The Hair is Just Not Fair.

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Today I’m doing The Red Dress Club prompt: jealousy. We all have it. We all feel it. Now we’d like you to write about it. We’ll leave it open: you can write about something/someone you envy, a time when jealousy got you in trouble, or maybe how it makes you feel to be envious. It can be fiction or non-fiction. Word limit is 600. **I’m trying out a child’s POV here, let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is welcome.**

Elizabeth and Mandy are my best friends in the whole world. We’re all six and we’re in Miss Hipp’s first-grade class together. They both have super long hair that’s straight, shiny and perfect. That makes me very jealous. Both of them wear pigtails and then their moms braid them. I don’t think my mom even knows how to do a braid, but it doesn’t matter ’cause my hair is too short. Mandy’s hair is so blond it’s almost white, and Elizabeth’s is a little darker and longer. I can always find them on the playground really easily; I just look for the flying braids flapping in the wind.

My mom never lets me have long hair, she always cuts it. Me and my brother Markie have to sit very still on these white wooden chairs by the window in the living room, the big one that lets all the light in. She gives us the same haircut, maybe that’s easier for her. The hardest part is when she cuts my bangs. The bits of hair fall down and tickle my nose and cheeks which makes me want to sneeze and wiggle.

image courtesy of Photobucket

The scissors always seem to go slowly and I get tired of her telling me to sit up straight. Every time the comb comes down and I hear a snip, I feel further away from having long hair like my friends. I don’t think they ever have to have haircuts. It’s not fair. And when they came over to play and saw the yellow Johnson’s baby shampoo in my bathroom they laughed at me. It makes me so mad. I just want to have real long hair like them and use big girl shampoo that’s not for babies. I’m six. I’m NOT a baby anymore! How come Elizabeth and Mandy get to have long hair and I don’t?

They also get to go to McDonald’s but we never do ’cause Mom says it’s not healthy. Sometimes when we carpool, Mandy’s mom takes us there to get ice cream sundaes and lets us eat them in the car. I keep it a secret from Mom ’cause she’d be mad. Only the sundaes have nuts and I don’t like nuts. So I use my plastic white spoon to scoop them off and I put them in the ashtray by the door handle. I don’t want to tell Mrs. Jenny I don’t like nuts, so I hide them and pretend I love them. I wish my mom would take us to McDonald’s sometimes. Maybe I could even get a Happy Meal! That would be so fun.

Someday when I’m bigger I’m going to tell Mom she can’t cut my hair anymore. I will just run around and not sit down in that stupid chair for her. And maybe I’ll tell her I will only eat McDonald’s, too! I want to be just like Elizabeth and Mandy.

It’s not fair.

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  • http://twitter.com/frelle JennaFarelyn

    sweetly written and certainly true of many six year olds!!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much, Frelle! So happy you stopped by! ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/birdonthestreet birdonthestreet

    My mom also kept my hair short for years–because she didn’t know how to fix curly hair. I look like a tom boy for the first ten years of my life.

    • Anonymous

      Oh Katy! I bet you didn’t! We’re always our own worst critics. I’ve always loved your hair and frankly? It makes me SUPER JEALOUS!!

  • Carolmargolin

    You should only know how Grandma used to butcher my bangs. Remind me to show you some pictures of what she did. Also, white bread was not allowed in the house and we didn’t ever get “boughtened sweets.

    • Anonymous

      Carol,

      We never had white bread in our house either! I’d love to see pics of your haircuts!

  • Denise

    Very touching story, it tugged at my heart and I held my breath waiting for why this little girl didn’t have long hair. The story flowed and in the end I got some closure knowing this very mature 6 year old would one day have a mane of hair to be proud of.

    • Anonymous

      Denise,

      Yes, I am proud to say I survived and by 4th grade my mom was taking me to an actual salon. And I have never cut my own girls’ hair. Well, once, when one of them got some gum “accidentally” caught in her hair.

  • http://labirdsnest.com Akagaoan Labirdie

    You definitely nailed the voice and thoughts of a little girl. Really well done and that picture. I can’t get over that picture. It makes me want to cry!

    • Anonymous

      Ashley/LaBirdie,

      Thanks so much for visiting & commenting! Yeah, that picture kinda summed up how I used to feel back in the day. PS loved your post today with all the fantastic writing tips!

  • Leighvslaundry

    This is so sweet. I was forced to have shirt hair too as a little girl so I can totally relate.

    • Anonymous

      Leigh,

      My hair finally got longer once I was in about 4th grade and Mom stopped cutting it and took me to a real salon. Thank goodness for that! One reason why I’ve never EVER cut my own girls’ hair.

  • http://twitter.com/sellabitmum Tracy Morrison

    My brother and I had matching haircuts. Thank you for the reminder. ugh.

    • Anonymous

      Tracy,

      I failed to mention they were bowl-cuts. Were yours? I wanted to include a real pic but didn’t feel like trying to dig around and find one to scan in!

  • http://amybethinverness.com/ AmyBeth Inverness

    This was cute!
    It’s hard to get a child’s voice right, but I think you’ve come close. Having the six-year-old say “That makes me very jealous.” doesn’t seem like it would come out of a little girl’s mouth.I love the phrase “The bits of hair fall down and tickle my nose and cheeks which makes me want to sneeze and wiggle.” and after that, the voice seems to come through better.Of course, the part about the little girl thinking it is better to scoop gooey nuts into the ash tray of the car instead of simply TELLING the mom she doesn’t want them makes me mad, because it’s exactly the kind of thing my own daughter would do lol!

    • http://profiles.google.com/frummiehouse Rebecca Schorr

      I don’t know. We made it a point of teaching our kids to name their emotions. Even our four-year-old is able to distinguish between jealousy, anger, disappointment, etc. So if the protagonist had crazy parents like my kids do…

      • Anonymous

        Rebecca—
        Agreed. That line about jealousy? Is actually verbatim from my own 5 1/2 year old—who in fact says it quite often!! And this is nonfiction. And I do have crazy parents! (plus I am a crazy parent! lol) Thanks so much for coming by to read!

    • Anonymous

      AmyBeth,

      It’s funny because I have twin girls that are 5 1/2 and one of them repeatedly tells me how jealous she is of this one or that one, things she doesn’t have, etc. etc. And the bit about the nuts in the ashtray? I totally did that. and still wonder when her mom found/noticed them. MORTIFIED!!

  • Kir

    My coworker has a first grader and M sounds just like this, her voice so strong in such a young, little body. I loved thinking of this little girl sitting with her thoughts, asserting herself and being herself. It was lovely in so many ways Erin.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Kirsten! Inspiration was easy since the twins are 5 1/2!! The “voice” came naturally when coupled with my memories….

  • http://frumesarah.com Frume Sarah

    I love how real you sound. Not just the words you chose, but the pattern, rhythm, and timbre of a six-year-old. This worked beautifully.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much, Sarah. These are my memories and it’s nonfiction, but I have twin girls that are 5 1/2, so I think that helped me capture the “voice.” I appreciate you coming by to read—I’m gradually making my way through all the TRDC linkups this weekend!

  • http://beatofmydrum.com The Reason You Come

    This is so cute! I feel for that poor six-year-old. I also had short hair when I was a kid. My grandmother used to cut it herself. I’m making up for those years of boyish hair by having extra long hair now.

    • Anonymous

      Reason,

      So happy to know I wasn’t alone! And I, too, have long hair now. I also don’t force my girls to cut theirs, although I admit it’s easier for me since I’m the one doing most of the leg work w/ it! (my twins are 5 and NOT good about rinsing on their own!

  • http://www.shesuggests.com Yuliya

    Love the rambly sing song voice you used, the McDonald’s tangent makes it particularly real. Here are my suggestions, I would use less correct language so instead of best friends you could say bestest; and this part ”
    I feel further away” is so sophisticated, I might tone that down unless you are a particularly precocious six :) Nice job, as always.

    • Anonymous

      Yuliya,

      You’re spot on, girl. Thanks so much for the valuable concrit! I was definitely NOT a precocious six. giggle.

  • http://viewsfromnature.com Carrie

    I can completely relate to this. I had SUPER long hair at around 4 or 5 but it always got tangles so my mom chopped it off into a bob :( I always felt that was the reason I never had long long hair like Crystal Gale LOL

  • http://www.sexandthesingledad.com Sexandthesingledad

    This kind of reminds me of taking Drama Queen for her hair cuts. Cool….

  • http://www.mommyshorts.com/ Ilana

    You’ve captured the stream of thought of a child perfectly. I had straight hair when I was little and I wanted curls so so badly. Hence, my perm in the last eighties. HORRID.

    • http://www.mommyshorts.com/ Ilana

      LATE eighties. SHEESH!

  • Cheryl

    So sweet, Erin! Giggling over the nuts in the ashtray. Imagine when the mom finds those!

  • http://mydisplaced.blogspot.com Amanda

    I can so relate. Hair is extremely important for little girls, you just can’t feel like a princess without long hair. That’s how I ended up having long hair for 20 years, I’m just starting to become more adventurous with it.

  • Tulpen Elefanten

    Love the six year old voice! I can relate… I’ve always had terrible hair, thin and fine and curly… and Mom kept it short, like a boy because it tangled to badly when it was long.

  • http://twobearsfarm.blogspot.com Varunner7

    Oh, this was a fun read. I love that you wrote it from the 6 year old perspective!

  • Anonymous

    Oh see I put my little red headed niece voice in there. First she is a talker and this is exactly something she would complain about.You did an awesome job of capturing a child’s jealousy. This is too cute..

    • Anonymous

      Angel,
      Thank you so much for reading and I’m glad you thought I did a good job! ;-)

  • http://mamawantsthis.blogspot.com Mama Wants This

    Oh I loved this, with the 6 year old’s voice. I had a bowl haircut (as evidenced in one of my postings) and always, always hated it. I was only allowed long hair after I turned 12!

    • Anonymous

      Mama,

      I think many of us had the bowl cut, I know I did and totally hated/resented it…my hair grew out a little bit after I was 9 or 10. Thanks for reading!

  • http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com Angela

    Oh hilarious! The childish desire for long hair. The almost afterthought of putting the nuts in the ashtray. Poor Mandy’s mom when she finds a bunch of fudge-covered, sticky nuts fermenting in her car!

    • Anonymous

      Angela,

      Fermenting, indeed! I always wonder what happened when she found them! But if that’s the worst thing I ever did? Not too bad! Hee hee

    • Anonymous

      Angela,

      I know! I always wondered what Mrs. Jenny thought when she found the moldy, disgusting nuts…HAHAHHAHA

  • Aschultze

    A page out of my life.

    Sitting in that hard chair, getting my hair whacked off, whispers of it falling in to my eyes.

    Wishing for that swinging hair that could be held to the side with one hand, when bending down to take a drink from the water fountain.

    What vivid memories

    Nicely done, girl.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Alexandra. So good to know I was not alone in this. :-)

  • http://profiles.google.com/twonormalmoms Ally Wilson

    Love the child’s voice here! I had hated short hair too – it was so thick and curly and unruly that I think my mom just thought it was easier to manage. I wanted nothing more than straight, shiny, LONG hair. Okay, sometimes I still do. :)

    • Anonymous

      ally,

      I wish I’d had curly hair!! my hair is longish now, but frizzy and unruly (though not curly) and i still hate it. I often consider chopping it off, but can’t let myself til after this baby is born and I lose all this weight!!

  • Eva Gallant

    I loved this! the photo brought back memories! I don’t think I ever got my hair cut by a professional until after I graduated from college!

    • Anonymous

      Eva,

      Oh my gosh! Then you can TOTALLY relate to this! I guess I should be grateful my mom agreed to the salon when I was in 4th grade, then?! Once I started babysitting to make extra money, I handled all my own stuff like that. So liberating!

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

    Cute. Totally sounded Ike a little girl. And a frustrated one at that!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Andrea! Totally me. And helped that I have twins that are 5 for inspiration! Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Anonymous

    Great child’s voice! And MAN! Could I relate! My mother had not patience for my unruly hair so it was only slightly longer than my two older brothers. And McDonald’s? NEVER She was a total junk food Nazi (of course, as a mom now, I can completely relate to her!).

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Victoria! I try to crack down on my kids, too, but they did have Burger King Friday night and we all lived to tell about it! I figure if I deprive them too much, they’ ll have even more cause to seek out psychotherapy later on….HAHAHHA

  • http://npoj.blogspot.com Nancy C

    Those ashtray nuts! I love that detail! There’s magic in carpooling. You get to see how the other parts of the world live. I used to love sleepovers because we got to eat SUGARY CEREAL in the morning instead of the bird food Mom insisted on.

    And I look like Geradline Ferraro in all my little-kid pictures. Put me in the short hair/lazy mom club.

    • Anonymous

      Nancy,

      I totally did that with the nuts! This is nonfiction. How terrible was that? And we didn’t get sugary cereals, either. Oatmeal, cream of wheat and Cheerios.

  • http://twitter.com/juliecgardner Julie Gardner

    Oh, the sneeze and tickle of the bangs being trimmed…LORD does that live in my memory. And my bangs were ALWAYS crooked. Always. My sister had straight hair and mine is/was curly – so after our cuts, mine would shorten up with the curl and I HATED it.

    I have too much hair now. But I’m afraid of the “mom cut” – what a burden. I wish we could all agree to go bald. I’d seriously do it.

    But everyone else would have to go first ;-)

    • Anonymous

      Julie,

      Today, call me a bald wanna be. If you do it? So will I. Tired of my frizzy Jew hair and soooo many bad hair days. And with a third baby on the way? My hygiene and personal grooming habits are only gonna get worse from here on out. Snort.

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com/ Elaine

    The part about the nuts reminded me of what I used to do with the chocolate covered cherries my grandma would give us EVERY Christmas. I would eat the chocolate and cream and then spit the cherries back into the box. My Mom would always find them after the trip back from their house and be so mad. ha!

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to have long hair but looking back, aren’t you glad you didn’t eat at McDonald’s? ;-P