Author: Luisa Perkins
•12:02 PM
Saturday night, Patrick and I were at wedding about three hours upstate; we'd left the kids in the hands of uber-capable Christian. At about 7:00 p.m., we got a call from Christian, as panicked as we've ever heard him. It seems that while Christian was putting Daniel to bed, Tess went downstairs to the basement, got a pair of kindergarten scissors out of one of the craft bins, and cut all her hair off. All of it: down to the scalp above her forehead and on the back of her neck. She left a few Carol Brady-type strands in the back, but other than those, she was very thorough. We calmed Christian down and told him everything would be fine--but I'm glad we had a long drive home.

The next morning, Tess came down dressed for church and wearing an extra accessory: she had zipped the hood off of one of the boys' winter coats, put it on her head, and snapped it under her chin. Perhaps she was planning on wearing it for the next few months; I'm not sure. But I quietly asked her to take it off, I cut off the Brady locks, and we went to church.

I didn't want to give the whole event very much negative attention, even though I was heartsick. She has the most lovely golden blonde hair, and she had grown it down to about the middle of her back. I did ask her why she cut it, and she replied that her bangs had been bothering her (we've been growing them out for several months, and she had apparently misplaced her barrette).

I kept her out of school this morning so that we could go to a salon and see what could be salvaged. All our church friends were kind yesterday, but I was worried about the reaction Tess would get on the playground today. I had to go up to Wal-Mart, since my regular salon and the others in our village are all closed on Mondays. As you can see, they couldn't save very much. As I paid her, the stylist cracked her gum and said, "At least she's cute."

I have to say that I'm glad it didn't happen on my watch. I don't blame Christian one whit, but I'm not very good at forgiving myself when things like this happen when I'm around.

I have a theory that one girl in every family has cut her hair at least once, with more or less disastrous results. I am now asking you to tell me your stories to prove me right; until then, I'll be consoling myself with Luke 12:7.

Especially welcome will be stories of girls who succumbed to this impulse in their childhoods, then grew up to be Rhodes Scholars or something very like. Give me your solidarity, friends! I know this is not the end of the world, but I could use a little comfort.
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24 comments:

On 24/9/07 , Annette Lyon said...

Oooooh . . . ! I'm so sorry!

Here's a hair story: My little sister Michelle had waist-length brown hair as a little girl. She went to play with Brad, the little boy next door--and came home with a jagged line of hair across her shoulders because they had played "barber."

Brad's mother was horrified--and never did find the hair (maybe they flushed it?). My mother freaked out because Michelle's hair was gorgeous (also possibly because all three of us sisters had matching long hair). The next day, after Mom evened the mess out, Brad showed up on the doorstep with his mother and a gift of apology--a Hello Kitty stamp set.

The result of all this? Michelle didn't care a bit about her hair, but she got a cool toy out of it.

And where is she today? Ironically, VERY MUCH into her hair--length, color, style, always very much in fashion.

Oh yeah, and she's a college graduate.

I'd better take note, here, though--my 5-year-old is growing out her bangs. That could spell trouble.

 
On 24/9/07 , painted maypole said...

i have no story, but I can only imagine that you'll be dressing her in lots of pink, eh? she is still beautiful! (and I so know what you mean about forgiving yourself!)

 
On 24/9/07 , Kimberly said...

I chopped my bangs off the day before my 9th birthday party. My sister cut all her hair off when she was 8 (because it was too heavy), and is currently a university honor role student pursuing a career in genetics.

Does that help?

 
On 24/9/07 , luisaj said...

Buck up, little froggie! Besides, it's only hair! It will grow, it will grow. Besides, I think she looks absolutely adorable with her new 'do.

 
On 24/9/07 , NH Knitting Mama said...

Just this past week at work two moms told me about their girls cutting their own hair - without being able to salvage what is left. Perhaps you can knit/sew some terrific hats and head accessories for her?

It is hair, it will grow. This is another one for baby/kid book. Bribery for the boyfriends down the road?

 
On 25/9/07 , Nobody said...

Awww, she is cute!
I remember going at my hair once. I didn't get far, but I also didn't have much to cut at--my mom kept it quite short.

It is sad when they have such beautiful hair! I am determined to have all scissors vanquished from our house until my youngest is at least 15.

Not to one up little Tess or anything, but I got the worlds most atrocious, way-too-short, lopsided, nasty haircut and i PAID FOR IT. That's where the insanity slips in.

Good thing it grows. :)

 
On 25/9/07 , Jenny-up the hill said...

We haven't experienced this ....yet. I'm sure our day is coming though. I agree with nh knitting mama, cute hair accessories would be fun...and yes, it will grow back! And yes, she is awful cute!

 
On 25/9/07 , deb said...

hey, gang, i get my hair cut this short INTENTIONALLY every four weeks. let's not console tess - let's celebrate her new look. anybody can have long hair. it takes a girl with real self confidence to wear it short!

 
On 25/9/07 , Syar said...

Is that her? Aw, no, it's fine! She's absolutely adorable. And now, utterly too cool for school.

I decided to trim my bangs which my stylist - the one I've been too scared off because I haven't been taking care of my hair at all since I last saw her - so lovingly crafted.

Now I have a cow lick right on my hairline, flyaways everywhere and a headfull of barrettes every time I go anywhere cause it's positively horrifying otherwise.

And it's nowhere CLOSE to growing out. AND I have to cut it before I go to Australia in 5 months. EEEK!

 
On 25/9/07 , luisaj said...

Well said, Deb!

 
On 25/9/07 , Momo said...

On picture day in the 4th grade, I had one little tuft of hair that would not stay put. So, I cut it off...just one little section on the back of my head. And, my ADULT sister once cut her bangs and kept messing them up, so she'd cut more. She ended up with a mullett! Luckily, it was the 80's, and she fit right in!

 
On 25/9/07 , Brillig said...

First of all, HAHAHAHAHA. Oh, I know I shouldn't be laughing, but it's really quite funny and will be a great story when she gets older.

Have I ever done this to myself. Yes. In fact, I can't even count the times. As I child? Constantly. My mother believed that all girls should have short hair, though, so she didn't exactly like my taking matters into my own hands, but at least she could "even it out" and give me the haircut she'd been wanting me to have anyway.

However, i wish I could say that this was just a part of my childhood, but no. No, it definitely carried into my young adulthood. And, well, possibly even beyond that. For instance, the week before I was to enter the MTC? Yeah, I CHOPPED all my hair off. I was trying to go for sassy, but, of course, i was doing this with no mirror (!!!) and it just looked terrifying. My mom took me to a local salon (we were in Argentina) and they tried to fix it and it ended up looking very much like Tess's there.

Oh, I could go on and on and on about this subject. I feel a flashback Friday coming on...

 
On 25/9/07 , Susan Helene Gottfried said...

This doesn't help *much* but it could have been worse. She could have gone bald.

A story from the past... well, I don't recall if I ever cut my hair or not, but it was VERY long. And incredibly dark brown. And one night, I loved my Silly Putty so much, I had to sleep with it. The next morning, it had to be cut out of the side of my hair. I had one section, probably four inches wide, that was short (I'm talking maybe three inches from my scalp; think Moe from the Three Stooges). And all the rest was long.

I remember it that day, and that day only. After that, not a single memory of my hair being so horribly lopsided.

And yes, my parents left it like that to grow out.

(isn't that a great story from someone you've only just met?)

 
On 25/9/07 , Jen said...

you know what? She does look awfully cute. She'll be fine. Read Anno's place - her daughter just got an extreme haircut and was called "sophisticated" for it.

So I wasn't a girl... I was a fully grown adult and I was in my second year of teaching and my straight down the middle part was just bothering me so I got out scissors and cut my hair. (Can you say stressed, lol?) and the worst part - I didn't really check it out carefully enough. And I went to school the next day with a chunk cut out the back, uneven bangs, etc. And I really DID care about my appearance - I swear I did! So, yeah, um... my first stop after school was my local haircutting place. My usual hair person was NOT happy with me.

 
On 25/9/07 , Sirdar said...

You know...Tess's hair doesn't look so bad. Looks like she has a short haircut. There are many of those around.

I know that our kids have cut some hair and I think that Dawn has pictures...that we can use at their wedding LOL!!

 
On 25/9/07 , wornoutwoman said...

Okay when I was three I cut off all my eyelashes. I thought I had eye lash curlers, as I'd seen my mom use them, and went snip -- snip. I had long curly eye lashes in my lap, which I began hiding under the bean bag chair I was lounging in. I clearly remember walking in the kitchen, casually saying HI to my mom, and praying she wouldn't notice. I felt so guilty! Of course she flipped out, but more so when she thought of how I could have poked my eyes out with scissors. Thank the Lord I have both eyeballs intact today!

 
On 26/9/07 , Sketchy said...

You're just in a mourning period right now. I went through this when we cut off my daughters beautiful but hiddeously tangly curls. But it passed and I decided I liked her cute little bob look in the end.

 
On 27/9/07 , dawn said...

I didn't go through everyone else's comments, but I must say, I think you are wrong. I think that every girl in every family cut her hair at least once, and I believe there are a good many boys who do the same. I showed my girls the photo and told the story, and asked if it sounds familiar. We have a 10 year old here for a sleep over, and I pointed to the particularly short part in the front and asked if it looked familiar, and she had a big grin and just nodded emphatically. I saw her the day after she had done her hair, hair that was down to her backside and it was all cut off to a nice short cut. Her younger sister did the same thing. I tell you, it is an extremely popular experience in homes everywhere.

 
On 28/9/07 , Megan/ Velveteen Mind said...

I consider this the perfect introduction to your blog. I adore that picture and the story behind it.

If for nothing else, days like this will be why I am grateful for keeping a blog. The ability to share this (honestly, truly hilarious and charming) story has to take at least a bit of the sting out of it. Right? Right? No? Not so much?

You made me smile, at the very least.

 
On 1/10/07 , CableGirl said...

Yes, it happens. I did it myself more than once. The first time I think I was around 5 and wanted bangs. I cut them right up to the skin. The second time I was a little older and wanted a hair cut like my brothers. Didn't work out so well. The last time I was about 14 and shaved my head bald... but I don't know that that one counts as anything other than teen rebellion.

She's wicked cute with the short hair, but I can only imagine how your missing the long golden locks.

 
On 3/10/07 , Joeprah said...

I guess a lot of girls try this. I know of a couple of my own with curiousity in this area. Great story telling. I always like the use of "uber."

 
On 3/10/07 , Erica said...

Sis.Perkins it's me Erica. I did not even realize it at church on sunday.Tess is still adorale no matter what and I think everyone knows that and she is still the sweetest little girl i know.Ok. I do have a story r two okay when i was little i hated my hair all of my popular friends were blonde and I of course was jealous so I thought if I gave myself a unique look I would be cool and i choppedall of my hair off and it had been amost down to my waist line and look at me now i am in 8th grade and have a 97.8 g.p.a. (which is pretty good in my school). I am also taking three honors classes. So don't worry.

Ok another story when my cousin was 6 she got a hold of my uncles razor and gave herself a total haircut. She is now 27 she lives in Idaho and she went to some big college in graduated with honors and works at a huge office so don't worry she had blonde hair toand she has it all back.

 
On 3/10/07 , Erica said...

Sis.Perkins it's me Erica. I did not even realize it at church on sunday.Tess is still adorale no matter what and I think everyone knows that and she is still the sweetest little girl i know.Ok. I do have a story r two okay when i was little i hated my hair all of my popular friends were blonde and I of course was jealous so I thought if I gave myself a unique look I would be cool and i choppedall of my hair off and it had been amost down to my waist line and look at me now i am in 8th grade and have a 97.8 g.p.a. (which is pretty good in my school). I am also taking three honors classes. So don't worry.

Ok another story when my cousin was 6 she got a hold of my uncles razor and gave herself a total haircut. She is now 27 she lives in Idaho and she went to some big college in graduated with honors and works at a huge office so don't worry she had blonde hair toand she has it all back.

 
On 8/10/07 , Kim S. said...

My daughter cut her bangs in chunks; it was the best alternative look for bangs that I have seen in a while. It happened in the evening on her dad's watch. He didn't even notice, just kissed her all nice-like and put her to bed. Imagine the shriek that came out of me the next morning when she came out of her room to greet me!