Three Kid Circus : The Mullet Incident

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Mullet Incident

Scrapbooking just burns my butt. Despite my creative urges, I have no time or patience to spend hours pouring over my photos, writing clever captions and embellishing expensive papers with doodads more precious than 99% of my jewelry. I can barely get my photos in an album.

Sure, I tried it. I made a layout or two. I coveted the squiggly scissors and roll on, archival quality, acid free, super-duper glue and the multi-tip, no bleed, get right out of town pens. My inner Martha loved the whole concept. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could be a scrapper.

Then came the day that ruined all my scrapbooking aspirations forever. My oldest was 3 1/2., her brother, barely two. I was pregnant with my youngest. We had recently returned from our first and only vacation to Disneyland. This, this was my golden opportunity to begin. I would scrapbook our vacation. I undertook a harrowing visit to the scrapbooking store, where I assembled an impressive collection of Disney-licensed papers and related stickers, at the cost of an additional day at the park. No matter. I was excited, and delusional.

I put my son down for his nap, and gathered my daughter to me. “Honey, let’s make a scrapbook!” I whispered. I envisioned a mother and daughter collaboration that would stand the test of time. We would always look back fondly at this formative event.

My daughter seized a pair of decorative scissors. With lightning precision, she proceeded to maim one of the papers I had selected for my background. “Oh, uh, that’s a nice idea, sweetie, but maybe you can work on this instead.” I asked her to select which photo she wanted to use first. She grabbed a great shot of herself with Minnie Mouse, and whack! She sliced that baby right in half. It became crucial that I regain control of the scissors. I offered a sheet of princess stickers. No dice.

“Honey, let Mommy help you.”

“I’m cutting this,” she declared, head bent to her work.

“I know, sweetheart, and you’re doing a great job, but can I just show you how to…” I wheedled.

She cut me off. “No. I’m doing it MYSELF. I’m a big girl,” she crowed as whack! She removed an ear from Mickey.

I was getting a little frantic at this point. With clenched teeth, I steeled myself for conflict and began to pry her white knuckled fingers off the Fiskars. “Oh, honey, it’s my turn now. I need the scissors. Let go, please.” She threw back her head and delivered an epic chorus of tragedy and woe to the heavens.

A howl from my son’s room spelled the end of naptime. I had not scrapped a single item. I had, however, created a burning desire in the heart of my daughter. She was born to chop things up. I quickly redirected her with a video, rescued my son from the clink and returned to the scene of the crime. I swept everything off the table, into the box of scrapping supplies, and put it up on top of the fridge.

The next morning, I plopped the kids in front of an educational television show and grabbed some coffee. All was quiet, for a little bit too long. My misbehavior warning system sent up an alert, and I moved in stealth mode to the living room. The kids were hiding behind the recliner, giggling. What’s that on the floor? It’s a six-inch ringlet.

I exploded “What have you done! Whose hair is this?” I quickly extricate the kids from behind the chair and find that my daughter’s long curly hair has been drastically and unevenly chopped. My eyes started swimming and I sat down to catch my breath. “Where are the scissors?” I demand. She hands me the “deckle” scissors. How did this happen? This pair of shears often fails to cut through a single piece of paper. A quick inspection of my son’s head reveals bald patches, where the hair is cut level with the scalp. Nice.

I gingerly grab a comb and start to assess the damage to my daughter’s head. Waist length hair with no bangs had been transformed into some sort of mullet. As the initial anger and shock wore off, I had to fight the urge to laugh. I scolded her like crazy and collected all the cut hair into a gallon zip lock baggie. I made an appointment for both kids at a children’s hair salon. Then I lined her up in front of the wall for a series of mug shot style photos.

In the middle of all this, my mother called. I took my lumps with a stiff upper lip. “How did she get the scissors? How bad is it? What were you doing? Why did you take your eyes off of her?” It was really pretty indefensible. I was relying on the Teletubbies to keep them occupied so I could drink a cup of coffee in peace. Learn from my mistake. Do not rely on the Teletubbies. They are babies themselves, and you can’t understand anything they say. They will not rat out your kids.

Arriving at the salon was an ordeal. I had to explain over and over what had happened. My daughter beamed cherubically at the other clients. Another mother said, “I would have cried.” The stylist said, “You’re taking this so well.” I said, “It’s hair. It grows. She didn’t amputate a finger.” That was quite a showstopper. Clearly, my lax attitude was the reason for my daughter’s new ‘do, judging from the looks of horror and disapproval I received. The hair stylist was fabulous, and gave her a darling chin length bob that suited her. My son got a buzz cut, and we all left happy.

When I got the film back from the hair debacle, I was in hysterics. The mug shot series is classic. For a moment there, I got the urge to write up a little journal entry and crop some paper. The fear of what could go wrong the next time the box of scrapbooking supplies came down held me back. It’s like Pandora’s Box. You just don’t want to unleash it.

See below for the photo evidence - This happened in 2002.