that to fix the mistake, it may require a buzz cut much like her brothers.
“Huh...that’s ironic,” I told him after he finished the story.
“What’s ironic?” he asked slightly confused and a little sarcastic.
“It turns out when I was eight I cut a lop of hair out of the top and back of my head too,” I said with a chuckle.
“And your point?”?the father asked.
“It’s just funny that after I realized what a grave mistake I?had made, and when my parents wondered why suddenly I had what appeared to be a slight buzz cut on the top of my head ?I said my hair must be falling out too!”?I said almost proudly.
“And what did your parents do about it?” he asked.
I told him they laughed at me and told me that I?will look like that for the next six months or more until that patch grows out.
“They didn’t take you to get it fixed?”?he asked incredulously.
“Nope! They told me if I was stupid enough to do that to myself I was going to live with it.”?
A couple of days later I was telling one of my girlfriends about the fiasco.
“Oh yeah, my daughter cut her own hair two weeks ago too,” she told me.
Her daughter had wanted bangs and her mom had told her no so she marched into her room, held up a section of her bangs and chopped them to her scalp.
“At least with Maddie you may have something to fix,” she told me. “My daughter will look like a rooster for the next six months until her chop job is long enough to even fix!”
Like mothers like daughters.