Saturday, October 2nd 2010
A Hair Tragedy

Years ago I remember endlessly fussing over my toddler daughter’s hair and someone saying, “You’re only doing this because she’s your first child. One day it’ll be different.” I can’t remember who said it. At the time I thought it was rude and refused to admit that it was probably true. I was twenty one and trying hard.


Thursday night I put the kids to bed and I took up residence on the couch. I had two tests the next morning and a lot of studying to do. Twenty minutes later Seth-4yr came out to the living room, almost crying. He doens’t like to cry. He’d rather make faces and heave, and let his eyes get watery – but always stop just short of crying. This was what he was doing. He had a problem and he wanted it fixed before the tears left the eyes and dampened the eyelashes – that’s the part he hates. That is the moment of personal defeat for him.

A tuft of hair right on top of his head was sticking up – and there was something blue in it. It was that sticky silly-putty-like stuff you hang things on walls with. He’d found some earlier, played with it, and I’d told him when he was done to throw it away. But there it was in his hair.

Seth-4yr has gorgeous hair. It’s thick and silky straight. Medium to dark brown, but it shines with blond in the sunlight.

I hugged and kissed and whispered encouraging words about how this was not a big deal at all and everything would be all right. I tried for about a minute and a half to get it out. Sure, it would have been possible. But it would have taken me an hour. Mike was out of town. I did not HAVE an hour. I really needed to study.

So I took him to the kitchen and chopped it out with a pair of scissors, kissed his new little bald spot, told him it would grow back, and sent him back to bed.

There IS a difference between a first child and a fourth. Whoever said that to me 14 years ago was right.

The next afternoon I was sorting mail and just not quite thinking – or being very sensitive – and I asked him if anyone had mentioned his little bald spot.

His mouth dropped open and he put a hand over the patchy spot and said, “no!” in a highly (justifiably) annoyed voice.

I hugged him and apologized and tried not to laugh. “Baby, there will come a day when you’ll need a bald spot. Or some thinning. Or some receding. Or some graying. And it’s all really very cute, trust me.”

He was sitting next to me on the wicker loveseat on our front porch. He gave me a dirty look. Again, justified. But I was done with school and those two tests, and was feeling kinda silly.

I kissed the top of his head again and said, “If you don’t have any of those things, you’ll look like Wayne Newton, and that’s just not right.”


He looked up at me and snuggled closer and seemed to be thinking about what to say. I thought he was going to ask me who Wayne Newton was. But then he decided exactly what it was he wanted me to hear: ”Shhh.”


2 Comments on “A Hair Tragedy”

October 3rd, 2010
7:32 am

I just found blue play dough in Josh’s hair…but hubby is working on pulling it out. :)

October 5th, 2010
10:55 am

oh no! Did he get it out, Sara?

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