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A cut above

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published April 15, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

I am all about encouraging diversity of options with my boys. Just as I would tell a daughter she can be anything she wants to be, so I tell my sons.

I don’t even blink when Big Guy twirls around the living room singing, “I’m a ballerina! I’m a ballerina!” His dad does, however, raise an eyebrow. The other day, when Big Guy announced he wanted to be a nurse, I was fine with that, though I suspect the new career path had more to do with a sadistic pleasure in the possibility of giving people shots than it did a desire to heal the sick.

I have to draw the line for the time being at hair dresser. As Lost My Place so accurately pointed out a few weeks ago in her blog, “people actually go to school to learn how to correctly use scissors to cut hair.”

Guess Big Guy thought he knew all he needed to know. A cousin on his father’s side is a hair dresser, and Big Guy’s seen him give many a cut in our kitchen.

So today, Big Guy opened up shop. One second he’s sitting at the table cutting paper into confetti – annoying to clean up, but acceptable. The next he’s leaving Little Guy a few ringlets short of Goldilocks.

My take-charge husband handled it the same way he usually does: “He cut his brother’s hair!” Jeez, it’s hard enough to teach the kids to stop tattling without hearing it from an adult, too.

The damage wasn’t too severe – just a hunk out of the back. It looks a little like a reverse Mohawk. I let Big Guy off with a soft lecture and a warning that the next time he gets up from the table with scissors, he’ll lose them for a week. I’m trying to cut down on stern lectures – those only inspire Big Guy to more elaborate misdeeds. Never let ‘em see you sweat, folks.

I’m sure Big Guy’s already trying to find a loophole. “If I can get Little Guy to come over to the chair, then I haven’t disobeyed …”

The whole idea probably originated from a loophole. Big Guy, you see, goes to preschool with Lost My Place’s kids. And I’m sure the second he heard that his classmate had cut her hair, the wheels started spinning. “Let’s see, you get in trouble for cutting your own hair. Wonder what happens if you cut a sibling’s?”

That’s the biggest downside to day care – kids catch on to orneriness at a much earlier age. I was almost 7 before a cousin and I decided to cut my hair. It ticks me off to this day that I got in trouble for it and she didn’t, but that’s the kind of kid I was. I got busted for everything, even stuff I didn’t actually do.

And orneriness rampages through day care faster than a case of pink eye. It’s harder to eradicate, too.

I’m sure other parents were inflicted with Big Guy’s case of potty mouth in the fall, just as I was inflicted a few months later with the trend to sniff disdainfully at a meal, proclaim “I don’t like that” and refuse to eat. Even if it was something that was a favorite just hours before.

I can imagine Big Guy sidling up to a buddy on the playground. “Hey, check this out. I discovered last night that when you gargle milk at dinner, it really annoys the folks. Plus you can get your little brother to do it, too. He’ll make a mess, and that’ll tick Mom off even more. You have any new tricks?”

But, then, word of mouth always has been a highly efficient marketing tool. Maybe Big Guy can use it when he opens his hair salon, where the stylists will wear tutus and offer flu shots as a value-added service.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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