How a haircut tragedy led to a manicure and pierced ears

Or, rather, dear God please help me because I am not equipped for 8-year-old angst.

Seriously. Can she not wait just a few years before putting my mama heart through the wringer?

So Friday, during my lunch hour, I took Tootie to get her hair cut before school started today. She told the stylist she wanted a longish bob that fell to her shoulders.

Well, apparently, the stylist, who I’m pretty sure is new, couldn’t get the sides even, which means she just kept cutting. And cutting.

End result: My daughter, hunched over in the car, sobbing and chanting, “I look like a freak. I’m NOT going to school like this.”

Enter wailing: “I can’t wear ponytails! I look ugly with short hair! I look like a boy!”

Actually, she looked adorable. But when I told her so, she accused me of parental bias.

“You have to say that,” my little Tootie wept. “You’re my moooooootherrrrrr.”

Oh my.

So I pulled out my arsenal of girlie ammo.

“Let’s get our nails done!” I declared.

Tootie left the salon with glittery gold fingernails.

I left with a new color of toe polish.

The next day, we finished up some last-minute shopping.

Tootie moped.

The hair. It was too short. Her social life — doomed.

At the shoe store, as she looked longingly at a rack of shimmery earrings, she asked wistfully, “When can I get my ears pierced?”

“Whenever you’re ready,” I replied.



And off to Merle Norman we went.

I was a little worried about how she would handle it, but Tootie remained stoic before, during and after the piercing.

OK, so — manicure, piercing and lip gloss. Surely this would boost her confidence enough to forget about the haircut, right?

But see, it’s not the haircut that’s the crux of the issue.

It’s the fact that last year, Tootie’s best friend, Jada, moved away.

Since then, she’s been lost at recess, lonely in the lunchroom.

“I miss Jada,” she confided last night. “I wish she would move back.”

“Maybe this year, you’ll make some other friends,” I said. “But you have to give other girls a chance. They’re not going to be exactly like Jada. That’s what made her special. But if you get to know the other kids, you might see that they’re special in their own way too.”

And then we had a loooong discussion about how she’s smart and creative and sweet and that maybe it would be better not to dwell so much on hair that will, after all, grow out in a matter of weeks.

This morning, Baby Girl walked bravely into the classroom.

And my heart burst open with pride, even as it hurt for her loss of a best friend.

Moments before departure ...

11 thoughts on “How a haircut tragedy led to a manicure and pierced ears

  1. She looks adorable and its still long enough for pigtails!!! Bridgette really misses Jada too 😦 Jada was Bridgette’s first friend at Crestwood. She was talking about her this morning and made me sad with her. Tootie can play with Bridgette any day, Bridgette just adores her!!!


  2. Awh!! Too cute!

    (Now, when I was her age, my mother took me to the barber. I walked out looking like a boy. That was traumatizing! )


  3. Thanks, all.

    Kristen, I will tell her that she needs to hang with Bridgette!

    And Kristin — my mom once tried to cut my hair, which resulted in an emergency trip to a hair salon. And I, too, walked out with a boy cut.

    Kate, thank you. And no, the hair has nothing to do with anything.


  4. I love her haircut and the earrings. Poor baby, I wish she was in the room with Bear, Mall, Johnna and Bridgette. Tell her to find Bear to play with but warn her, Bear is lazy and may want to sit and play instead of run around.


  5. Aww, my precious little granddaughter! Tell her I was only about a year older than she is when my mother cut my hair, couldn’t get it even, and I wound up with a REALLY short bob, didn’t even cover my ears, so her Nana knows how she feels.


  6. I think the hair looks cute.

    Remember back in the day when it was all about the mile-high bangs? Well my sister Sonda wasn’t a fan. So when my bangs needed to be trimmed, she trimmed them to where they were about an inch long. I was sooo mad. I never let her cut my hair again!


  7. Awww… Kathryn’s hair is the same length and I think it still looks girlie.. Maybe we can get our 8 year olds together somewhere other than a cookie rally, campout (name the scout activity), Sherwood Easter Egg hunt (which is where I’ve seen Bridgette a few times since they were practically all still in diapers! That and I think I used to work with Bridgette’s dad) or somewhere else.

    I understand Tootie’s stance though. I was always the Jada in the picture. I’ve moved 21 times in my life. But the awesome thing is, I still am great friends with my first-ever friend and STILL talk to my best friend from when I was our daughters’ age! Writing letters to each other for 20 years helped. 🙂

    I also understand the other issue. I fell asleep with gum in my mouth when I was 4. In my slumber, it migrated to my hair. It was consequentially kept in a pixie cut until I was 9.


  8. Both kids are cute! And I love her lunch bag.

    When I was in school, I got a ponytail holder knotted up in my hair, so I decided to just cut it out. Bad move. I had a HUGE short section in the back of my hair and the neighbor/haircutter lady had to give me a really short cut to even it out. I was so sad!


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