The grandkids were giving out free haircuts last week, but I don’t believe they had the proper licensing and endorsements.
This is the kind of thing that happens when kids have scissors and time alone.
The details are still murky, and we may never know the grisly truth. Eyewitness accounts have been conflicting, and stories have changed multiple times. Deductive reasoning has proven fruitless. Clues are in short supply.
These are the facts we do know: An almost 6-year-old girl named Lanie, an almost 4-year-old boy named Billy and a just-turned-two-year-old girl named Addie were alone together in a room for an undetermined period of time. Also in the room — at least one pair of children’s scissors.
All three children had relatively healthy heads of hair upon entering the room. Upon leaving the room, all three heads contained very little hair. Everyone in the world — except the 2-year old — was horrified at the result. Parents, grandparents and two of the children expressed tears, outrage, regret and remorse, to varying degrees.
The 2-year-old, Addie, was arguably the most victimized individual. Ironically, however, she seems to have suffered the least amount of emotional devastation. Formerly a redhead, Addie’s hair was just growing past the thin, soft-baby-hair stage and was starting to develop into the thicker, shinier, higher-volume-pretty-big-girl stage. The child is now completely bald.
She is so bald, in fact, that if the famously-bald pop singer-songwriter Sinead O’Conner traveled from 1990 to 30 years in the future to look at little Addie, Miss O’Conner would undoubtedly say to her, “Holy crap, girl, you’re way more bald than me.”
The talented O’Conner would then probably sing the song “Nothing Compares 2U” just for the 2-year-old Addie, and all present would cry uncontrollably for several minutes, except for Addie.
Addie’s resilience in the face of early-onset, self-induced baldness has been inspirational and a testament to the positive spoils that come from of a complete lack of self-awareness. She appears to be unaffected, and in fact, proud of her haircut.
During virtual FaceTime conversations with her Gramma Michelle, she looks into the screen and laughs and smiles and rubs her bald head and says something along the lines of “like my pretty haircut, Gramma?”
Even though Addie seems the least heartbroken over the ordeal, it is not suspected that she is the ringleader of the Hole In The Hair Gang. At age 2, it seems unlikely that she is capable of organizing and executing such a nefarious scheme.
Lanie, the soon-to-be-6-year-old, is likely to suffer the most from the ordeal, and yet, she is also the most likely to have been the principal player in the plot.
Also a redhead, Lanie started kindergarten this past fall, and is at the age were vanity is becoming a thing. Outward appearance has an impact on social acceptance at Lanie’s age, and although her condition isn’t as starkly bald as her little sister’s, a noticeable chunk of her ginger locks was removed.
Lanie also just recently started to wear eyeglasses, so much is at risk as to how she is perceived by her peers. She has an almost supernatural prettiness to her, and ultimately she will be fine, but even a couple days of ostracism at her age can result in future mental and emotional insecurities.
As the oldest, Lanie also has the best hand-eye coordination when it comes to handling scissors, and she has the most adept organizational and leadership skills. It pains me to say that I believe her to be the prime suspect in the Great Haircut Caper.
I have no doubts that Billy, the 4-year-old, was a more-than-willing participant, however. He most certainly was an accomplice, likely aiding and abetting Lanie throughout. When Papa James debriefed the young man about the experience, he was far less concerned that he had lost a major chunk of his blond hair and far more concerned that he had suffered the wrath of his parents.
I asked him if he could cut my hair. The answer was resoundingly negative.
“Mom and Dad were pretty mad about it, Papa James, so I don’t think I will do it anymore,” he said.
He then explained that the entire Hairball Gang had received professional emergency-response haircuts, in a semi-successful attempt to repair the damage as much as possible. It seems that experience was pretty cool.
He had other things to do, and didn’t stick around long enough to learn that I had once experienced a similar situation, when I was about 6 years old. My 2-year-old sister needed a haircut. I had scissors. You can guess the rest. It wasn’t pretty.
And so, with that all in mind, I did the only thing I could do. I administered the rarely-used powers that a grandfather has in his role as a benevolent dictator.
I ordered several pretty bright-colored bowed headbands immediately be sent to the hairless granddaughters, so that they may cover up their bald spots until the time when their ginger locks have returned. I demanded that the head wraps be shipped express, so they would be delivered quickly.
The reward for my sweeping decision of inter-family hair reform came the next day, with a phone text that contained a giant smile below a pink bow and a message that read, “Thank you Papa James. We love them!”
Of course you do, I thought, Papa James ain’t no dummy.
Oh, and damn you kids. You all just melted my heart, just a little bit, and that’s what this whole thing is all about.
Oh, the boy? He can wear a cap, I guess. Surely his dad has an extra one.
Boys wear caps anyway.