I have a problem with scissors…with scissors and my children. Perhaps it is almost an irrational fear or obsession. I never allowed my children when they were little to use scissors. This became an issue when Jodie was in kindergarten. During her first parent-teacher conference amidst all the glowing reports of my intellectually gifted child came the concern about her fine motor skills and her seemingly inability to manipulate scissors in an age appropriate way. The teacher seemed a little worried and proposed some strategies to help Jodie improve the fine motor skills needed to master kindergarten cutting. She also asked then if I notice any problems at home with this. Truthfully, I did not. I didn’t because I never allowed toddler and preschool age Jodie to use scissors in my home. Jodie did quickly develop the hand strength and mastered cutting with scissors. In spite of her teacher’s initial concerns, I really had no doubt that this would be a problem.
The issue came up again last year during Daniel’s first evaluation and IEP with the school district’s psychologist. It concerned her that my developmentally delayed three year old didn’t seem to know what to do with a pair of scissors much less possess the hand strength to manipulate them. She explained that by the time the average child turns three they can use scissors appropriately. She asked me if he used them at home.
Of course not, I replied.
She looked at me with a sharp eye and inquired why is that.
I explained that it was because I never allowed my children younger than age 5 to have scissors because they could hurt themselves or cut things they shouldn’t like my drapes, their clothes or the dog or cat’s hair or their hair.
She truly thought I was crazy.
Since then Learning to master scissors has been one of Daniel’s top IEP goals….yes, I am the primary reason why the poor boy is struggling with this.
Now before anyone assures me that there are age appropriate scissors and such, hear me out.
First of all, allow me to remind you that this is an almost irrational fear or obsession of mine.
Second of all you must know that I was notorious for cutting my hair on a regular basis from the age of 2 through age 6. I had the most hideous pixie-like hair cuts because I would manage to get a hold of a pair of scissors and cut off huge chunks of my hair. It’s a wonder that I wasn’t sporting a buzz cut.
Because there is extensive photographic evidence of my personal haircutting misadventures along with stories from my family, I was determined that my kids would not do the same thing to themselves. Yes, I could have closely supervised their use of scissors as toddlers and preschoolers and all that. But it was so much easier to just not let them have them. I rationalized that they got their cutting done in Sunday School, VBS and preschool. That was all they really needed. Irrational, maybe, but it prevented 4 out of 5 of my kids from horribly butchering their hair.
So this past Saturday morning as I was helping Jodie get ready for her dance recital I discovered this.
I seriously wanted to cry.
Why did she do it?
Because the shorter part of her hair in the front wouldn’t gather into and stay in the required style for the recital. It never occurred to her that gel and or bobby pins would fix that problem. No. She figured the very best solution was to just remove the hair, as close to the scalp as she could.
Oh for goodness sakes!
For now, the girl is wearing a hat because her poor mother just can’t look at it. For a long time in her near future babushkas, headbands and barrettes will be a part of her hair style. They say that nothing grows slower than a bad haircut. We shall see.
She is so lucky I am not my mother or she would be sporting a very, very short pixie right now.
So do you see why I have a problem with my children and scissors?