Ah, where to begin...
I had so many post titles, I couldn't decided which one was best.
Go with the obvious?
A New Cut
Cutting the Wrong Way
A New Look
Chop It Off
Go with the sarcastic?
Mother of the Year Award
One Proud Mama
Ashton Can Do It Better
Big Girl Cut
To say it's been a crazy day.... sigh!
I'll start from the beginning.... in fact, I'll start a bit before that, with her first and second haircuts.
Her first haircut was a wonderful time. I didn't see the big deal. I've heard of many mamas fearful of their kids first cut and would be anxious about it. Push it off. Maybe it was because their kids had fine hair or the baby curls, I don't know. But it wasn't a big deal to me. I didn't want my baby having a mullet look so I got her hair cut.
Jump a few months later, because she had a great cut before, thought she would again. It was right before our first family photo shoot. Her second haircut came out much differently. I took her to the same place, different stylist available. And when she came back home, I was in tears. Her second cut to me was awful. I decided there and then I would only cut her hair from now on. At least for a while, until I had better choices than just kid salons for my child who doesn't sit still.
Now of course part of me wishes I could trade that hair cut for this one. But of course I know you're wondering how did she do it? I mean it's obvious. She used scissors and cut it. But where did she get them, and where were her Daddy and I? Valid questions.
So, as I always cut her hair so she wouldn't get a hack job again, ha ha! I keep scissors where I keep her medicines, in the top shelf in the cabinet above the toilet. Where she can't reach it.
Today, we had our usual day. And the last few weekends she hasn't napped. Trying to get her down has been a nightmare and since she is sleeping through the night better... I thought today, I'll do something different. I'll be the cool mom to my child and let her stay up. I will teach her quiet hour instead.
So after lunch, I told Ashton she didn't have to go take a nap. She could stay up. But she had to play in her room quietly. It was quiet hour. Then we'd leave to Chinese dance class.
Ashton nodded her head and understood. She said she'd be quiet. And every morning she wakes up really early and she's learned to play in her room for an hour or so already before waking us. So this should be no different.
She went to play in her room and I shut the door. I didn't sleep well the night before. So I was ready for my own nap. Same floor, around the corner. No big deal. Daddy was downstairs doing his own thing.
I think just half an hour went by then I woke to my husband yelling, "Emergency!" I jump out of bed. I don't even throw on my glasses (and I'm blind as a bat without them, worn them since 7th grade.) But I can make out flurry images. I run to the bathroom where Ashton and my husband are.
I hear no crying. But I hear as I look at her, not too well, "She cut her hair." I could see her dark bangs looked like they were missing in the middle. But I couldn't see all the damage. I went back to get my glasses.
During that time I'm thinking, this is common. kids cut their bangs all the time. Pity, but no harm done. Luckily, she didn't hurt herself. How did she do it? What happened?
I get my glasses and my spunky kid who is in her silly phase is running around having a good ol' time. Then I see the butcher job done. Chunks out of her hair, on the side, in the back... it's extreme!
My husband opened the trash in her bathroom and found all the hair she'd cut there in the trash. Not any of it on the floor or sink.
I took my brush as she was in my bathroom with me and I sat on the floor and started brushing her hair. Chunks came out. Her hair was sticky! And it gave the illusion she had more hair, if that were possible. It was a nightmare.
"What is in your hair?!" I exclaimed.
"Medicine. I took it out" she replied matter of fact, proudly.
I called out to my husband. He ran to us then back to the bathroom, where he found the milk of magnesia open on the toilet and nearly empty on the sink.
Putting it together and getting bits of the story from Ashton we figured out what happened.
Ashton wanted to be a good girl. Every night before bedtime we give Ashton a small milligram syringe of mile of magnesia so her feet don't hurt and she sleeps through the night. She wanted to take some so she would nap like a good girl. So she left her room and went a couple feet next door to her bathroom.
So she took her stool which is always in front of the sink, so she can wash her hands and brush her teeth, and moved it to the toilet. She climbed the toilet and was able to open the unattainable cabinet. There she pulled out the medicine. It's a simple twist cap. She opened it and drank it. But not without spilling it onto her hair.
So she decided she'd fix it and cut her hair. I keep the scissors in that same cabinet above the toilet as I cut her hair in the bathroom regularly for a bang trim. So she got the scissors and cut away.
And there we have it.
I immediately called my hair stylist. She doesn't do kids hair, but this was an emergency. I couldn't fix this. She had just left for the day, and had plans, but said if I couldn't find another salon that could fix it, she'd find a way to help.
I would call my mom, but she lives on the other side of town. I did call her and gave her a quick summary of what happened and told her she'd see the cut on Facebook soon or I'd email her, but I had to find a salon STAT.
I needed to talk to someone who lived close by who could help me find the best place for her and keep me calm.
Which I would be, then I'd get angry a bit (as the emotions came in waves, from fear that she could have gotten seriously hurt, and where was I, the guilt, to laughing at joining the kids cut club, to all sorts of emotions. But unlike her second cut, I didn't cry one tear... odd when I look back comparing the two days. But maybe I handled it better because it was by my daughter's hand... but yet adding the guilt, I can't say I felt better. It's weird, the fold of zillions of emotions finding your child with a hack job of their own creation.
And of course more than emotions are going through your head. You wonder if your kid really understands "Don't play with scissors ever again." because it's not like you didn't tell that to them before they decided to cut their hair. But of course the medicines and scissors are no longer above the toilet anymore. I had her father do a sweep of her room and bathroom and baby proof it better than we thought we had.
So I called her Godmother Ms. J. She answered the phone. I told her the situation and if she knew of any good affordable places that did adult and children's hair, as I still didn't want to take her back to the place I'd had her hair cut twice before. I was afraid they'd just shave her head, and I wanted options.
I didn't know if this was salvageable or not. I assumed that we'd either shave her head or give her a pixie cut, but either way, she's have "bald" spots no matter what. There was no way to cut it short enough to look stylish, girlish, or flattering. It'd be a buzz cut or patchy pixie, that was for sure.
I don't know what Ms. J. was doing today other than going to a play later tonight, but if she had other plans this afternoon she never let me be aware of them. She said she'd meet me at McDonald's in half an hour and we'd figure out what to do.
Then I proceeded to take photos of Ashton. Most of which she was laughing and had her tongue sticking out. When I kept telling her this wasn't funny and serious and she was bad, then I got the guilty look. From one extreme to another.
She had to change outfits as her current shirt was sticky. I decided to put her in an outfit that was very feminine in case she came back home with a butch haircut.
Let me tell you, trying to parent a toddler through this, you want to punish them, you want to scare them out of doing it again, but you don't want to traumatize them either. We told her we were taking away computer privileges, Taco Bell, and the museum for a while. Her 3 favorite things. She was very nonchalant about it. I don't think she really gets it until she wants it in that moment and finds out shes' not getting it. But linking it back to the haircut, even if we bring it up, will that be effective, will she get it, I don't know.
Also in the back my mind of trying to make the best lesson out of this incident and trying to surf through the emotions guilt, laughter, shock, and so forth I couldn't help but think of Samson and Delilah. This of course is nothing like that situation, but the cutting of the hair somehow kept that biblical story popping in my head.
Then there were also the movies, none that I remembered the titles but the images from scenes where girls where punished for their vanity and would have their hair cut short to strip them of their pride. I kept thinking was I learning a lesson in my pride and vanity I had about my daughter? Ashton isn't vain in the least. She truly doesn't care that she cut her hair. It's still matter of fact to her. But I felt the pangs of this and worried what other would think of a mother who let her child handle scissors, or her looking like a boy or a crazy whack job... I had to swallow my pride in her beautiful appearance and just let her be my daughter as she is. And I think I do that already, but perhaps I truly don't as I felt pangs to see her hair have bald spots. I'm still trying to figure out if I feel vanity through my daughter's appearance and if so what that means and what I should do to to humble that fact.
Regardless, emotions and thoughts were buzzing about in my head. I drove Ashton to McDonald's leaving my husband to revamp our baby proofing system.
Ms J. was already there waiting for us. She gave us a hug and said, "It's not as bad as I thought it'd be." Really? Every time I looked at her it was worse than I keep reassuring myself it is. But I'm sure kids have done way worse to their hair.
Ms. J. said she already called the salon across the street from the McDonald's we were at as that was the salon her daughter goes to. Ashton had an appointment in half an hour. So in the mean time we could watch Ashton play at the indoor playground.
Ashton was so excited to see her Godmother Ms J. She got to McDonald's and got an apple juice. Probably not the best since drinking who knows what amount of the milk of magnesia, but she didn't want milk or hot chocolate, and we just wanted to keep her calm.
So Ashton climbed about on the play set while Ms. J and I chatted it up. She was telling me stories about her kids when they were little and that I was in fact a good mother and shouldn't feel guilty as this was a common occurrence.
I told her the outcome of her hair would probably determine my feelings about the situation. And I know in a year this doesn't matter. In six months, her hair may not be the length it is now, but it will look normal by then. It's perspective. But still, the waves of emotion of the moment and references that float in the head and fears of how bad the situation could have gotten... as I knew in the back of my head whatever she drank in the milk of magnesia would come back to haunt us. (Which is why I took her out of her panties and into a pull-up to be safe).
We then headed to the salon. A young lady, Angela, was just finishing up someone and would be helping us shortly. Ms. J. had called her and the story was already understood. While in the waiting room, Ashton was more interested in the magazines than the children's books. I kept trying to give her Dr. Seuss while she wanted Us Magazine!
Then Ashton looked up at both of us and said, "I'm not going to cry." It surprised me, I never thought the salon would scare her. So we kept telling her how brave she was being and that hopefully, we were going to fix this mistake best we could.
Angela then came by and asked if she wanted to sit in my lap or on a booster seat. I said it is whatever Ashton wanted. Ashton asked for the booster. But once she was on it and saw the plethora of beauty "tools" in front of her she wanted her mommy. So she straddled my lap, with us facing each other.
Angela then gave Ashton a sucker to help calm her. Ashton was more interested in sharing her sucker than eating her sucker.
Angela studied her hair and said perhaps we try to take her hair up gradually. She said we couldn't keep the length it was, but if we tried at least to her chine to start with some layering and see how that was and if it still looked too bad at that point we'd go with a pixie cut.
Ashton never cried. She was so proud of that fact. I made sure to get a photo of Ms. J with Ashton donning her new haircut.
When we got home she settled down a bit and was anxious to show her Daddy her new haircut. She still has the bad bangs and three bald spots, but with the shaggy do she now has, it's a bit less noticeable. And this beautiful girl can still rock any hairdo. It's definitely sparser on one side and looks funny, but I'm hoping in a couple weeks her hair will grow fast and it will start to look more evened out. I'm very curious to see how her hair will grow out and how fast. We've played around with it, well as much as a toddler would let me to see what works best. But as she's a toddler, and moves around so much, it pretty much settles back to her usual part rather than the "comb over" I keep trying to do to make it look more normal. I keep trying for a left part to get more hair to balance out her sparse right side. It will take time.
Of course, shortly after this shoot, she went to play in her playroom, and that missed nap caught up with her and she slept on the floor for a good hour. She needed that nap!
She woke up to having the milk of magnesia "working" and she had to go potty fairly often for the next couple hours. What a fun day!
Love this girl to pieces. And she definitely created some lasting memories today that won't fade anytime soon. And I'm sure this will turn into an embarrassing story I can pester her with as she gets older.
This is my daughter Ashton. She's creative, spunky, kind, and "resourceful" and I wouldn't have her any other way!