I read an article this morning about a mom who “forced” her daughter to wear hideous outfits from the thrift store because said spawn was bullying another girl about her clothes. (Apparently, it’s an old story, but a good one!) Ah…the memories….
Circa 2006. California. Thing 1 was born with some spectacularly curly, blonde hair. Honest to goodness, people would ask me if I permed her hair. Um…no. But she loved her hair and as a outgoing 5-year-old, she loved it even more when other people loved her hair. Personally, I loved conditioner and detangling spray (God bless you, Johnson & Johnson).
Thing 1 was (and still is) a whipper-snapper. That lil’ thing taught herself the ABC’s at 18 months. I have proof on video because I was certain that I’d birthed a velociraptor. Until she was enrolled in Pre-K (called T-K that year because “T” meant transitional, whereas “Pre” was obviously not “T”), most of her friends were adults. Yeah, I’m a jerk that way, but her sentence structure was fabulous!
So off she goes to T-K. We get great reports and macaroni crafts…right up to the day we get a call about “an incident.” Of course, there must be some misunderstanding. My kid wasn’t mean! Oh, but she was…Thing 1 had taken it upon herself to bully another girl about her hair, going so far as to give it a solid yank. Or two.
And she wasn’t sorry.
I also wasn’t sorry when I lopped off about 6 inches of her hair that night (with the Hubs’ blessing). And I can imagine some horrified looks about our decision. But Thing 1’s lack of remorse wasn’t going to be solved with kind words or a stern voice. It was the finality of having to explain her shorter hair to the other kids that made her understand the severity of bullying. Oh believe me, her 5-year-old brain got it. Hair grows back. Bullying can last a lifetime.
And in case you think my heart is made of either lead or ice, I cried the night I cut her hair. Making hard decisions to force your kiddo to see their error is not a chocolate covered almond. It’s a chocolate covered raisin…you think it’s not so bad: “Oh, chocolate!” And then you realize it really does suck.
So, yeah, I’m that Mom. And I applaud other moms who make a hard decision and stick with it. It’s not a high point in our mommy lives. And you peeps who put raisins in oatmeal cookies, ew. Stop. You make me question all chocolate chip cookies.