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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to ruin a child in 30 minutes

Last week I'm certain I made my first big parenting mistake. The type of mistake that will be dissected in therapy in 20 years time by my now permanently damaged child.

I'm wary to not dedicate too many of these efforts to my children as I am well aware they're not everyone's bag however I think this is something all of you can relate to.

My eldest daughter, the beautiful Chella is my carbon copy, just remove the incessant need to show off. On more than one occasion we have been likened to Edina and Saffy (for those of you familiar with Ab Fab this does not bode well for me). Marchella is ridiculously smart, thoughtful, quiet and conservative. I am, well, the opposite of most of those things.

On Thursday she woke up feeling a little under the weather so I kept her home from school. After a bit of a nap she rallied and we decided to get the 86 to Smith St and trawl the bargain shops for some awesome stuff for her lolly bags. (Her birthday party was on Saturday)

We walked past one of those hair salons that are so uber they don't need any signage. I said to Chella, "how about a hair cut?" She'd been sporting the same hairstyle her entire existence and I thought she may like a bit of a change for her party... Yep, there was my first mistake. I applied my need to make myself over for EVERY occasion to my nearly 9 year old daughter. The very kid who has worn the same coloured converse since she was 3 years old. She reluctantly agreed so we entered the aforementioned uber salon.

The hairdresser asked what we'd like and Chella muttered "just a trim" I of course steam rolled her and said "let's go for something groovy and a bit shorter"....

Fast forward 30 minutes later and we have a little girl slamming her hood over her head in a flood of tears storming out of the hairdressers. OH DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN, IT WAS TRULY TERRIBLE. Not the hair cut - she looked hot. I'm talking about THE GUILT. She sobbed all the way home, she locked herself in her room and cried some more. I coaxed her out with some chocolate and the Glee box set I'd been saving for her birthday.

I had inflicted a haircut on my daughter she didn't want, wasn't ready for and couldn't change. In the past there was nothing I couldn't fix with money, love, shouting or glitter. I COULD NOT MAKE THE HAIR GROW BACK. Marchella knew it and I knew it- I had failed BIG TIME.

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself "Jesus what's the big deal its only a haircut" then clearly you've never had one you truly hated. When you're 9 years old it's important to assimilate. Those who stand out are quickly shamed and taken down by the herd. This haircut was far different to the shiny blonde and brown ponytails all the other girls in her class sport.

She woke up Friday morning refusing to go to school. There was nothing I could do to get her to get out of bed and get dressed. I tried. You know when you pick a kid up and they go "boneless"- heavy and slippery all of a sudden. It was pointless. YES I admit it - I let my kid stay home from school due to a bad haircut.

I gave her the "people love you for what you are on the inside not what your head looks like" speech- no dice. I don't even believe that crap why should she? Nine year old kids are scary arse bitches, I don't think I could face them now as an adult. There had also been a slight bullying incident a few weeks before so she was extra sensitive to teasing..

On Saturday nine of her friends came over to celebrate her birthday and she was filled with anxiety. I was sweating bullets, their response to her new look would determine the level of permanent damage I had done. The first child arrived and screeched "Chella you look so cool" the second one arrives and squealed "I'm cutting my hair next week".... It was much the same story for the remaining seven girls, Oh THANK THE LORD BABY JESUS! They liked it, they really liked it.

We are day on day 5 of new hair-cut and I am happy to report she can now look in the mirror. Without crying...... Kill me.

I have learned a very valuable lesson here, don't do make-overs on people you live with. Oh and kids should be allowed to express themselves as they please, don't force your ideas on others blah blah blah.

Have an amazing week!

E x


P.S. I would like to have put a picture up of the haircut however I am already on very thin ice with my eldest so I thought it best not to.

P.P.S My Grandfather came through the operation, he is still in the high dependancy ward but was well enough to cut his own feeding tube as it was "annoying" him.


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