Ever since I cut all my hair off a few weeks back, The Dormouse has talked about getting her hair cut too. And me? Well, I've tried to discourage it.

I love her long hair. And I know that what I'm about to write goes directly back to the Shag and Pixie haircuts that my mother constantly gave me in the 60s and 70s. (Not everyone has the perfect bone structure of Allyssa Milano or Michelle Williams. Some people's faces, namely mine, are not flattered by undue exposure.) But what is parenthood for if you can't live vicariously through your children, right?

When I was seven, one of my friends had hair down to her waist and I envied that more than life itself. My hair is baby fine and stick st
raight and never, ever grew past my shoulders my entire youth. I fought with it for twenty years. It wasn't until I moved to the Washington, D.C. area and a climate that has more than 30% humidity every so often, that I realized if you didn't live in the desert, hair actually had a chance to grow past your chin before breaking off and splitting.

So for the past several weeks, I've tried to convince her to keep her hair long. Not because she loves it, but because I do. And because I have a whole drawer full of headbands, hair clips, ponytail holders and other hair accessories that would go to waste if her locks were too short to use them. But lately I've come to realize that I have neither the energy nor the time to deal with her hair and I don't anticipate that getting any better in coming weeks. It was getting to the point where after every meal she needed a thorough grooming with a curry comb to get the remainder of dinner out of her hair. More often than not, I had lost the enthusiasm to create the cute French braids and pony tails and let her go to school with scraggly, uncombed tresses that made her look like a street urchin.

Practicality finally got the better of me and I figured that by the time all our lives would settle down after the new baby is born, her hair would grow back some. In the meantime, I could save us all a lot of effort if I'd just let her cut her hair like she wanted.

So we headed out to the mall and asked them cut off her pony tail. When I told the stylist how short I wanted it cut, she looked at me like I'd just hit my child with a belt strap and she was wondering whether or not to call child protective services.

"Are you SURE?" the stylist looked at me dubiously.

"That's what she wants."

*looks at The Dormouse* "How do you want it cut?" (Like I was lying about it all and surely the child would be the voice of reason.)

Dormouse puts her hand up near her chin.

"Weelllllllll, okaaayy." She clearly thought it was a mistake.

Luckily, I am unaffected by the judgments of minimum wage work
ers in mall haircutting shops and let this slide.

Normally I cut her hair myself - haircuts at Cartoon Cuts are hit and miss at best and the few times I've taken her there, I've ended up going home and fixing it later anyway. But she desperately wanted to be a big girl and go to the "hair barber". She also wanted her hair washed by a baby elephant and that is a skill I just do not possess.

I know she looks terrified here, but she's really just clutching her chee
ks in anticipation... that and she's enthralled by the latest Scooby Doo episodes available at Cartoon Cuts. (Did you know that place has a birthday party service? How random is that? "And now for the entertainment portion of the party... Come on everybody, let's go get our bangs unstraightened!")

Once the pony tail was cut off and they headed over to the baby elephant/hair washing station she skipped and strutted like she'd been relieved of a great, horrible weight she'd been carrying her entire life. All the stylists in the place gawked after her in surprise and amazement: "She looks so... happy!"

She wanted me to keep her pony tail... although I don't quite know what to do with it. Her hair reached down the middle of her back, but it's a known fact that three year olds are rather short, and the neck -to-back length of a three year old does not approach these guy's standards, or even these guy's, so donating it is out.

Instead, it's been sitting in my purse for three days. Because that's way less creepy than putting it in a box and mailing it to Florida. I just hope I remember to take it out before the next time I have to pass through security at an airport.

"What do you think Daddy's going to say when he sees your hair?"

"He's gonna say,
'Rockin' style hair, dude!'"


awaiting suggestions for putting this to good use