Charlotte’s First Haircut

February 17, 2013 · 18 comments


I went outside for a few minutes to pick some parsley in the greenhouse yesterday, and when I got back to the house, I discovered that Levi had chopped off a significant portion of Charlotte’s hair.

We’ve been experimenting a little lately with leaving by themselves for bits of time. Not hours or anything, but maybe 10 or 15 minutes while I run out to collect eggs or Henry unloads his truck. Thankfully, our kids are generally well behaved, and I trust them. They’re old enough and savvy enough to know not to mess with the woodstove or go wandering off by themselves. Sure there have been a few incidents with puddles of glue, markered up faces, and cat harassment, but until now, nothing had happened that couldn’t be wiped down or smoothed over.

I’d heard plenty of stories about kids cutting their own or other kids’ hair. I was aware that it happened all the time, but I really never thought it would happen in MY house…until it did. The thing is, Charlotte was a very bald baby, and even as a toddler, what hair she did have was pretty much invisible. You can see a photo of her on her second birthday here. Finally, FINALLY, her hair grew long enough for pigtails and then a decent ponytail. I’m certainly not a fan of princessification of little girls, but something about her longish (often tangled) locks seemed special somehow. Something about her first haircut seemed (irrationally) sacred, and I’d been thwarting requests (from Charlotte herself) and inquiries (from other people) for months.

When I came in and saw Charlotte’s massacred head of hair, I will admit that I cried, but when I started to give them both a stern talkin’ to, and I found that I had a hard time putting into words what exactly was so wrong about their actions. They seemed equally perplexed about what they’d done wrong. I’d told them a hundred times not to touch sharp knives without adult supervision, but I don’t think I’d ever specifically told Levi not to cut off Charlotte’s hair. Then I laughed a little. And then I called my mom, and she couldn’t stop laughing. And then I posted a status update on my personal Facebook page, and a bunch of people “liked” it, and I thought to myself, ‘Why are you people liking this? It is a TRAGEDY!” but really, they’re right. In the grand sceme of things, it’s not a big deal; it’s only a good story.

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This morning, I gave her a bath with lots of conditioner to smooth it out, and then I trimmed around the edges. I was kind of surprised by how much was left and how well it sorta conformed into an actual hairstyle. There is still a nearly bald spot in the back and a big chunk out over her left ear, but in the end, I think she looks pretty darn cute. Reluctantly, I think I’m going to have to admit that it might even look better now than before.

I think I’ve learned more during this incident than she has although I’m pretty sure she’s aware of the fact that she is to never ever cut her hair without my permission again. I am, however, hoping that I have another 10-15 years before she knowingly gives herself another appalling haircut again, but that will be a whole ‘nother kind of parenting lesson. *sigh*DSC_0247 DSC_0262 DSC_0269 DSC_0278

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg February 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I love her haircut— very chic and cute. ????


Meg February 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm

(Sorry the smiley face turned ????)


Elaine February 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Oh my goodness! She really is adorable, and I love the bi-level thing they had going on:) In another 10-15 years you will not only have “interesting” haircuts you will have color, lots and lots of color!!!


Camille February 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

Maybe in 10 years I’ll be ready for that, but not yet.


Ashley February 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

this is the cutest story ever. I dread the day my two girls cut each others hair! But the photos of Charlotte are priceless. And I love that you cried!


catie February 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm

oh my goodness.
she is just the cutest.
this happened at my house – TWICE! – so i know how upsetting it can be for mama.
i do love how you are rolling with it, and she looks really adorable.
and while you didn’t tell them NOT to play barber shop, this is one of those teachable moments when you can stress “ASK FIRST!”
it will be a fun story to tell when you are safely past the window of it happening again.
in the meantime, hang the scissors on a high hook : )


Camille February 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

I can’t believe how often I’ve heard similar stories in the last few days. Apparently this kind of thing happens fairly often.


Abby February 18, 2013 at 6:30 am

So cute! That haircut turned out pretty well for her.

My sister cut her own hair when she was about five. She gave herself very crooked bangs, which horrified my mom–she evened them out, so my sister ended up with incredibly short bangs.


EcoGrrl February 18, 2013 at 7:30 am

Awesome, even a lil punk rock. Reminded me of how embarrassed my neighbor was last year when she made the mistake of drinking a beer before cutting her 3 yr old son’s hair, and he ended up with a buzz cut, or how I cut my own hair at age 8′, creating a horrendous ‘alfalfa’ look 🙂


Kathryn February 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

She truly is a beautiful girl no matter the length of her hair.


Deb February 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Charlotte is adorable, and you did a good job saving her haircut. Hopefully they’ll be no more spontaneous haircutting!


laura February 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

lol. Very cute. How is Levi? I hope he’s not feeling too bad, after all his sister is getting so much attention.


Renee February 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I think this is a right of passage. A neighbor with three daughters under the age of five just went through it while we wer on the phone. Years ago my then five year old niece chopped her beautiful long blond hair. In addition to the hair on the sides of her head, she cut a big chunk cut right to the scalp smack dab in the middle of her forehead leaving a big gap. Prior to this, she had no bangs! She did this less than a week before my sister’s wedding at which she was the lone flower girl. Like many crazy brides to be, my sister controlled every single aspect of the wedding with exhausting/exasperating attention to detail. She was furious and cried when she got the news. The rest of us couldn’t help laughing. Now it’s a hilarious and happy memory—for most of us! The photos are priceless.


MaryDeluxe February 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm

OMG her facial expressions are priceless!


julia February 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

well, it turned out pretty darn cute. i totally cut my own hair once as a kid and on the morning before my own birthday party! i can’t remember how old i was, but i do remember sitting underneath a desk in my bedroom with the scissors. needless to say, my mom was absolutely mortified. but hey, we all lived. 🙂


Theresa February 20, 2013 at 6:41 am

20+ years ago my oldest cut his own hair. I remember flipping out about it, even though my sister was a hairdresser and fixed it up in no time…Don’t sweat the small stuff, hair grows back, but angry words cannot always be taken back 🙁


Katie February 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Some of those expressions belong in a Normal Rockwell painting.


Tracy harrison February 7, 2016 at 3:22 pm

I did that when I was a kid too, and ran to my mom proudly to show how capable I was. I turned my head upside down over a waste basket to cut it – you can imagine the results!


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