Thursday, May 31, 2012


There are several things I am quite accomplished at (don't worry, this isn't shaping up to be a post about how awesome I am- but I am).

One thing I'm good at is baking. I enjoy baking. Baking relaxes me. I will attempt to bake most anything (in fact I want to make a baked Alaska this summer).

Two, I'm really good at reading. Constantly. I can tune out 3 fighting children and read quietly by myself without hearing a thing. I'm real good at that.

Three, being by myself. I am really good at being alone. I get much more accomplished when I don't have a gaggle of children following me.

Four, though I'm awesome at being alone, I'm even better at being around people. Children specifically, I enjoy hanging out with children (not that I would be able to do it for hours every day as a job, but I can do it for a weekend or an evening). Mind you, I'm good at that because I will feed a kid anything. Chocolate syrup on rice krispies and fruit leather? If you'd like, sure I'll give that to you. You aren't my kid, and I don't have to put you to bed. There's a reason kids love me. I am not a very good grown up.

And finally, number five in the list of things I'm good at, touching my tongue to my nose. That's not super impressive, and I'll never get anywhere because I knew how to do it; but nonetheless, it's a talent I possess in abundance.

Now, a skill I've had cause before to suspect (but which I've never really considered at great length) might be lacking something is my (self) hair cutting abilities. I can cut YOUR hair just fine. I possess eyes, and a steady hand. In fact, I've given my husband a mullet (intentionally, and at his request), I've also cut friend's hair and childrens' hair several times without any complaints. So, obviously it's not my scissor skills that are the problem.

It's my judgment. I have poor judgment. I gave Brat a trim tonight before I put her to bed. I should have cleaned up immediately, and put the scissors back where they belonged. I didn't. I left them in the washroom to be picked up when I was alone.

Except that when I picked them up when I was alone, this thought FLEW into my head, "Gee. It's been quite some time since your hair was trimmed. You've done that before. Just tip your head over and lop the end off your ponytail."

And without any further thought, that's what I did. Only then did I remember that I hadn't brushed my hair out, so it was hanging at all different lengths. So, I had to wet it, brush it and try to level it out.

It took 25 minutes, but I got the back of my hair even (well, even enough- no one ever sees my hair down). Then, as I stared at the mirror, this thought rushed through, "You haven't had bangs since 1997. You should see if they look good on you still*." And once again, without further thought, or consideration, I took the razor and began layering in bangs. Luckily they aren't heavy, or chunky or straight ruled across. But still. Bangs?

The question could be "What was I thinking?" But the truth of the matter is "I wasn't."

I didn't think it through at all.

I didn't think this through any more than I thought through putting a water balloon in my grandfathers' bed when I was 7 or 8 years old, spending the summer in South Carolina with my grandparents.

So when Soph said, "I bet it would be funny if we hid a water balloon in gramma and grampa's bed, and when they got into bed, it'd break." I laughed.

Now, Soph probably wasn't serious; but we had a great laugh. And I (henceforth to be known as "Queen of Forethought and Filtering") decided to go ahead with the plan. It was fool proof.

Grampa always sits in the same spot when he gets ready for bed at night. Always. Without fail. The same exact spot.

So I filled a balloon with about a litre and a half of water, and placed it in that spot on the bed. I rumpled the covers, like Soph and I had been playing there, and left the room.

I did it just after lunch. And Soph and I went about the rest of our day with glee, and joy and with typical childlike attention spans, forgot about the balloon by dinner time.

Gramma and Grampa tucked us into bed that night. Me, in the bed with wee doggie sheets, and Soph tucked up with the lambs. They gave us our kisses and left the room. That's when we remembered the water balloon- Soph and I stared at each other giggling.

Not a full minute later, Grampa (who never cussed because it "sounds low class and unintelligent") was at full roar. Curse words I hadn't even heard before that night. Rage. Pure, almost unintelligible, rage.

I looked over at Soph, all the blood was gone from her face. And she was creeping lower and lower under her blanket. I was frozen. I remember holding my breath.

The door to our room flew open, smashing into the wall, I'm pretty sure it took two tries to open because it bounced closed again after the first crash- but I could be mistaken (I'm not).

Grampa was standing in the hall outside the room, trying to lever himself into the room by the doorway. The reason he couldn't get into the room was Gramma, she was behind him, her arms wrapped around his waist. She was leaning backwards and using her feet on the door's frame to brace herself.

Grampa was shouting, "WHICH ONE? WHICH ONE? WHICH ONE?" over and over, and looking from me to Soph and back again at me. I'm positive he knew full well which one of us had done it. He might have suspected it was Sophie's idea, but he knew right away I was the only one shortsighted enough to actually have done it.

Gramma said once, years later, "It was like looking at my US flag. Red, white and blue. Grampa was red from screaming, Soph was white as a ghost in terror; and Sarah had stopped breathing altogether-  her eyes were big and blue and her lips were purple."

After Gramma and Grampa left the room that night, I remember sitting there, looking at Soph, thinking, "I am going to be in so much trouble tomorrow."  I wasn't. My grandparents are incredible and simply dried the mattress and told us not to pull such stupid stunts again. And over the years, this story has been told over and over, with more laughter than I ever would have suspected all those years ago.

I wish someone could dry my hair so I'd be off the hook for these bangs- and I could laugh about it instead.

I still might not think things through as thoroughly as I should, but at least some of my decision making skills have improved. Apparently, the self hairstyling department isn't one of those things I've learned to keep a handle on.

* This is the actual word I remember thinking to myself. "Still" as though, for one millisecond, I hadn't ever seen my own grad photo of myself with bangs. Looking like a dufus. So I don't know why my subconscious used the word "still" to convince me.  Yes, I do know why. My self conscious Sarah, a snarky bitch apparently, is sitting back and laughing at stupid regular conscious Sarah who is still gullible in the extreme.

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