No one ever mentioned to me that being a mother would mean having to master the art of hiding things from my children. And I'm not talking about Christmas gifts or special birthday surprises. I'm talking about plain, ordinary objects that for some reason my children have shown some kind of weird fascination with and either use for purposes not intended or magically touch them and lose them instantly.
Case in point: One school morning a couple weeks ago I found a lone razor on the bathroom countertop in my daughters' bathroom.
This was obviously an immediate red flag in my mind. I do have one daughter who has expressed some interest now and then in shaving her legs, but just like all the female population, she quickly figured out it's not nearly as much fun as she'd hoped so she abandoned that idea pretty quickly. Knowing that it was not likely her that had been using the razor, my suspicions were raised all the more.
I was soon to find out the culprit, and let me tell you, it was a scenario that not even eleven years of parenthood had prepared me to imagine.
It was just downright weird, to say it plainly.
I went into my youngest daughter's room to wake her and get her ready for another exciting day of kindergarten. There she was, all snuggled in her bed, a cherub face and surrounded by her beloved stuffed animals. Her favorite blanket, all ratty and stained, clenched in her little fist as she sucked her thumb. Such a picture of childhood innocence, right?
I spent the next few minutes rousing her from her childish dreams, gently helping her from the bed and making sure she was well on her way to getting dressed before I left the room. She was pleasant and it was an uneventful, peaceful interchange between the two of us. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Going downstairs, I began collecting backpacks and water bottles and getting breakfast out for the girls. I had really forgotten all about the razor in the bathroom.
My memory was soon prompted, however, when I heard yelling and crying and laughing from upstairs. My two older girls came rushing down the stairs to blurt out the big news of the morning, "Mom!!! Leighanne shaved off half her eyebrow!!!"
Not far behind them came my kindergartener, tears streaming down her face and an angry furrow of her two eyebrows. Er, make that an angry furrow of one and a half angry eyebrows. What had seemed like such a cool idea had obviously turned into a terrible, devastating idea to this kid. Her big sisters had oh so graciously pointed out the humor in this situation, and she was none to pleased to realize the finality of what she had done.
I took a good look at her and tried my best to convince her it was no big deal. After all, I had woken her up this morning and hadn't even noticed, so she was bound to escape the teasing of her fellow kindergarteners, who often times don't even realize that they're wearing their clothes backwards or that they forgot to wear shoes that day. It was one of those moments I wished I had taken more care to hide all my razors. But to be fair, how many stories have you heard of a 6-year-old shaving off her eyebrows? It had just never occurred to me that this might happen.
After several threatening looks to my older daughters, they found a way to control their laughter and go about the business of breakfast. I got Leighanne into a state of sad but stable resignation at the fact that she would just have to live with this look for a few weeks, and we were doing pretty well with this reality.
My mom, who has been taking the girls to school for me in the mornings, pulled up and I sent the older two out first so they could warn her to NOT, under any circumstances, make any remarks whatsoever about the missing eyebrow. They quickly filled her in before Leighanne approached the van.
Phew. My mom played it very cool and said not a single word. She called me later, though, and let me know how the car ride had gone. She said they were all three laughing and having a good chuckle over the whole thing, especially when my 9-year-old suggested that Leighanne could just tell her teacher and classmates she had been playing with a blow torch.
Good grief. There's just no stopping this kid when she gets an idea in that cute little head of hers. Eyebrows are overrated, anyway, aren't they?