Bad hair day

“Mom, I finally took a bath!” said Charlotte as I washed her hair. She wanted to watch a movie badly enough that today my “Yes! As soon as …” worked like a charm.

After the bath I said, “Charlotte, I’m going to cut off some of your hair so it doesn’t get so tangly.” “Oookaaaay,” she said reluctantly. She hadn’t brushed her hair in two weeks. It took me a good 30 minutes to get a comb all the way through it while she sat, absorbed in the movie. I don’t like spending half-an-hour combing hair. I got the scissors and started cutting off close to two inches worth. Even then it still came down to below her chin. This will comb out much faster, I thought, and it’s good for summer too.

After the movie it was time for bed. I headed up first and lay down in our bed to wait. They came up soon after and I heard Charlotte say, “Mom cut my hair short!” Then about ten seconds later she started to cry. “I look ridiculous! You cut my hair too short and now I look ridiculous for school! Thanks a lot, mom!!!” I felt all the energy go right out of me. I didn’t respond. I just lay there feeling sad and tired while she cried. The voice in my head started talking: Oh, great. Now this. And after all I do for her, now she’s going to complain? How ungrateful can you get?!

I ignored the voice and it died down. Then, to my surprise, Fenner tried to help. “Charlotte, it doesn’t look bad! … Ok, well, can you still get ready for bed so we can have mommy time? Please?” “No! I don’t want mommy time!” “Ok, well, can you please get ready for me and Ellen? And then you don’t have to have mommy time. When mommy comes you can just tell her to go away.” “You guys get ready and then I’ll get ready after.” “Ok.”

After saying goodnight to Fenner and Ellen I knocked on Charlotte’s door. “Do me last!” she said. “You are last.” “Ok … come in.” I stood near her, took a deep breath and said, “I’m sorry you don’t like your hair. I guess it’s shorter than you expected.” “Next time tell me how short you’re going to cut it!” I thought for a minute and then said, “The problem is it took me half an hour to comb out your hair because you hadn’t brushed it in two weeks. Show me you can take care of long hair and next time I won’t cut it so short.” “Well I don’t know how!!!! You have to teach me!! I’m not a grown up! It takes practice! I’m just a kid. You don’t just walk away and say do it without teaching! My teachers at school don’t just say ‘Do your work’ and then walk away!” “You know how to brush your hair. I’ve seen you do it.” “Well I don’t know when to do it!!!” “Most people brush their hair every day.” “Well I don’t have time in the morning, I have to catch the bus!!! Do you know why I do that?!!! Because I want to help the Earth!!” (That’s new information!) “You don’t have to do it in the morning, you can brush it at night.” “I don’t have tiiiiiiiime….!!” Ok, I thought, this doesn’t feel useful, and I’m not joining this pity party. “Well, we’re out of time now. … Do you want a hug or a kiss?” “No.” “Ok … good night.” I walked out and closed the door.

Downstairs I could hear her talking loudly to herself, “I wish I only had a daddy … not a mommy! … I don’t want to go to second grade! … This is the worst day ever! ….”

Yeah, that’s a tough way to end the day. Can’t wait to see what happens in the morning…

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 6: The Crucial C's

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