Favorite Quotes:

Child sitting on parachute: "Don't shoot me up too high, okay?"

Sunday, February 28, 2010

On Resembling a Muppet

So, how do you know when it’s time to get your hair cut? A few weeks ago, when I was a bit overdue for a trim, one of my 3 year-old students sized me up as she munched on her snack. She said, 

“Miss Angela, your hair is kind of furry on top.”

Hmmm. No misinterpreting that.

It was just an ugly coincidence (or was it?) that when I got my hair cut later that week, I asked my hairdresser to trim my bangs a bit more, and she ended up cutting them super-short. I went around looking like Kristy McNichol for three weeks, (am I dating myself?) which is fine for looking like a “fox” in 1978, but not so much in 2010.

A different student inquired of another CreativeWorks teacher,

“Why do you have hair like a boy?”

I think that it would be a good idea for hair salons to have 3 year-old consultants on staff. That way, when the hairdresser asked if you wanted a little more off the top, you could get a truly honest opinion. (“No, you might look like a boy.” “Yes, your hair is too furry.”)

For a number of years I took my birthday party gig on the road, and for the fairytale theme parties, I came dressed as a princess character. Then came the day of truth, when I was told,

“You kinda look more like a queen than a princess.”

Not long after that, I hung up my glass slippers and pursued other characters. Granted, I am sensitive to begin with, but you know, these kids are telling the ugly truth, whether you want to hear it or not. The princess critic was like a little image consultant: “You know, this look isn’t working for you anymore. I don’t think that your customers are buying it. Let’s try something else.” All she needed was a Blackberry.

When children are very young, and are still working out the kinks regarding tactfulness, there is an interesting developmental period during which they call ‘em like they see ‘em, and there is a lot of adult cringing that goes on before things smooth out.  

Of course, in my classes, if an "inappropriate" comment is made, I address it, and we discuss when it is acceptable to say something out loud, and when it’s better to “keep your words in your head.” We talk about how and why certain comments affect people's feelings. But really, I'm okay with looking like an old Queen with a hairdo like Bert/Kristy McNichol. Really.

For a related story, read Fair Weather Friends.  If you have a related incident that you'd like to share, please leave a comment.

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