"Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can." Elsa Maxwell
Saturday morning, I cut all three boys' hair. This is not something I enjoy (enduring the "I'm itchy" and the "Are you almost done?" and the occasional "ow" is not my idea of a good time) nor something I've ever claimed to be good at. I must have have enough successes that the boys still allow me to "work my magic", but the truth is, I've had a good amount of failures in my time.
Anyway, Saturday at lunch (not 15 minutes after all the haircuts were done) Mark looked at Sam and said, "You REALLY need a haircut!" This was not said meaning he thought Sam's hair was looking shaggy. It was understood by all who heard it like this, "Your hair looks terrible!!"
Mark had been on a long bike ride during the cuts, so he had had absolutely no idea that the barber shop had been opened that morning, making it a completely unintentional insult, but an insult nonetheless.
Poor Sam is so kind to his dear old mom, that he didn't hate me, but he did wear a hat whenever he could. Our schedule was pretty tight over the last few days and we were not able to get him to a salon until this morning. I explained to my favorite coiffeuse that I had messed up his hair and asked if she would be able to rescue us.
Joel and I watched the haircut, but we couldn't hear what the two were talking about. Sam told me later that she said, "So your Mom had some fun with your hair, huh?" I think he was kind in his answer, and we ALL (not just Mark) are laughing about the whole thing now.
I think work is so important for kids (for all of us, really) and helping my kids to learn how to work hard and to do it on a volunteer basis is one of my aims in parenting. That means I'm always looking for projects where we can lend a hand.
Four young single girls in our church just moved into a house together. The reasons for this are to be applauded, but that is another subject for another post. Anyway, they have an apple tree in the backyard that produces inedible fruit and has been dropping apples by the hundreds. When I found out about it, I volunteered us to go help pick them all up. J, one of the girls, suggested that the boys throw the annoying things in a trash can, thus making a game out of a job. I thought that was a great idea and it was probably how I got them over to the house with pretty good attitudes. We started in, the boys making baskets and me, shoveling more rotting apples from a box in the shed over to the compost pile (ewwwww!). All of a sudden, I hear a crash and an "oooops!" only to find that Sam had thrown an apple right into the shed window (an old, old window and probably not a standard size anymore).
I then realized that I had placed the trash can right beneath the window. I felt so brilliant in that moment!!
The girls laughed with us over the incident, but I'm guessing they will think twice the next time I volunteer.