Saturday, September 20, 2008

Picture day

Beth got some clippers and went after Colm and Tess a couple of days ago. We've needed clippers for some time, but this week sort of precipitated the purchase.

One week ago, Beth read to the kids a Junie B. Jones book in which she surreptitiously gets some scissors and cuts her hair. The very next day, Tess did the same thing, whacking her bangs down to stubs. It was a pretty strong look, but Tess seemed okay with it so I didn't pay it much mind. Then on Monday morning Tess and I walked to school together. Tess was in a fine mood until we got to the high school office for our ritual greeting of the secretaries before continuing on to the elementary school. One of the women noticed Tess's hair and without missing a beat began to praise it effusively. A funny thing happened to Tess. Instead of being pleased, she seemed to realize for the first time that people were going to notice. I watched Tess go into the tank. By the time we reached the exit door, Tess was crying and begging me not to take her to school. It took us ten minutes to walk the last one hundred yards. I had to pry her loose from my legs and make her walk alongside me instead of hiding. I tried every tack I could think of until finally I asked her, "Do you want people to stare at you today?"
"No," she blubbered.
"If you cry in front of them, that's exactly what they'll do. They'll wonder what's wrong and they'll look at you."
I felt bad putting it that way, but it seemed to make Tess try to get a hold of herself. I added, "Let them see your beautiful smile and that's all they'll notice, okay?" She nodded. Before I left her in her classroom, I pulled her teacher aside and gave her the scoop. I went to work hoping that her day wouldn't be too hairy.
I'm happy to report that everything went fine. I also learned that this week is picture day. Beth bought some clippers and did what she could to clean up the rough edges. I actually like this hairstyle.


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