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Girls' Day Out

A trip to the hair salon. A leisurely
lunch, with a decadent dessert. Shoe shopping. Sounds like a
heavenly day for any mom, right?


Maddie starts school next week, and we’ve still got a few
things to finish up on her to-do list. First and foremost was a
haircut, because – there’s no easy way to admit this
– she’s never had one.

Listen, my kid was bald for much of the
first couple years of her life, and I’d be danged if I was
going to scare away her few remaining hairs by threatening them
with scissors. And then as Maddie’s personality came out, she
clearly loved her hair and wanted it long, so we let it grow. But a
summer at the pool has taken its toll on her hair, and it was
really in need of a trim.

As you can imagine, my child who is not so fond of anything new and
unfamiliar in her life put up a rather decent fuss.

Top on the list of Reasons Not To Cut Her Hair was that she was
trying to grow it as long as Ariel’s, and wanted hair down to
her hiney. She really didn’t buy the “trimmed hair
grows faster” speech (and truthfully, neither do I). But
there were several other reasons on the list, like the old familiar
“I’m worried” and the classic “I just
don’t want to”.

So I pulled together a huge, enticing package and dangled it at her
yesterday: hair cut, lunch out, ice cream, and shoe shopping.

Maddie thought for a while, then said quietly, “Ok,
I’ll do it, but I may need to hold Silky while I get my hair

Maddie’s mouth stayed shut the entire time we waited in the
waiting room, and she watched the other kids with eyes big as
saucers. When the stylist let her pick out a movie to watch, Maddie
stood in front of the video selection mutely until I finally
selected a Thomas movie and hustled the gang back to the chair. She
never smiled, even when the stylist took her picture for her
“first visit” card, and clung to Silky under her
styling apron. Cora sensed Maddie’s worry, and sneaked up
next to her big sister, crept a pudgy little hand under the apron,
and held Maddie’s hand gently for the entire cut.

Which lasted, of course, for ten minutes.

Afterwards, Maddie was grinning and swinging her hair glamorously
from side to side. She didn’t deny the fear, but acknowledged
that nothing actually hurt during the cut. “But I could feel
her combing my hair!” she added, like an exacting Upper East
Side matron.

As promised, the girls went out for sandwiches and a stop at Cold
Stone Creamery. Properly hopped up on sugar, we then trekked over
to Stride Rite for some fall tennis shoes. The girls ran up and
down the aisles “testing out the shoes”, trying on
several pairs apiece and primping speculatively in front of the
foot mirror. All in all, the day went spectacularly well, and
we’ve got the pictures and footwear and chocolate stains to
prove it.

One unknown fear down, a billion to go.


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