That's right. The 3-yr-old heard me say it.
Oh, come on. Do you really think I'd admit it to all of you if I said THAT word to my child?
Let me get you up to speed.
Last night I made a colossal mistake. In my 3-yr-old's world, it was nearly unforgivable. She almost fired me right there on the spot. As it was, I escaped with a dire warning and she wrote me up to record my offense. I am now operating on probation.
What was my great error?
Well, it involved this:
My baby has beautiful curls. Tight little ringlets which bounce merrily upon her baby cheeks and are the perfect match for her personality.
So last night I gave her a much needed bath. The moments after a bath are my favorite (assuming it has been a voluntary bath and not an act of war). They smell all sweet and snuggly and look so cute in their little monkey pajamas (I think baths are one of God's main tools for convincing us to keep at this hard parenting gig...nobody can be mad at a clean child.).
Anyway, I helped her get her favorite princess gown on, put some lotion on her, and combed her hair. Usually I put mousse in it to help tame the curls just a tad, but tonight? This night I have a genius idea.
"Hey, Leighanne, you want Mommy to dry your hair?"
"Oh, yes!" she said, jubilantly. (I don't know why she likes the hair dryer so much. Her big sister runs from it as though it's a poisonous snake.)
I took a couple minutes and dried her hair, making her feel all important and like she was in a beauty shop.
Next, I continued with my not-so-bright plan.
"Hey, Leighanne, want me to use my straightener to make your hair really straight? You could surprise Daddy!"
THIS was the result. Not bad, I think.
She pranced down the stairs after admiring her sleek, straight hair in the mirror. She waltzed into the kitchen where her sisters "oohd and aaahd" (and because they're sisters, laughed just a little) over her new 'do'. Her Dad made a big fuss over her and she just ate it up. Loved it. Couldn't have been happier with her new style.
I turned my back to her and went about fixing dinner.
And that, my friends, is when the storm broke.
It really was quite similar to a storm. First, the wind picked up a little as she began running her fingers through her hair. Next, the lightning began to flash as I caught a glimpse of the fire in her eyes growing. And then, the downpour. The crashing thunder and the chaos of a great storm as my child realized the unthinkable: the curls would not come back no matter how much she shook her head.
And boy, did she try. She shook her head for all she was worth. Reminded me a little of the scene in the Tom Hanks movie, "Turner and Hooch" where he tries to shake his head like the dog.
Next, she moved to more forceful means of retrieving her curls. Both hands on her head, she began rubbing them back and forth over her hair, causing it to stand nearly straight up with all the static. Now she just had sticky-up straight hair like a porcupine instead of her beloved curls.
Her sisters thought this was hilarious.
She laid down on the kitchen floor, still shaking her head and rubbing her hands all over her hair and cried out to me in great distress,
"WHY did you do this? YOU made my hair STRAIGHT! I WANT MY CURLS!!! I DON'T LIKE STRAIGHT!"
Am I missing something here? Was I imagining that she was a cooperative partner in this process? I don't recall having to hold her down while I held a hot straightening iron to her head. She looked at me as though the straightening iron had been a branding iron. I had marked her for life. Identified her as a loser for the rest of her days.
In swooped Daddy, whom you will remember as the good cop.
"Daddy will fix your hair, Leighanne."
Thankfully, mercifully, she became distracted from the situation at hand. We read books, tucked her into bed, and breathed a sigh of relief.
Same scene 12 hours later. The noticeable absence of curls (though they had begun to bounce back a little), the distraught frustration of my child, and the race against the clock to get her to school. I just did not have the extra time to wash her hair to ensure the return of the curls.
Fast forward an hour later. We are walking into her classroom, hand in hand, and all is well with the world. She is wearing an adorable headband and sporting her new pink jacket, complete with a kitty cat face on the hood. I'm still not sure how I did it. The power of positive thinking, I suppose. I tried to imagine the tranquility and peace that could be ours if I had just buzzed all my children's hair since they were babies. What ease! What simplicity!
Anyway, she waltzed into her classroom. She was the only little girl there in a sea of four little boys. Naturally she stood out in her pink jacket and angelic features.
'Don't say it, don't say it, ' I mentally pleaded with her teacher as she approached us. "For the love of all things good and holy, DON'T say it!"
But alas, it was not to be.
Gasp. "Oh!!! Look at your hair, Leighanne! It's so straight! It's so pretty!"
The look my child gave me as she slowly turned her gaze upon me, realizing that I'd somehow managed to trick her into forgetting about her curls, told me all I needed to know. I inched slowly towards the nearest exit. I have never been so happy to give my child the next four hours to let off some steam (hopefully not on her teacher and the innocent children in her class).
Back, you foul beast. May you never tempt me with your wiles again.