Charlotte has been looking a bit shaggy and I wanted to get her spruced up a bit for Easter next week. I took her to one of those kiddie salons today. We’ve been really hit or miss with this place. They made her first haircut cute and special, but then gave her a hot-mess mullet another time.
We walked in and there was a child screaming. I mean awful screaming like someone was scalping her. I looked up and was shocked to see that I could indeed see her scalp because the stylist was shaving this baby’s head. I sat with other Americans staring at these parents trying to comfort their screaming child with their deep accents. Even though the baby was clearly unhappy, the parents were elated and proud. The stylist carefully collected a lock the child’s hair in a bag to take home.
A quick Google search informed me this special ritual is called a mundan and is an important time in the life of a Hindu child. Cool, right? It was neat that we got to see it.
I did not know this at the time, however, and was dealing with my own tired and hungry tot. I just wanted their screaming child to leave so mine could get her haircut.
After I took this adorable photo, Charlotte was a force to be reckoned with. She screamed the entire time. No amount of animal crackers, cartoons or iPhone distractions would soothe her. Other parents looked at me with either sympathy or annoyance. I avoided eye-contact with them.
All my efforts were useless. I threatened her with a time-out. I told her the Easter Bunny was watching her. I bribed her with the holy grail of good-behavior prizes, the Dum-Dum lollipops the stylist had. She took the bait, but then said, “I want a purple one!”
Oh God. Not purple. Anything but purple. I can’t stand the smell or taste of anything with artificial grape flavoring. It was never the alcohol in a Jell-o shot that turned my tummy in college. Nope, I would only lose my liquor if I accidentally took a grape shooter. I don’t even like my sacred red or orange popcicles to be near the purple ones in the box for fear of any purple enfusion. This extreme aversion stems from an unfortunate stomach flu as a child after being given a dose of grape flavored Children’s Tylenol. It was traumatic and the reason no purple candy touches my lips.
For a moment Charlotte stopped her screaming and happily sucked her purple lollipop. I was safely in the parent’s chair. She started up again and could not be soothed. I reminded her that the last kid got her head shaved and she was just getting a trim. The screams continued. The stylist suggested I hold her. Oh God! I grimiced as my child wailed and smeared her sticky purple pop across my face. I held my breath, so as not to inhale the purple fumes. Ugh! I got a whiff and instantly my mind went back to that night when I was six at my grandmothers and the grape evil escaped my body.
To add to this salon fiasco, the stylist decided to take the time to add a little braid, ribbons and a butterfly clip a-la 1996 to her hair. Seriously?! I was gagging, my kid continued to wail, and this woman was giving her a “princess style!?” The topper was what she did next. The stylist took a handful of gold glitter and tossed it on my kid’s head. She said, “It’s fairy dust!” I think I smiled and said, “Oh! Fairy Dust!” In my brain I screamed, “Lady! Are you %&#*+=@ crazy!? Who puts glitter on a two-year-old? This #&^% is gonna be all over my house for weeks!”
I believe this whole experience was my penance for being a culturally insensitive, impatient American. The grape lollipop ended up in my hair with chunks of glitter stuck in it. The smell alone made me want to shave my head.