La Fille took a pair of scissors and hacked off her hair while I was on the telephone and not paying attention. This sentence probably says much about my parenting skills, none of it good. Scissors? Telephone? Not paying attention?
I was still on the phone - talking about work to a potential employer - when I heard her call "Mama" from the bathroom. I found her standing in front of the full-length mirror clutching a pair of round-tipped children's scissors (for cutting paper). The floor was covered in locks of her beautiful silky hair. I shrieked, ended the call and stared open-mouthed at La Fille. "What have you done?" I wailed sinking to my knees. La Fille's face turned disconsolate as she realised what she had done. She is nearly four but her hair had only just begun to grow, to thicken, to lose its baby frizz. "How can I put clips in my hair now?" she wailed. I scooped up the shorn hair in my hands. Don't ask why; it is possible that for one nanosecond I thought I could superglue it back on. Guilt does funny things to your head.
I bundled her into a coat and out of the door. We ran to the next but one nearest hairdresser. (I could not face taking her to the nearest because of the time when I cut her hair and made a hash of it.) The two trainees laughed when I explained what had happened. They summoned the salon manager: "We have a new apprentice here," one giggled. Not helpful, I thought as La Fille buried her deconstructed tousled head into my coat. "Why did you do it?" asked the other. "Didn't like my fringe," mumbled La Fille. "Didn't like her mum on the phone," I added. A senior cutter wielding an electric razor set to work. Ten minutes later La Fille looked like a boy. A boy with short hair. Profiting from our obvious distress the salon manager asked for 19 euros (pretty steep for no wash, a quick razor and no dry). Obviously distressed, I paid up without a word.
I feel we made sad sight walking hand in hand up the road, though possibly not as sad a sight as we had made running down it.
"Don't worry you still look beautiful and it'll grow," I told La Fille.
"I don't. I look like a boy," she said.