Claire’s Big Day

It all started with a haircut.

Mommy couldn’t ignore it any longer – her dream of long hair for her little girl was gonna have to wait a bit. Claire needed a trim, and bad. Truth be told, Mommy liked a cute bob for a little girl nearly as much as long hair, so she sat down on the couch after breakfast and watched YouTube videos for an hour until she felt sufficiently pumped up with confidence, then she called her little girl over for her first real hair cut (she’d only had it trimmed before).

She wanted it to be special for Claire (and, she admits, for herself) so she did her best to recreate a salon experience. First, she washed and conditioned her hair. Then she fixed the blue plastic cape in place. Claire was loving it already.


Mommy snipped and trimmed and crossed her fingers and got pretty close to what she thought she wanted. Then they went in the bathroom and to blow dry it and curl the ends under, and and that’s when she realized with relief that it was not a botch job. It actually looked adorable. She held Claire up for her first peek. Claire said, “Mom, I look silly!” But Mommy could tell her girl loved it – ‘silly’ was the only adjective she could come up.


Claire had now had enough of the salon experience, but Mommy’s fun had just begun. She struggled to get a decent picture (remember, her main camera is an old-style cell phone) while the little girl played. Soon Claire tired of being shadowed by the camera and went outside to play with brother.

Mommy finally turned her attention to the kitchen and the breakfast dishes, keeping an eye on the kids as they played under the tree she could see from the sink window. Suddenly she heard screaming and looked up to see Claire running toward the house, rubbing the back of her head.

Her first thought was, “Aww! She’s messing up her hair!”

Then she saw the blood.

Claire and Brother had been arguing about something they were playing with, and she had got hit over the head. Anguish, grief, anger, but mostly mortification coursed through Mommy as she cleaned the wound and spread it with ointment. If this was the best she could do teaching her children to share, she felt like a complete failure as a mother.

The bleeding stopped. Claire took her afternoon nap laying on the couch next to Mommy. Daddy got home from work and immediately said she should have stitches. Now Mommy felt even worse—letting this happen, then misjudging the seriousness of the wound.

{Now, before we all ooze into puddles of guilt over our failures as mothers, this is where the story begins to look up.}

They announced to the kids they were going to drop the boys off at Grandma’s after dinner and that Claire was going on a special date with Mommy and Daddy. Claire was tickled pink. Her head didn’t hurt anymore, and she was going out with just her and Mommy and Daddy, which may have never happened before in her entire life. She had been the center of attention all day, and the evening promised more of the same.


Upon being introduced, the friendly male nurse asked Claire what her favorite color was. On his next round he brought her a purple lollipop. Her smile could not get any bigger. The doctor prescribed two staples, which delighted Mommy ‘cause it meant they wouldn’t have to shave her daughter’s precious hair. The staples went in so quickly, Claire did not have time to begin crying, and then it was all over and they were off to the ice cream store. Here Claire had a pink ice cream cone (her second favorite color) and then they headed home.


Mommy was feeling much better now, realizing accidents like these are a common part of childhood, though she knew things would be different in the coming days. Knowing their immaturity, she resolved to keep her little chicks closer to under her protective wings, so she train them more effectively and {hopefully} catch sibling rivalry before her chicks resorted to violence. Now, when the children play outside, she makes sure that’s gardening time for her, and her little chicks are delighted at the new chores and routines around the house that keep them out of trouble and give them plenty of quality time with Mommy.


Claire’s head has healed nicely – Daddy took the staples out this week with the pliers the doctor provided. She has retains fond memories of her date with Mommy and Daddy to the ‘Docker’s’ and Brother is actually making progress in using words instead of force to make a point. We have learned much from Claire’s Big Day.

This was our first trip to the ER with one of our kids – what was yours?

8 responses to “Claire’s Big Day”

  1. Natasha Avatar

    So, funny story (though thankfully, not to the ER):

    My brother’s oldest girl has long curly blonde hair. His wife has pestered to cut it several times and he is VERY insistent that they let it grow. (she always gets this sparkly grin and says, “Daddy thinks I have ‘rap-un-zel’ hair”)

    So, I have their kids for a weekend this spring. It was a rainy, cold day and when we came in from the barn she stands by the propane heater to warm up. My husband walks in and says, “What’s burning?” I look around. Nothing. He sniffs and says, alarmed, “Hair! It’s hair!” I run. I almost cry at the melted curls. (thankfully, no hair started on fire, just melted). I brush out GOBS AND GOBS of burnt hair. I finally break down and take out the scissors. Her below-the-waist curls turn into shoulder-blade-length curls.

    I call my brother.

    I apologize profusely.

    He growls. Then laughs. Then says, “Well, I suppose it needed a trim anyway. They say hair grows faster when it’s cut.”

    *whew*! (they even let me watch their babies still…)

    P.S. Claire looks ADORABLE with her bob. And I weathered a cut very similar to that when I was her age- caused by a very similar incident. My brother and I are good friends today. *winks*

  2. Diane Avatar

    Much as I desperately miss having little ones, I most emphatically do NOT miss this kind of thing. eek. Thankfully my girls were all very mellow quiet things and we had few ER visits (excepting the time Amelia roller skated down the front steps which were made of *cringe* stone.) Noah was another story altogether, for a while we averaged a visit a month. Ahh well, it goes with the territory I suppose!

    Claire looks absolutely darling with her bob, btw♥

  3. Kresha @ Nourishing Joy Avatar

    Our first ER story involves our second child, who was 18 months old at the time. We were camping and the day had been wonderful – we’d been hiking high above the timberline, we’d enjoyed a bit of fishing in the river, and we were just preparing to light the fire to cook supper. That’s when our son tripped on a tree root and went forehead-first into the corner of the cast iron wall of the firepit. So, we all packed up and headed to the nearest hospital – about 1 1/2 hours down the mountain and across an international border. (Who knew taking your child to the ER would require a passport? Heh…) Anyway, he got five stitches right above his eye and charmed all the nurses by showing off his hospital admittance ID bracelet while we waited. And to this day, the first thing his big sister remembers that we didn’t get supper. God’s grace is good. 🙂

    As a side note – we just cut our six-year-old daughter’s long tresses for the first time too, and into a very similar little bob to Claire. Why are bobs so cute on little girls????

  4. Noël McNeil Avatar

    I am glad everything went so well! My one trip to the ER (so far) is when my first child, Jude, had an allergic reaction to something and his poor little body was covered with hives. His face was doubled the size, eyes swollen shut, and his poor little ears stuck completely out because he was so bad. He was only 15 months old and was SUCH a trooper. The dr. said he was surprised it didn’t affect his breathing…praise God! I hope to never have to go to the ER again, but with multiple children, I don’t know if this is realistic.

  5. Jess Avatar

    Here hair looks adorable!

    While it wasn’t the ER. We had a last minute call in to our pediatrician after Ave fell off her changing table at 10 months and we noticed she wouldn’t lift her arm (she could move it and hold things but wouldn’t lift it). Broken clavicle…. I felt terrible. The girl I had helping me for the day stepped away from the changing table and she rolled off.

    Kids get hurt and head wounds are the worst. Glad she enjoyed her “special” day though!

  6. Lisa Mather Avatar
    Lisa Mather

    My daughter Rachael is our ‘ER’ girl, so far. The first trip she had was when she was two. I had a 6 day old newborn and we were picking up our children from my in-laws. As we were getting ready to leave, Rachael fell off a futon and cut her head, just above her right eye, open. Now, imagine your little blondie being carried up the basemen stairs covered in blood. Yep, head wounds are gushers. She was escorted to the hospital by her daddy, uncle and Grandpa as I sat helpless holding my newborn. She ended up with medical super glue and is doing just fine at almost 5 years. 🙂

  7. Kristina Avatar

    Wow! What a day for you all. We are working on this very same thing with our kids. Ray and I are realizing how much we need to start being outside or just with them more so we don’t have so much fighting! 🙂
    Well, you know about our last visit to the ER. But,I think since we have had kids we have been about 4 times! Leah broke her leg at 8 months and then her arm at 2. It has been a wild ride so far and I know that my ride is not yet over so I am holding on for dear life and asking God to give me the strength.
    Hoping your day is going better.:)

  8. Lisa Avatar

    What a cute haircut! I too wanted my daughter to have long hair – but there did come a point where the bob won out. My oldest two have never needed to go to the ER. Lilly did several times of course during her 17 months of life. Besides hospitalizations for two different heart surgeries and then g-tube placement, she was hospitalized twice for viruses. Those were probably the two most dramatic times. She was struggling to breathe and we rushed her in on oxygen and things were so bad she almost died both times. However the doctors brought her back – told us she’d probably never leave the hospital – and then were stunned when she fully recovered. What a feeling of triumph to walk out of the hospital while praising God!

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