Calamity Jennye

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's all about the hair

Esme had her first act of truly reckless behavior today. You know...the kind of behavior that's a precursor to the denial of the effect that one extra drink is going to have on you, that one extra drink you never actually ask for but it just appears and you drink it without thinking and next thing you know thinking is the last thing you're capable of, and then next thing you know you're on someones boat with vomit in your ear and...oh wait, sorry we were talking about Esme...

Anyway, while I was in the kitchen making dinner Esme opened the drawer where we keep our scissors, got them out and cut the special Rapunzel hair that came attached to a barrette with her Rapunzel Barbie. Esme is "dying" to have long hair (just ask her, she'll tell you, it's slowly killing her) and so she loves clipping this barrette in her hair and swishing it over her shoulder.  Suddenly from across the room I heard a gasp, I looked over and Esme was holding the barrett in one hand and most of the hair in the other.

"Esme" I said (perhaps a bit too sternly) "You are going to be so sorry you did that, you know that hair won't grow back right?"

"I know mom, I don't even care" she grumped, and then seconds before she broke down in sobs that lasted for the next 40 minutes, she said "My heart is just dead".

She spun away stalked out of the room and I went a few minutes later to find her collapsed on her bed racked with tears because she couldn't get her Rapunzel barrette back.

I just love witnessing these experiences that are so formative to our character for later life. I'd never thought much about it before tonight but how you learn to respond to these things as a little kid definitely forms your choices as an adult.

I mean, lets say hypothetically I woke up one morning with vomit in my own ear (I mean TOTALLY hypothetically) I would want to throw myself on my bed and sob...and sob...and sob. First I would definitely want to say it didn't matter, I mean who hasn't woken up in such a state at least once, and who wouldn't want to justify it by having a heart that is dead, or some equally life altering ailment.

But what I did for my daughter in that moment is the same thing I do for myself (I mean would do for myself, you know, if such a thing ever happened to me). I stood her in front of the mirror, with Rapunzel doll in hand and we looked at all the good hair that we still had left between the three of us. Then I sent her into the shower (mostly because she was a mess from daycare and really needed a shower, and we don't have a bathtub) and I told her to sit down, cry a little bit more if she needed to and just let the water wash over her. That would help!

And it sure did, I went in five minutes later to find her industriously cleaning the walls of the shower with my loofah. I think we'll all be okay!
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  1. I feel like I could use one of those cries...they're cathartic in the end.

    Now, the vomit in the ear? That I could do without! ME

  2. Your daughter industriously cleaning the walls...HUH