On Friday morning I received one of the more bizarre phone calls in my life. Noelle's teacher was on the line sounding absolutely bewildered and flummoxed. She stammered something about Noelle and Justin and scissors and put Noelle on the phone. I asked Noelle what was wrong and her small voice came back, "Mommy, I cut my hand with scissors." Or at least that is what I thought she said. So I asked her if she was okay, was she bleeding, did she go to the nurse, etc. She reassured me she was okay as gave the phone back to Mrs. Richmond who then clarified it was not her HAND that she had cut but her HAIR.
Well. This put things in a completely different light so I asked to speak to Noelle again.
"Did you cut your HAIR?" (I may or may not have shrieked this at her.)
Small voice. "Yes."
Teary voice. "Because I wanted short hair like you Mommy!"
Taking a couple of deep breaths I informed her that it was not acceptable behavior and that she was never, EVER to do anything like that again.
Mrs. Richmond got back on the line, still absolutely flabbergasted. This was so out of character. She turned to a different table for a minute and when she turned back to the sound of Justin calling her name, hunks of hair were on the ground beside Noelle, scissors in hand. And yet. Noelle is so afraid of not being good in school that for her to act in this impulsive manner was completely not like her at all. I explained to her teacher that I had just gotten my hair cut pretty short and Noelle had commented the previous evening she wanted her hair short too. To which I said yes but THE NEXT TIME SHE GOT A HAIRCUT. Of course then visions of massive chunks of missing hair danced in front of my eyes, imagining pixie cut management or should we go straight to the buzz? So I did what anyone would do under these circumstances. I told Twitter. And Dylan. And my coworkers. And the more I thought about it, the more upset I got. Not because she cut her hair; all kids do that and it grows back but 1) she used her school supplies for that which they were not intended, 2) she did not follow directions and I was certain that hair cutting 101 was not the class project that day and 3) she disrupted the class by her actions as her teacher needed to stop everything to call me.
It turned out that the damage wasn't truly noticeable and didn't affect my being able to pull her hair out of her face for dance class on Saturday but oh, the mental pictures and potential mean comments from kids danced in front of my eyes.
Dyl and I talked and decided the punishment was going to focus not on the act but on the effect of the actions. She received no treats or dessert on Friday (poor choices are not rewarded) and she had to write a letter to her teacher apologizing for her actions and promising to never do anything like that again. There were some tears as she was looking forward to ice cream on dessert (her usual Friday treat) but we reminded her that there are consequences for our decisions and actions and Sunday she sat down with me and we talked about what the letter should say and she painstakingly wrote it. She is required to not only give the letter to Mrs. Richmond but she has to read it to her too. And then no more shall be said about it. Until I need to hold something over her head because hey, parental prerogative and all that.
Cutting hair? In class? Really? GAH child. Just....GAH.