A New Era

June 30th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Parenting

The time period of our lives before now will be referred to as “Before the Haircut”. The time period from this point forward will be referred to as “After the Haircut”.

A couple of weeks ago Maxine decided to cut her own hair.

Cut Her Own Hair

Notice the missing bangs and partial mullet on the left side of her head?

When I asked her Why On Earth Would You Do Such a Thing? she responded that she wanted her hair to look like Ava’s American Girl doll “Elizabet”.

(That’s right, ElizaBET, as in no “h” – AKA “Kit Kittredge” to the rest of the American Girl Doll loving world.)

Kit Kittredge

Umm, not exactly kid, but I think you’ve got potential.

My mom asked me if I was going to take her to the hairdresser to get her fixed up. At first I thought, “Yes, definitely.” But then enough people said to just let it grow out, you could hardly notice it, it sort of looked as though she had her hair tucked behind her ear, maybe she’ll start a rockin’ new half mullet hair style trend.

So I decided to leave it.

Apparently though, Ava had her own opinion on this issue and quite literally decided to take matters into her own hands. Yesterday while I was taking a shower (YES I REALLY WAS TAKING A SHOWER ZAK) Ava decided to play Barbie Hairstyler Magic with Maxine.

Cut Barbie's Hair!

Except Maxine’s hair doesn’t grow back with the click of a mouse button like Barbie’s does, does it? click click click CLICKCLICKCLICK


Nope, it doesn’t.


When Maxine walked into the room before I knew she’d been to Ava’s Magic Hair Emporium, she was sort of lurking in the shadows. I could tell something was “different”.

From the angle I was at it in my dimly lit bedroom, it looked as though her hair was very neatly slicked back. Cocking my head slowly to the right and then slowly to the left, rubbing my eyes and then squinting them, straining my neck forward like a mother snapping turtle ready to bite the head off of her offspring, I asked her to come a little closer.



My mouth dropped open and I said nothing. She immediately said “Ava did it!”

And I still said nothing. And my mouth still hung open. I raised my hand to cover the gaping hole in my head as to not catch any flies.

It was at this point that I requested Ava’s presence upstairs.

When I asked Ava Why On Earth Would You Do Such a Thing, she replied that she wanted to “even out” Maxine’s American Girl Doll styling attempts. When I said again Why On Earth Would You Do Such a Thing and the followed it with a What Did You Think I Would Say If You’d Asked Me First, I sent them both into their rooms to get their piggy banks before she could reply.

Girls, I think an impromptu trip to the hairdresser has just been added to today’s agenda.


Ava, being 6 years old and knowing better, was fined $6 to help pay for Maxine’s repair hair cut.

Maxine, being 3 years old and with the vocabulary of an adolescent, surely could have said “No Ava, please don’t cut my hair.” was fined $3 to also help pay for her repair hair cut.

Me, being 31 years old and foolishly thinking I could run off and leave my children unattended while I saw to my own personal hygiene like I have countless times BtH, was willing to pay up to $31 to pay for Maxine’s repair hair cut.

You know, for $40 I could have just bought them Barbie Magic and saved us all a lot of heartache.


The hairdresser said “This has been my challenge of the day!”

Ya don’t say? You know, I could almost say that exact same thing myself.

He also commented on the “very strong lines” of Ava’s attempts to fix Maxine’s ‘do as he did his best to blend those “strong lines” in.

We returned from the hairdresser mostly unscathed,

The Perp

but still feeling pretty defeated.


Oh well, onward an upward.


Life goes on, AtH.

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32 Responses

  • Sharon says:

    OH MY GOD!!!! Can’t wait for this day in our house. At least it’s turning the summer and Max will be a little bit cooler this year.

  • Julie says:

    OH. NO.
    On the bright side, I hear hair grows faster in the warm months, so come fall she’ll have a super cute little bob!

  • I did the same thing to my younger brother. Except I was four. And he was a boy and no one cared that he had short hair. Luckily, my mom was a hair stylist (which seems important training to have as a parent)!

  • Whit says:

    ALISON!!! As unfunny as this was while it was happening, I am sure, it is hilarious to read. And Max has the face too carry off a buzz cut. She looks cute! 😀

  • Holly says:

    alison…i am laughing out loud while drinking my coffee. while i can only imagine the horror a mother must feel seeing this, it gave me a real brightening to my day. not to say that i don’t feel for you…ahh..well…you get what i’m trying to say :)

    as i’ve said before, glad to have you back blogging mama!

  • Lancy says:

    Oh man… it’s like her Ani DiFranco phase!! LOL!! :)

  • z says:

    I like the new do… Change is good.

  • Bernadette says:

    I am laughing my arse off! You really need to send this to the networks and get your own sitcom!!!! No really. This is better than anything I’ve seen on TV in years!!

    I think I will laugh out loud everytime I think of this today…

    still laughing.

  • That is the best story I’ve read in a long time. Good thing is, Maxine is so dang cute, she could have her head shaved and be adorable. This will be a good one to tell at the dinner table when they’re married with their own kids!

  • Mama Pea says:

    Don’t take this wrong, but this post makes me want to throw up. I am in a cold sweat over here. It hits way too close to home.

    I JUST took a pair of plastic doll scissors away from Gigi before she even took them near Lulu’s head. We have a photo shoot for the book in three weeks. Hair does NOT grow that fast.

    This could be me. I’m sorry for you, but I’m glad it isn’t. Hey, at least she’ll be cool this summer…

  • Katheryn says:

    I feel so bad for you, but honestly, that was one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. Laugh out loud funny. Hope you can laugh about it soon!

  • Dawn (Kerry Hanley's Mom) says:

    You dont’ know me, but Kerry posted this on her facebook and it made me smile. At least she didn’t run with the sissors. I learned long ago to not worry about things that time will eventually fix. And with children time is all you’ve got to go on. Thanks for sharing

  • Cindy says:

    OHHHH, lil punkin!

    I actually loved her Elizabet look…very swanky.

    I give JJ a half mullet chop job every 3 months. I’m getting used to it.

    AWWWWWWWWWWW, Ava meant well….
    but you know Max’s eye’s shine thru!!!

    lil punkin!

  • Oh man! That’s the silliest thing ever! They both look beautiful!

  • Martha says:

    I don’t know these little girls, but they are adorable. Haven’t we all made mistakes when trying to improve our looks?

  • Jane/you-know-who says:

    Maxine’s jewel eyes shine through, no matter what her surroundings look like. She’s beautiful

  • KatieF says:

    OH MY GOSH I can’t stop laughing! She is adorable, even with that haircut!

  • Donna S. says:

    Wow! I guess I escaped that phase with my kids — well maybe not my 20 yo is threatening to cut my 16 yo’s hair as we speak!

  • Tay says:

    OMG!! I’m so sorry. But on the bright side, I couldn’t stop laughing at her second picture.

  • Robin says:

    OMG Ali!!! Luckily, she looks cute no matter what her hair looks like. I’m sure my mom can sympathize with you since I decided to cut my bangs when I was young and there were just about non-existent by the time I was done.

    Then, there was the time that we were cooking smores outside and my brother turned around with his beautifully cooked, gooey marshmallow and “splat” – his marshmallow squished nicely all over the side of my head. My mom finally had to cut the gooeyness out of my hair and I ended up with a haircut greatly resembling Maxine’s.

    I can attest to the fact that it’ll grow back and she’ll only be slightly scathed by the incident! Good thing she’s a bit too young to be vain! :)

  • Shari says:

    Sorry to laugh at your expense, but this was a great way to start my day. And I’ve been in your shoes. Two year ago my (then) 8 year old cut my (then) 4 year old’s hair. She started with the bangs and just kept going around her head past her ear. When I asked her “Why in the world would you do that?”, she said “She TOLD me to!” Upon further discussion I found out that my “little darling” said she wouldn’t be her friend anymore unless she cut her hair. Aah….emotional blackmail among siblings – I guess that means she did it because she loved her sister so much. How can you be mad at that? :)

  • jennabean says:

    man, I think I would have gotten out Ande’s buzz clippers and just started over… can I borrow her new look for Big Al? hehehe

  • MaryB says:

    Oh no LOL! Look on the bright side, I bet almost every mother has a story just like this! I know I do 😀 And yes, it’s only hair and it will grow out. Luckily she looks super cute!

  • Swayze says:

    Wow, Maxine has the prettiest eyes. And I really like her with short hair! That last photo is precious. :)


  • I’ve heard many stories about little ones cutting their own hair, but I have to say that this is hilarious. I only hope that one day when I have a child of my own that she too cuts her own hair but that a sibling isn’t around to make matters worse.

  • My entire family has gotten a kick out of this post. I sent them all the lin as my 7 year old nephew just cut his own hair. You are not alone!

  • Suzanne says:

    Oh you’re back! I’ve missed you! (sorry for the delayed reaction to your return)

  • Pat says:

    OMG!! Bill told me about this but a picture is worth 1,000 words!

  • Barb says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! There is nothing else to say but that! I do like how you”fined” them their age….great idea! You have such a way with words, even when it’s a not-so-good situtation.

  • teresa wood says:

    Well, I finally got to check this post out! The first thing I have to say is, YOU TELL A GREAT STORY AND…your parenting techniques are dynamite. A hard lesson for all to learn. I especially liked the part about you trying to tend to your own personal hygiene mistake!! ( I have definitely been there!!) I bet Maxine will want her hair cut again like that when it grows out…short hair is very freeing. Beautiful grand nieces i have and a SUPER MOM niece. Love you, honey, Aunt Teresa

  • Rauncie says:

    This story made me laugh and totally made my day. I had a horrible experience at the hairstylists today. I took a picture in of a shoulder length layered cut that I had fantasies about because I needed a hair cut so bad. I came out with my hair all chopped off and cried all the way home, then cried on the phone to two of my girlfriends, then cried in my husbands arms…then called the salon back and told them they had to fix it. I spent the entire day at that place but now at least I can stomach the cut even though it is very short. I have not had short hair in 25 years.
    My son got gum in his hair once and we had to shave him bald. Then he turned around and cut all my daughters curls off. Kids…they give us great memories.
    Thank you so much for sharing this. One of our mutual friends who saw my hair cut video on facebook gave me the link :)