Don’t be confused by the title, you won’t find any Bad Mother stories prior to this one in this blog. This is the first one. It’s not my first Bad Mother story, I have been a Bad Mother before. And, OK, #93 is probably a conservative number. Way conservative. So, anyhow…..
Wednesday was school photo day, so my Stepford husband made appointments for the children to get their hair cut the day before. Number one kid cancelled his because he is 12 and …well, that’s it really. He is 12. Middle child was cool…couldn’t wait…number 2 here, spike it here…adorable. Abbey wanted a ‘tidy and layers’…Abbey has dead straight hair down to the middle of her back, her loves in life are The Veronicas (thank GOD, more later), soccer, and ‘She’s the Man’ particularly because of Amanda Bynes, The Veronicas and the soccer. About 5 minutes in to our appointment, Abbey’s hairdresser calls me over and whispers that she can’t cut Abbey’s hair because she has lice eggs. What? I said. She’s got….
Shhhhhhh, I said. How can that be? She has only been at school two, three weeks? Then she showed me the little sticky things on her hair. It might be sand, we camped at the beach a couple of weeks ago? It’s nits, she said. Dandruff? It’s nits, she said. Maybe…? It’s nits, she said, somewhat firmly. We visited the chemist, and drove home, both the boys keeping their heads bent to one side to avoid the leap of nits in the car.
I’m not sure what it was that broke me…the boys complaining of sore necks after the car trip, Abbey paling with fear as I dragged out the torturous metal comb with the fine nasty teeth, the school photo note mocking me. I picked up scissors. I took Abbey outside with a chair. I trimmed her fringe out of her eyes, in a straight line that was only half a centimetre higher over her left eye than her right. This gave me confidence. I went to trim the ends off her long, long straight hair. I got a large lock right in the middle caught between my fingers, as the hairdressers do, held it straight and firm. And then I cut it to the nape of her neck.
When the shock and the tears evaporated, I went to find Abbey in her room, similarly distressed, holding the long lock of hair that I had hacked off her head. She wouldn’t talk to me. I called my sister, Em. She calmed me down by telling me what an idiot I am, then asked to speak to Abbey. Abbey cried and mumbled, nodded and got up, handed me the phone and went to sit in the chair, clutching still, her lovely long lock of hair, that was now shedding all over the floor.
Em told me, that she told Abbs that the Veronica’s change their hair all the time, and they are way cool. Em told me to now fix it…cut it slowly, and check it all the time and only do a tiny bit at a time and to never cut the poor child’s hair ever again. I did as I was told. Cutting hair is hard, there’s like all these layers and stuff. Abbey kept a stiff upper lip and had me make tiny stiff braids for the school photos, of which she was generously pleased, and we have photos coming soon, that will remind me what a Bad Mother I am, and what I did to my poor girl in 2nd Grade.
You should see her though…she looks gorgeous, very Katie Holmes but cute and fun. Well, that’s after the Murrumbateman hairdresser fixed her up. And made me promise never to touch her hair, ever again.