Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bad Hair Day

Remember when I used to do this?

I'll tell you a secret...I loved it. 

It felt like me.  It felt like every good, bad, ugly, beautiful, funny, and sad part of me had a place to go. 

Then suddenly I just didn't do it.

No explanation.  No pivotal moment that sucked the blog out of me. 

(That sounds dirty.  I swear it's a fictional thing.  Never happened.)

Then today, something happened that had me constructing a blog in my head, just like I did for years....and it felt good.  I felt out of practice, but it felt good.

Bear with me while I try to get back at it.  If you haven't ever read this, before read one of these to judge me.  This or this or this or this

A lot and nothing has happened since I last blogged, but today something happened.  It spun me out folks. I felt like I was fumbling with a crying infant again. I was so confused, but with more sleep.

Here's the situation: 

Alex recently left for the mountains of Colorado.  He's riding a mule, or chasing a bear, or snuggling with an elk, or something like that FOR TEN DAYS. 

I've been busy a lot lately with my new business (I guess a lot has happened, will discuss soon,) so I decided to take the kids for a movie outing on Sunday.  Right after the movie it seemed like a good idea to get the boys' haircuts.  Aiden in particular was looking very elf like and in need of a haircut.

To be honest I didn't really look carefully at his hair after it was cut, but I did think it looked a little off.  Nothing was striking me as awful, and I consider myself to be overly critical of such things  when looking at my kids.  Fear not, I never voice them.

Don't judge.

Apparently I should have looked more carefully. 

When I picked Aiden up from school Monday he was PISSED.  It's not unusual for him to be cranky, but this was another level.  He was totally obnoxious about everything, threw a book at his brother's head, pushed Stella down, the list goes on and on.

WAIT....before we go any further it's important that I confess that I'm currently watching Tia & Tamera, the reality show.  Not re-runs of the hit show Sister, Sister, but an actual show about these twins real life today.   It's not even that amazing.  But I really like these girls.

Just needed to confess.

So as the evening goes on, Aiden finally confesses that he had a horrible day because "EVERYONE" made fun of his haircut at school.  Apparently even kids he didn't know were stopping him in the hall to tell him his haircut was "stupid." 

Now, I believe that people made fun of his haircut.  But I have a hard time believing strangers were actually stopping him in the hall of school to point out the low points of his hair style.  I see children there with their zippers undone, food all over their faces, inside-out clothing, a bad haircut is surely not going to bring children from far and wide to marvel at it. 

His hair was not cut very well, but it wasn't rainbow colored or braided in to corn rows. 

Is that how you spell corn row?  I really like to imagine Aiden with them, regardless of how they are spelled.  That would be awesome.

Or horrible, because if he has his hair in corn rows there is a level of serious poor judgment going on with him and/or me.  There most likely would be drug abuse underway so I'm telling you now, corn rows are a cry for help in our family.  Watch for it.

In true Aiden fashion, he informed me at bedtime that there was NO WAY he was going to school the next day, especially since it was picture day.  I told him we would discuss in the morning, genuinely thinking it would blow over.  I even turned to the parenting professionals of Facebook and gathered some advice on how to approach the situation with him in the morning should I need to pull out all the stops and actually bribe him or give him a pep talk.  I thought I was ready.

I was grossly unprepared in the morning.

Aiden woke up refusing to even put on clothes.  He claimed there was no way he was going to school with his "HORRIBLE haircut."

I informed him that he I was going to put him in the car without clothes and THEN he would be embarrassed. 

I felt like a parenting badass because he immediately sprung out of bed to put on clothes and headed straight to the breakfast table. 

Cliff Huxtible would have done the EXACT same thing and that made me feel good.

Soon after I threw a few more threats out and he was in the car.  He was inappropriately dressed for picture day, but I told him I would write a note excusing him from yearbook photos so there wasn't a chance he would be forever captured as the kid with the stupid hair....which is sort of crazy because surely all of us have AT LEAST one year with totally stupid hair in our yearbook.  It's going to happen and one day and what's funny is he will have no idea that it's happening until years down the road.

My year, you should know, was fourth grade.  I was a tiny business woman with short permed hair, a white short sleeve blouse, and giant bow tie at my collar.  It was serious. My Mom still holds firm in thinking it was "lovely."

As we approached the drop off area, Cole and his nicely combed hair and collared shirt was all ready to spring from the door. He apparently felt infinitely more confident than Aiden about picture day.

Aiden would NOT budge. I eventually pulled out of the drop off area and pulled around toward the front of the school to fight the battle.  Since I had rushed out the door I hadn't changed out of my pajama pants....it's important to note that these are covered in horses and other weird stuff. 

I bought them at Anthropologie though so surely they are cooler than they appear, right?

I tried sympathetic reasoning with Aiden.  "It's hard when someone makes fun of you for something, but we can't stay home and hide from them or what's bothering us."

Serious tears.

I tried bribing him.  "I will give you one dollar for each person who makes fun of you today."


I tired threatening him.  "If you don't get out of this car I am going to get the assistant principal to haul you out of the car with me."

He got out of the car.  He walked five steps away from the minivan, turned and broke in to sobs, clung to the door handle, and then flung himself back in the car.


I reversed back to empathy and reason, made a quick turn back to irrational frustration and found myself trying to physically haul him out of my van in my pajamas. 

It turns out my son has reached the age when he is simply too big for me to physically force to do anything. 

Or I need to work out more. 

But I prefer to think there is no getting around it, he's too big for me now.

Here was his very pathetic face at drop off.

I conceded and agreed to take him home to regroup.

I felt so conflicted.  I genuinely felt badly for him.  He was having an impossible time letting this go and I truly could not stand the thought of him walking in to school and feeling scared of being ridiculed. 


I also felt like this was a big moment to learn that there are a lot of things that people will make fun of in our life.  It's important to not take ourselves too seriously, to not give other people the chance to wreck us.  It seemed like such a good time to talk about not seeking others' approval. 

I also found myself saying irrational things like, "what do you want me to do Aiden, tape hair on to your head so there is hair again?" 

It isn't amusing. It barely makes sense.  It was a low moment. 

Sorry Aiden.

When we got home we discussed how long it took for hair to grow.  We looked at photos of military men's haircuts.  We looked at A LOT of photos of David Beckham, because that's always a good idea.  We came up with a plan of how he would like his hair to look and then I agreed to take him to get his hair "fixed" before he had to go back to school.

Then we did, and he was  sooooo much happier.

He then became concerned about looking ridiculous for coming to school late because he didn't' like this hair, which I felt was A REALLY VALID POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE ALL FLIPPIN' MORNING, but agreed to let him miss the last two hours of school if he worked on school things at home. 

I think I did the right thing.  I hope he knows that I have his back, but that he can't take himself too seriously.  I did not expect this much drama when I got up this morning.

I have a feeling I am headed for a world of drama with this one very soon.

She refused to let Aiden have his picture taken without capturing one of her as well. 

Of course.



Adella said...

I wish I could have offered some advice but I have not encountered this problem.....YET. But I'm taking down some mental notes. I think you did all the right things, probably even in a more calmer fashion than what I would have done. Kudos to you. You are a wonderful mom! But I can say, that I myself have witnessed some "bullying" on my Kindergartener at school. Kids can be cruel but I don't think they intend to be, it is just that they are expressing their honest opinion and it can be hurtful to others. The best we can do is talk to our kids and make sure that they don't ever feel less than confident.

momnextdoor said...

This sentence: "Cliff Huxtible would have done the EXACT same thing and that made me feel good." It makes me love you even more.

Also, when I saw the first picture I thought to myself, why doesn't he just spike it up?? And then I kept reading and I was like YAY!!

And another YAY for blogging again! WOOO!! And what's with the new business? Don't leave us hanging!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Kids, dang them, altho if we don't have them human race dies out... Hmmm. Tough calls some mornings, huh ?~!

Samantha said...

I really just love this kid.