Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Short Back and Sides

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.

12 comments:

Henry the Dog said...

Oh poor La Fille. I know JUST how she feels. Mum sends me off for a shave every three months and I come back looking like a shorn sheep. Tell her it will grow back. My mum looked like a boy when she was 4 too, because her mum cut it off because she screamed when it was brushed. So, La Fille, we are both empathising - but I guess that won't make you feel any better:(

Jaywalker said...

Poor Fille. But think gamine, think Jean Seberg in A bout de souffle! I am sure she can carry this off. You might want to go for clothes at the more feminine end of the spectrum in the next few weeks though?
€19 is daylight robbery.

Jeannette said...

I feel for you! My oldest daughter cut my younger daughter's hair one day when they were about 6 and 4. I thought they had been cutting the barbie hair again and yelled at them. Younger daughter's chin-length bob looked perfectly untouched from the front. But then she turned her head... The sides and back were totally hacked, in places down to the scalp.

The people at the kiddie coiffure place have never forgotten us!

However, she actually looked quite good with her short hair. It doesn't look so shorn after a week or so.

Courage!

scottie said...

Hope you got the job.
My mum regularly murdered my mop with the pudding bowl cut.It was cheap, but certainly not cheerful.
Went through most of my early school years constantly wearing a woolen Balaclava... even in summer.
Feel for La Fille, but at least it was self-inflicted and not the deliberate act of un unthinking mother.
Don't know if you can purchase Balaclavas in Paris. Perhaps you could knit a natty pink one :o)

Dumdad said...

Oh poor La Fille. It'll grow back stronger but that doesn't help now. And 19 euros is a bit steep, n'est-ce pas? I think if I'd been the barber I'd have done it for free. But then I'm not French and I'm not a businessman.

Rachel Pattisson said...

Oh no! I sympathise! Her beautiful hair... But it WILL grow back and quicker than you think :o)

Stinking Billy said...

mimi, my mother caught me, aged 9, cutting eyeholes into the black zorro mask of my brother, aged 4, with dressmaking scissors - while he was wearing it! x

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Oh dear!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Les filles will be les filles! Beautiful knitted hats are very 'of this season'... Does that help?!

bonnie-ann black said...

this seems to be a common right of passage for all girls. i know not why... inevitably, if you are a parent who allows your child a few moments of breathing space without your presence, your little one will pick up a scissor and cut her hair. there is a point between 4 and 7, i think where almost every independent thinking little girl looks like a boy.

my hair was long, honey coloured and lusturous, but it tangled like crazy, so one day when i was five and my mom was in hospital having a baby sister for us (another one), my father was trying to detangle my hair by holding it up in a pony-tail and brushing vigorously. my howls and shrieks finally got to him, and he took a big scissor and cut it off at the point where tail met head. i then was given the "pixie cut". and for the next 8 years, i had a pixie cut. and you know what? it looked good. and i finally grew my hair long and for about 20 years i had long hair, then one day, i cut it off and got -- the pixie cut!

so, fear not... be brave and tell your daughter there's more to being a girl than long hair!

Working mum said...

Oh, poor girl, why? Apparently it's quite common - I live in dread of daughter cutting off her strawberry blonde curls.

Perhaps it will grow back thicker and more lustrous than baby hair?

Iota said...

Oh poor girl. It WILL grow...