Saturday, November 22, 2008
Hair-esy: An Epic Tail
The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring Forfex wide,
T'inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide. . .
The meeting Points that sacred Hair dissever
From the fair Head, for ever and for ever! . . .
-Alexander Pope, “Rape of the Lock” 1714
My maternal nightmare materialized on Thursday night when the horrific remains of Eve’s hair lay scattered on the tile of the bathroom floor like post-war corpses on some beautician’s battlefield. When asked why, oh, why she would butcher her long locks, she replied through her sobs, “Because I wanted to be beautiful!”
My first inclination of the tress-tragedium was hearing Eric’s screams from the basement of “Oh my gosh! What have you done?” My heart went into high-speed and it wasn’t absent fingers or limbs that came to mind, but “The hair! It’s the hair!” and I flew downstairs and ran into Eric who was blocking the doorway to Eve’s room with outstretched arms, trying to hide her from me (could I help but think of Genesis?).
Then flash'd the living Lightnings from her Eyes,
And Screams of Horror rend th' affrighted Skies.
Not louder Shrieks to pitying Heav'n are cast,
When Husbands or when Lap-dogs breath their last
Every mother of a daughter, especially a long-awaited post-set-of-boys-daughter, fears that her little princess’ hair will meet a self-inflicted end and I think, like me, every mother worries that if and when it happens she will react the way that she fears she might. I have never imagined that such guttural, visceral sounds could spring forth from my usually pretty little mouth—you remember the “NOOOOOO” echoing through the Snowy River Mountains when poor Jim lost his father? That scream pales in comparison to my Oscar-worthy shrieking. Wide-eyed Ethan said to Eric, “I’ve never heard her do that before!”
My attempts to calm down were only successful when I was saved by digital-grace as I realized that I could either continue my over-sized-toddller-fit or I could get out my camera and start shooting people. My shooting-spree was enough to return me to my right mind and to create a nice photo spread for the Review. After capturing Eve’s swollen eyes and red face (notice her pavlovian smile, even through her tears. . . I didn’t tell her to look happy!), I apologized to my family and to myself and tried to explain to them that my harlequin reaction was strange proof that I knew deep down that it was only hair and that it wasn’t really that big of a deal. I told them all, “I really do love you more than hair.”
Early Friday morning, I dragged a reluctant Eve to the best beauty shop in town, which has the unfortunate title of B’Dazzled, making it sound more like something lonely cowboys might visit on a Saturday night than a barber shop. Eve hid her face in her hand and dragged her feet because I’m the only one who has ever cut her hair. . . make that we are the only ones who have ever cut her hair. I think she thought of the beautician as some scary hair-doctor. The concerned beautician offered our pouting Eve some post-breakfast skittles and without pausing Eve looked up and in a calm, authoritative little voice demanded, “I want the whole package.”
I watched as my stylish Eve was utterly Idaho-ized with a bob and bangs which were curled under and ratted. . . yes, ratted. . . and then doused with laquer by the Rexburgian stylist who then gave Eve a side-mini-pony-tail reminiscent of Deb from Napolean Dynamite and sprayed and backcombed some more. Hey! My hair from 1984 called and wants its style back! All she needed was an oversized “Relax” sweatshirt and some neon stirrup pants.
As we left our b’loved B’Dazzled with Eve leaving a trail of fumes behind her, the stylist told Eve she could take three packages of skittles home with her to share with her brothers, and Eve said, “I won’t share with Peter. . . he’s rude!” The whole salon erupted in laughter and I shook my head as we retreated to the car.
I rushed her home and quickly de-Rexburged her with an army of bobby pins and yet another cloud of hairspray to hold down the freshly mown strip of half-inch long fuzz in the front of her hair—there was nothing even B’Dazzled could do to fix those.
. . . Not all the Tresses that fair Head can boast
Shall draw such Envy as the Lock you lost.
To be fair to Eve, I've included my favorite "Hair by Sarah" photos from my childhood. Can you imagine the drama that would have ensued if Eve's haircut had been as drastic as mine? (Shudder, shudder)
Beauty isn’t just Belly-Deep
On the way to Friday morning play-group, our newly becropped Belinda looked at me seriously and said, “Mom, when are you going to be normal?” Thinking she was referencing my hysteria from the previous night, “I said. . . what do you mean by ’normal’?” She replied, “When are you not going to have your big fat belly any more?” I asked her if she meant my big fat belly from Marie and she said, “Yes.” I calmly explained that sometimes it takes a long time to get a baby-belly back into pre-baby-form, but that someone can be beautiful even with a big fat belly. She paused thoughtfully and said, “Oh. . . I didn’t know that.”
How do you Say Harrassment?
At Ethan’s most recent parent-teacher conference, his teacher praised Ethan’s brilliance and then leaned in and whispered, “But he’ s naugh-ty!” Oh no. She told me how that very day he had been carousing around the playground with outstretched fingers, gleefully smacking the hind-end of many a screaming female from his class. When his teacher tried to explain to him that he shouldn’t hit girls’ bottoms, he just said matter-of-factly, “But they like it!”
Thursday, November 13, 2008
You’ve Got a Fanatic in Me
This is our TENTH year of doing a family costume and now we are all hopeless addicts, including the reticent papa, who this year sighed, "I figured I could fight it and you'd do it anyway or I could enjoy it!" So. . . we all enjoyed ourselves as I took a housework hiatus and dove into the sewing room abyss for a sewing binge that lasted five days and
. . . uh. . . big chunks of five nights.
As we planned who would be what for our Toy Story Extravaganza, Ethan wanted to choose to be Zurg until Holden lamented, "But I never get to be evil!" So, it was decided that Holden would get to be the bad guy for once, and Ethan would be Rex.
Caleb wasn't thrilled about his part as Woody until I had painstakingly transformed yellow fabric into the yellow and red plaid for a perfect Woody shirt and then sewed up the cowboy vest, complete with a pull string on the back. He asked me if he could please try it on, and his eyes gleamed as he ran off to play with Eve, who had been dressed in her Jesse costume as soon as it was hot off the sewing machine a few hours earlier. When he came back from playing with Eve, Caleb said in his quiet way, "Hey, Mom. This costume is actually kind of fun." Every day after school until Halloween, he would sidle up to me and say cooly, "Hey, Mom. . . can I wear my costume again?" How could I NOT want to do this every year?
Peter was reticent to wear his Buzz costume for our costume debut at the ward party, but now he wears it for days (and nights), screaming when I have to peel it off to wash it. Sometimes I practically need the jaws of life to separate him from the space-suit. When he wakes up in the morning, he points fondly to his chest and repeats, “Buzz Li-yer, Buzz Li-year!” and then sticks one arm skyward and shouts in his two-year-old way, “To finity and ee-yond!”
Mr Potato-head and I got a big kick out of the roasted spuds at our Ward Party and never tired of saying to friends, “I feel like such a cannibal!”
You'd think that after gouging our feet on stray pins, discovering pieces of thread dangling from our clothing, and having a grouchy sleep-deprived mom for a week we would just as soon forget about our Halloween production for at least a few days. But dinner-time conversation keeps the thrill of the family costume alive with the kids constantly making creative suggestions for 2009. Eric's bright idea was to be "The Food Chain," with him as the carnivore on top, of course. I thought that "Evolution" might be fun, with Marie being a single-celled organism and then we'd work our way up to primates and then I would be the highest evolutionary example as "Mom." Maybe Rexburg isn't quite ready for that.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
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