Cut It Out

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I was really looking forward to getting home because my darling wife was going to give me something I’ve always wanted.

We have a rule about scissors in our house – they aren’t for kids. This is because kids cut things with scissors they aren’t supposed to, like clothes and curtains. Even when it’s stuff they can cut, like an old magazine, then tend to leave the house looking like a wedding venue, with confetti over, under and around every surface. So I have banned my kids from using scissors.

But unfortunately, Tracey doesn’t acknowledge the existence of my scissor rule and let’s the kids cut stuff up all the time. This is, as you might imagine, a catalyst for some ‘discussion’, which I never seem to make any ground in.

So when I received an email at work from Tracey saying our second youngest had managed to secure a pair of scissors and cut her hair I was feeling I had the upper hand. I was looking forward to marching in the door with my best ‘told you so’ face and tut-tutting over my young daughter’s new do. I was feeling pretty smug.

‘It could have been a lot worse,’ Tracey wrote. It seems Miss10 noticed what was going on pretty quickly and saved the day.

‘Lucky someone was watching,’ I replied. I mean, why wait until I got home?

Naturally, I’d worked out how this conversation was going to play out well in advance.

“She really shouldn’t have been given the scissors,” I decided would be a great place to start.

“I know,” Tracey would reply. “I don’t know what I was thinking. You’re right about keeping them out of the kids hand. I’m sorry.”

‘I’m sorry’. How sweet will it be to hear those words?

Or maybe she’d play hard to get?

“Why shouldn’t she? It’s just a bit of hair. It’ll grow back.”

“Yes, it will,” I’d say, so she’d think I was going to let her off. But then I’d pounce. “But clothes don’t grow back. Blinds don’t grow back. Your expensive new studio props don’t grow back.”

Bringing her photography props in would be a nice touch I thought. And then…

“I’m sorry.”


When I arrived home it was all going beautifully to plan. I marched in – check. Smug face – check. Tut-tutting – check.

Miss3, of course, was unperturbed and unrepentant.

“It’s okay, Daddy. The back’s still beautiful.”

I looked over at Tracey with a raised eyebrow, no smile and my lips pursed so tight they might have resembled a cat’s sphincter.

All that was left was our little verbal dance before her reluctant and so long sought after apology.

“You shouldn’t have given her the scissors,” I told my wife.

“I didn’t,” she said.

“You …what?” She wasn’t sticking to the scripts at all. Any of them. “I said you shouldn’t have let her have the scissors she cut her own hair with.”

“I didn’t give them to her,” said Tracey. “The kids cleaned out their desks today and brought all their stationary home. She flogged them out of her sister’s bag.”

“Oh,” I said rather lamely.

But we weren’t done. Tracey was staring at me with that look – one eye raised, no smile, cat’s ass lips.

“Sorry,” I mumbled.

Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page

 ”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


  • My sister managed to get hold of some scissors and cut her hair when she was two years old. I found her with them and, being the great big sister I am, decided to help – by cutting the back for her (she could only reach the fringe). I did such a great job that all the hairdresser could do was pretty much shave her head. Mum still likes to remind me of how her beautiful baby curls never came back. I was only four at the time!

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