The Long and the Short of It

After our usual eventful day —

SillyBilly finally remembered the name of his new friend at school; we had a long discussion on the drive home about why the smoke in the sky might be farmers burning waste instead of a wildfire; Napoleona brushed her teeth all by herself

–I was in the bathroom with the kids as SillyBilly was brushing his teeth. I was just about to start combing Napoleona’s hair when I noticed that some of it was … missing.

Large hunks of it, in fact. With a sharp intake of breath, I said “What happened to your hair? Did you cut it?” (not yelling, just shocked)

Napoleona promptly burst into tears and confessed that she had cut it in her room before dinner while the kids were playing with their art supplies. She had cut the side facing away from us as we are at the dining table, so nobody had noticed.

So we started to talk about it, about how we probably would have to get her hair cut, and how it would probably have to be short. Which inspired a new burst of tears. Then it occurred to me to ask, “Where did you put the hair?”

“Behind my bed.” Of course — hiding the incriminating evidence. Anthropapa came out of their room with a huge nest-like handful.

She spent the next few minutes before bedtime sobbing and sniffling, saying she was sorry. All of her grief was self-inspired; we didn’t admonish her at all but simply talked about how it’s not easy to cut your own hair, and how people go to school to learn how. And how SillyBilly had cut his own hair a few years ago, and how I had done the same as a girl.

Now we just need to figure out how she’s going to avoid getting a mullet.



Filed under Family, Napoleona, Parenting, Silliness and Mayhem, SillyBilly

8 responses to “The Long and the Short of It

  1. I adore the pictures that follow the story… so well. The horror!
    There is a June B. Jones story about this… I can’t remember the title.. a librarian will know. The boys and I listened to it on tape, and we all laughed and laughed. It’s a great story.

  2. Nana

    Did my brilliant beautiful granddaughter ever say why she felt the need to cut her hair? Maybe there is someone at preschool whose coiffure she admired. ah well, Berniece Bobs Her Hair!

  3. It sounds like she feels awful…poor girl. I guessing she’ll look very cute with her new haircut after it gets fixed.

  4. Bex

    Awwwwwwww, bless ‘er.
    What a story to come back to, love reading you again…Xxx

  5. Are you sure she wasn’t just trying to look like me? Has she been growing her beard out and dying it gray? Or is it only me who’s thinking that?

    But seriously, what a night, huh? Good to know that it grows back.

  6. I know she was upset, but wah, so cute! I wonder if at that age kids think hair will grow back instantaneously? I remember at about age eight I still thought that if you cut your finger off it would grow back straightaway…

  7. Oh poor thing, I remember cutting my little brother’s hair (yowza- that was too funny, but felt bad later when my mom had to shave his head) and when I was 5 I had beautiful long, down to my waist hair and on my first day of kindergarten a boy stuck a BIG wad of gum in my hair; my mom tried everything (ice, peanut butter…) to get it out but she finally had to cut my hair. I can remember her sobbing as she did it, but I got a hair cut like Dorothy Hamil (hey it was 1977!) so I was pretty excited.
    Poor little thing, I never had to “punish” Amelia either, she sincerely grieved any time she thought she was being bad and even put herself on time-out once (I never had to do that, I don’t know where she even got the idea about time out).

  8. Nana, Papa B: She claims to have no idea why she did it. Not trying to look like someone else (as I did when I was about her age–Farrah Fawcett wings do not magically appear, I found out).

    We discovered this morning that she doesn’t look completely wacko with her hair back in a ponytail, but I think braids are going to be really lopsided for a long while…unless we do a Dorothy Hamill 🙂

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