Just like that, the other night, I cut her hair.
The ends had gotten scraggly, and she hates to have it combed, much less handled. She won’t let me pull it back in anything but a single barrette. So against better judgment, and contrary to my nature, I cut it.
Just a couple of inches off the ends. But still.
Expecting a battle, I was all set to buy her cooperation with mini marshmallows, but all it took for her to sit still was a bowl full of grapes and an episode of the Wonder Pets.
She seemed to kind of like it, actually.
I was really surprised, as I was trimming, that it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Because I tend to make everything a big deal, and this was her First Haircut. Shouldn’t I have planned for weeks? Shouldn’t there be videotape? A ceremony? Maybe balloons?
There was just my hairbrush and a damp towel around her shoulders. When I was finished I carried her to a mirror to check it out. She seemed pleased. Then we went to bed.
Not until the next morning did I feel a pang of anxiety and sentimental attachment.
“Her baby hair!”
And then it passed.
On Saturday afternoon, I took apart her crib and put together her toddler bed. I was worried she wouldn’t like it or that she would be afraid. But she was so happy. She jumped on top as soon as I laid down the mattress and spent the next hour arranging her blankets and stuffed animals.
“My pillow!” she said.
“Oh, that’s right. You need a pillow.”
That first night, for two hours after what should have been lights out, I was up every five minutes chasing her back to bed.
But it’s worth it to find her shuffling out of her room, mussy-headed and blinking, on her own every morning. And it’s worth it at night, when you finish the last story and she scoots over and says, “Come on, Lay right here by me.”