Kindergarten envy

When I was five years old, my mother cut my hair.  Well, she didn’t do it, she took me downtown to the Hair Clinic and had Angie cut my hair.  The point is, prior to the age of five, I looked like a girl.  When I started kindergarten, though, I looked like a boy.  The pictures of me on my very first day of school are about the only pictures of me in existence that look like pictures of my kids.  Several of my old teachers are still teaching at my old elementary school, where Tadpole and Tomcat now attend classes, and they’ve said more than once how much Tomcat resembles me.  I vehemently disagree with this, as he is the spittin’ image of his father and the older he gets, the more he looks like him.  But, at the age of five, with hair so short I couldn’t even put barrettes in it, we looked a little bit a like.

My first day of school. I was so excited!

There were two girls in my class who had hair long enough that it reached their waist.  Oh, how I envied their hair!  One girl’s was dark blonde; the other girl’s was red.  Every day they came to school with their hair in barrettes or ponytails or braids and every day I envied their ability to change their hairdo at a moment’s notice.

Long hair was long. 🙂

I don’t know what possessed my mother to cut my hair so short (although at least I didn’t suffer alone – she did the same thing to my sister).  For all I know, it could have been some silly request I made that I instantly regretted, but I’ll never know.  What I do know is this: regret it I did, regardless of whose idea it was.  It wasn’t long after that haircut that I vowed never to cut my hair that short again.  And to this day, I haven’t.  I’ve kept my vow for 23 years.  In all that time, the shortest I have ever cut my hair is chin length.  At its longest, it reached nearly to my waist, although it didn’t seem like it was that long at the time.  I only realized how long it was later, after having cut eight inches off when Tomcat was born, and its true length surprised me.

Now my hair is roughly shoulder length and, while I miss having hair down to my waist, I don’t miss having to take care of it.  It took forever to wash and dry, and it quite often seemed to be in the way.  But shoulder length isn’t so bad.  It’s long enough you can do something with it, but short enough to not be a huge hassle.

More importantly, it’s long enough that I don’t look like a boy.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

8 thoughts on “Kindergarten envy

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      Aw, thank you! I adored that Teddy Bear University outfit. And when I outgrew it, I really hated having to hand it down to my sister. Some outfits are just too cool to share.

      I miss Inge! Oh, high school. 🙂

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  1. Jane Ann McLachlanJ says:

    Adorable pic – not at all like a boy! I remember at that age my mom making me wear a white long-sleeve shirt, anf I was furious because I was convinced it looked like a boy’s shirt. Then later, when I was a tomboy, I would only wear boy’s shirts! Kida! Gender is so hard to figure out, long before sexuality gets involved!

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    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I was simultaneously a tomboy and a girlie-girl. I loved climbing trees and big hoop skirts. At least I had the sense not to climb the trees while wearing the big hoop skirt – that could have been a bit embarrassing. 🙂

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  2. joyweesemoll says:

    My mother always kept my hair short. It was the only way she knew how to handle the curls. And I hated it when I was mistaken for a boy which happened a lot.

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    • Kay Kauffman says:

      The only curls my hair has ever had were put there by permanent solution. My God, that stuff stinks! I think the first time I got a perm, I was eight years old. I loved it. But the older I got, the less satisfied I became with it. When I had a perm, I wanted straight hair and when I had straight hair, I wanted a perm. Funny how mercurial adults can be. 🙂

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  3. Gail says:

    Oh so cute!! Funny thing is, I’ve had short nearly all my life, except when I was in kindergarten. I’e been thinking about growing it out, but 1) I have about 3 dozen cowlicks on my head, 2) I don’t look good in long hair (drags my face down), and 3) it’s so much harder to take care of and I am at heart a lazy daisy.

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    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I completely understand number three – I’m the same way, which is why my default hairstyle is the ponytail. If it’s not in a ponytail (which is exceedingly rare – ask anyone), I leave it down and just comb it. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll braid it, but that almost never happens now that I’m too tired to do, well, anything. 🙂

      When I had really long hair, my default hairstyle was a bun. Simple, elegant, and hassle-free, I rocked a bun all through high school. My hair is too short for one now, or I would probably wear it that way again. Oddly, I still consider my hair short, even though it grazes my shoulders. But then, I am rather an odd duck. 😉

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