First off, you’ll be pleased to know I managed to get the stick out of my ass yesterday. Spending the day immersed in reading my novel helped immensely. A night out with my husband helped more. Dinner at a local, neighborhood place, followed by dessert and more wine at a new-to-us bar downtown was lovely. Discussions about everything BUT the kids–absolutely necessary at times. We resolved to hire the sitter monthly so we can get out. I believe we have made this resolution before, but we’ll try.
So today I am feeling much better. I slept in again, thanks to the three glasses of wine last night and losing an hour overnight. This morning, we’re all hanging out and enjoying some family time. The weather is lovely, so we are going to walk to a nearby playground later for some exercise and Vitamin D.
In the meantime, we’re sitting on the couch; my daughter tosses her head, and I see it: the shorter, uneven locks of hair that fall in front of her face. I ask her if she cut her hair. She freezes, her eyes wide. “I don’t know.” Uh-huh. I push, she finally admits she did, I ask her to never do that again. Somehow, her first foray into self-hairstyling isn’t as bad as it could be. But it reminded me of something my brother once did, and that after yesterday I’m due to share a funny post.
I believe I was about 11 or 12, so he would have been 6 or 7, and our youngest brother 2 or 3. After bathtime on a Saturday night, Mom was getting them dressed, when she noticed the uneven chunks in his hair. She asked him, “Danny, did you cut your hair?”
Danny responded with what must be the first instinct of every child when confronted: “I don’t know.”
Mom was an expert in parenting by this point, and was not fooled. “Danny, that’s ridiculous. Come on, you cut your hair, didn’t you?”
At this point, sensing trouble, I had to come into the doorway to witness it.
Danny continued to stonewall: “No.” He was so smooth.
Quickly losing her patience, Mom pushed. “Danny. Someone cut your hair. Who did it?” After a few more such exchanges, Danny’s eyes cast about the room. He looked at Ryan first, but no, too young to be believable. His eyes locked on mine.
“Kerrie did it.” (Incidentally, these three words would frequently haunt me when it came to the boys. Often, it was true. But not this time.)
“I did not!” I shrieked in my by-then-patented, put-upon tween voice. But he had his lifeline and wasn’t letting it go.
“Yes, you did,” the little rat insisted, staring me in the face.
Again, this went back and forth a few times, before Mom lost it. “Fine, I am locking you two in the bathroom to settle it between yourselves.” Amid my protests, she did just that.
Inside the bathroom, I confronted him. “OK, Mom’s not here. Who cut your hair?” (Never mind that Mom was listening on the other side of the door, muffling her laughter).
The little liar looked me right in the eye and insisted, “You did.”
I almost killed him. I wanted to bash him into the door until he confessed. Mom probably hadn’t considered that when she came up with this idea.
We fought about it for a few more minutes; he continued to insist that I had cut his hair. He lied right to my face. He actually had me almost convinced that I had blacked out, and in some sort of fugue state, had cut his hair.
Finally, hearing the argument reaching a fever pitch, Mom let us out and sent everyone to bed. My fury knew no bounds. Throughout my life, little has upset me as much as being falsely accused of something.
The next morning was Sunday. We attended Mass, as usual. But afterward, Mom had a surprise for us. She remained seated as our fellow congregants filed out after the recessional. When the church was empty, we all made our way to the altar. Instead of a traditional crucifix, this modern church had a beautiful metalwork piece of art on the wall. We all stood there, after genuflecting, looking up at Him.
Mom began, “Now. You’ve heard of Hell?” Danny nodded, his face solemn. “Well, if you lie in front of God, this is where it begins.
“Who cut your hair?”
In a tiny voice, Danny finally confessed, “I did.”
Danny was grounded for two weeks. I developed a new respect for this little brother of mine, who could lie so convincingly.
Dan now has two daughters. Although I like my sister-in-law, some part of me hopes that one of them has inherited this amazing talent from him.