Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Abigail's DIY Haircut - My Grump

Yesterday while I was in the shower, Abigail cut her hair. Only the hair on the left hand side, because the scissors were in her right hand. As soon as I got out of the shower, Anna ran in to tell me. Aargh!

I was particularly annoyed because Joshua cut Anna's hair a few years back (right down to her double crown) and we have since been very specific and clear that kids are not allowed to cut hair in our family. I know that Abi remembers the rule, because she tried to do it a little while back (after I had left it too long to cut her fringe) and has been growing out two side snips for the last few months. I remind her about it every time she complains that those bits won't stay in her plaits: it's her own fault that they aren't long enough.

I've had a very recent conversation with a dear friend about the vagaries of children's behaviour and how easy it is to respond with anger and a lecture. So this time, I was prevented from responding in quite the way I had after Anna and Joshua's escapade with the scissors - I think the description "volcanic" would probably best describe my reaction then, much to my shame. So while I calmed down enough to deal with the situation properly, I sent Abigail off to bed and rang Jeff. He'd taken the boys to the shops & I arranged to meet him there so we could decide how much needed to be cut off by a professional to make dear Abigail presentable again.

In the end, the hairdresser cut off about three inches. There is still a big chunk about two inches shorter than the rest that needs to grow out, but if we cut it all to that length, Abi's hair would be too short for plaits. That would annoy her (and me) no end, because her hair is quite fine and flyaway. If it is going to be longer than a bob, it needs to be long enough to pull back, or it will get very tangly, very quickly. And I'm not ready for her to have short hair.

So here are the before and after pictures. The first was taken on the weekend, while Abigail was dressed up to play bridesmaid for Anna as the bride.

One of the things this incident has taught me, or at least reminded me, is how much of my heart I have invested in my children's lives. In such an insignificant thing as their appearance! I know that most of the reason I want my girls to have long hair is that I didn't have long hair as a child, although I wanted to at times. It wasn't until I was in senior high school that Mum let me grow it longer, when I was old enough to take care of it completely myself. I have tended to fluctuate between long and short hair since then. Perhaps I need to grow my own hair again (last time it was long was three years ago), so I can stop living vicariously through my daughters.

But it is more than that. I needed to remember that, no matter how much effort I put into my children's lives, they won't be able to live up to my hopes for them... not all my hopes, dreams and aspirations, anyway. It is good to have hopes and even goals to help my children achieve, but ultimately, it is their lives, not mine. I wouldn't want to become like this mother, who "posed as [her] daughter to become a cheerleader"! There is only one person whose life I may lead, and that is mine.

God wants me to live my life in a way that brings Him glory, and making an idol of my daughters' long hair (or anything else) is not the way to do that!


Mrs. Edwards said...

Oh boy! This is incredibly...ironic. It encourages me that perhaps my failure to handle the disaster-during-the-shower has at least served as a good reminder to you!

Thank you for your honest story about your own wishes about your daughters hair. I generally believe I don't live through my children, but the reality is that it usually takes something like this to open my eyes to the fact that I do in certain ways.

Mrs Adept said...

Ahhhh........ another hair victim.

I was saddened ( and had a brief cry ) when I saw what Chloe had done to her and Phebes hair. Then I got sensible and fixed it.

Have you seen how Chloe and Phebes look now? They are sporting very short boy hair and it's not pretty.

I think pretty much every child does the hair thing sooner or later.