The winter before my daughter turned two, she had so many colds that containing her snot was a full-time job. As soon as she would clear up and was able to breathe again, my 2-year-old son would come down with something, hand it over to her, and the vicious cycle would begin again. And dealing with a little girl who was long hair and snot leaking out of her nose all the livelong day is a whole different story. Her hair was constantly getting stuck to the crusty mucus on her face. I know the solution of just wiping her nose every three seconds sounds easy. But if you’ve ever had a child with a cold, you know all too well the fresh hell of trying to keep their nose clean.
I’d try and put her hair up, only for her to rip out the elastic or headband because she hated that almost as much as she hated having her nose wiped.
So, you see the problem, I’m sure. She was either fighting me on trying to keep her hair out of her snot-drippings, or crying because I kept wiping her nose. According to her, I was the devil. Until one day, I found a solution. I decided if I gave her bangs, that would at least keep her hair from being glued to her nostrils and getting coated in green slime. You can only wash a 1-year-old’s hair so many times.
As I reached for the scissors, I told my husband how brilliant I thought I was and wondered why I hadn’t thought of this sooner. Besides, she’d look so cute with a set of bangs to go with her little bob – it was her first haircut and I was excited to give it to her.
It was be a Kodak Moment for sure.
As she was sitting at the bar stool, and I was holding her with one hand, he asked if I knew what I was doing. “Of course, I’ve cut bangs for myself so many times I’m an expert,” I answered. She was finally still and I was standing behind her, kind of keeping her in place with my body. I reached for a swath of hair, and began cutting. I wanted to show The Hubbs I was such an expert, I didn’t even need his damn help.
Looking back, I realize now this is where I went wrong.
I may be good at cutting bangs on myself, but I am by no means at the stage where I can stand behind a small child, alone, and get a good read on how much hair I am actually cutting. An expert I am not.
Let me just tell you after that first cut, I looked at my daughter who was happily playing with a wooden puzzle at our kitchen island and I felt nauseous. I cut her bangs about a half inch below her hair line. This is no exaggeration. There was literally nothing I could do to make it right. On top of that, it was jagged! I debated whether to leave it as is, or cut it even shorter to even it out.
I decided to cut it even shorter because I couldn’t handle the shortness and the crookedness of it all.
It must be known that my daughter was a cute little girl. But no one looks good with their hair cut that close to their hairline. No one. On the plus side, her hair did stay away from her dripping nose. I no longer had to pry her hair out of dry snot, or put it up. So her life was looking much better and she no longer hated me.
I still have no idea how I made such a mess out of her hair. As soon as we ventured out in public, I quickly found a solution that made me feel better about myself: Strangers started coming up to me saying, “Oh, I see she got a hold of scissors and gave herself a haircut!”
I wanted to say, “Oh no, I’m much more careful than that and I keep my scissors locked up”. Which is true! But I didn’t.
Instead, nodding my head and replying, “Oh yes, she did,” was so much more comfortable than trying to explain I impulsively cut her hair as a way to keep her hair out of her boogers that were running down her face every other week. I kept my mouth shut and let everyone believe she’d done it herself. It made me feel better, and let’s face it, she was one and I’d stopped torturing her. That’s all she cared about.
Yes, I wronged her by the hideous ‘do and lying about it. But she doesn’t remember and that’s all that matters.
(Image: iStock / Panhandlin)