Jack and Hannah were asleep, Lilly was upstairs in our room, Jim was sitting downstairs studying and I went off to the gym. When I returned, Jim looked at me and just shook his head. He said that Lilly called him up to "show him something" and proceeded to show him first her "new haircut" and then all the hair that was all over the floor. Jim handled the situation better than I would have. He calmly told her that cutting her hair wasn't acceptable behavior and that he had to sit down and talk to me about what we were going to do. If Jim hadn't told me what I was about to see, I don't know if I would have been able to hold it together upon seeing Lilly's hair. My immediate reaction was anger. I knew that Lilly knew better than that. I started thinking about her school pictures next week and our family pictures in a few weeks. We had just taken to the lady who cuts my hair, who had given her the cutest haircut! And now this... We talked about being responsible and trusting Lilly with scissors. We talked about how you choose to behave when no one is looking. We talked about always asking before doing things and then I came downstairs, leaving Lilly to think about her behavior.
When I took a step back and stopped to think about what had just happened, I realized that in the grand scheme of life, Lilly cutting her hair is trivial. I realized that Lilly is four. She's only four! This is what four year olds do. They experiment and test boundaries and cut hair. Hair grows back. She knew that she shouldn't cut her hair, but I don't think she fully understood what the outcome would be. No one was hurt, and although Lilly's short term hairstyle is not one that I would have chosen, it will be one that we always remember and joke about when she's older. In reality, for the amount of hair that she cut off, she did a pretty good job. She thought about how she was going to cut it (up to her ears) and although she cut more off one side than the other, she did cut both sides. It will be salvageable, and even if it wasn't, it is only hair.
This was another parenting moment that snuck up on Jim and me, as most parenting moments do. Looking back on how we handled it, I am confident we got our point across. Lilly understands that it was wrong; she knows she can't use scissors during quiet time until she earns back our trust. But she is not self conscious about her hair. Once we talked about it last Sunday, we've joked about it with her a few times but have purposely not commented on what her hair looks like. She was telling Gigi and Papa on Skype that she cut her hair, and Dad joked that she must want hair like him or Uncle Duane, as they are the only two people she knows who cut their own hair. Lilly of course thought this was hysterical. She also thinks that her hair has grown back already and is back to its "nice hair cut like the lady did at the salon." I say that's debatable.
|Checking out her handiwork.|
|A few days later, when we could laugh about it.|
|Pre Haircut. This picture is amazing in and of itself.|