Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad


with 17 comments

You know how it is when your child is on the verge of a new skill- you work on it and work on it until it is fully grasped.  Before the school holidays, Pudding was close to being able to use scissors.  It is testimony to how difficult a task this is for her, that she has been developing this skill in OT for over two years.  We used the pretend scissors for cutting play dough, so she could really get some proprioceptive feedback.  I printed out lots of worksheets for her, and she threw herself into the task.

We were getting somewhere.  It is still very difficult to attend to a task for long, but we made progress.  Now she is cutting, not neatly, not as well as a typically developing child; but she knows where to place her fingers, how much pressure to apply, and how to open them back up without removing her grip.  She can hold the paper in one hand while her other completes all these things at once.  It really isn’t until you sit down and try to teach these skills that you realize just how many components are involved in such a “simple” task.

It is hard for those of us who don’t struggle learning new tasks to ever remember a time when we couldn’t do them too.  It is hard to constantly be aware of all the factors that are at play preventing our children from acquiring these skills.  So we as teachers, guides and parents need an unlimited supply of patience.  This is always my stumbling point.

Last week in one of our cutting sessions, I didn’t notice until she finished cutting that the “safety scissors” had cut through Pudding’s new dress as well.  It was an accident, neither of us had noticed what was happening at the time, and I let her know it was an accident, and I wasn’t cross.  This was a clear teaching moment, and I earnestly lectured her about how scissors are sharp and dangerous, and we only use them to cut paper or card.  Right.

What I failed to realize, is that the teaching moment was for me.  I needed to social story the correct use of scissors.  I needed to set down rules and guidelines for using them only when I was around.  I needed to make sure they were under lock and (hidden) key at all other times.  But I’m careless, and I’m impatient, and I’m lazy, and busy, and a hundred other things that meant I needed a bigger teaching moment.  I had that today.

Pudding was upstairs and awfully quiet as I cleaned up the kitchen.  I had that moment of dread- I knew I had to get upstairs to see what was going on, but I stalled because I didn’t want to see.  I saw Pudding, safety (my ass) scissors in one hand, and her beloved Kelly doll freshly scalped in the other.  I didn’t see the resolution of all that skill-building.  I didn’t see yet further pretend play skills.  I didn’t see a rite of passage that all little girls (yep, even me) go through with the intoxicating feel of scissors through hair.

I saw a pile of hair, some human, some doll.  I saw a doll that cost way too much in the first place that was ruined.  I saw all my carefully cultivated patience run out.  I saw this:

Of course, now she won’t play with her doll.  She wants me to fix it, or get some new hair.  I have to decide if Kelly is just going to learn to rock her new look, because we’ve all had a bad style, and it builds character.  Or if she’ll go to Doll Hospital for a new head, which isn’t covered by our health insurance.

One thing I have decided: the more she develops, the less I feel cut out to parent.  Oh well, at least I’m pretty decent at cutting Pudding’s hair, and I probably got that way from chopping at my own dolls when I was her age.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

17 Responses

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  1. What a good mom you are. And yes we have lots of those teaching moments (for ourselves) don’t we?


    December 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm

  2. I cut the tongue off my older sister’s beloved stuffed toy — a sweet spotted doggy. It always bothered me that his tongue was flopping around. Tongues should not be dirty and dry — and you could see, his was dirty and dry. It just was unnatural and disturbing. So one of the first things I did after I got hold of scissors was cut off his pink tongue, right up against his mouth. I remember this, to this day, as one of the most satisfying moments of my life. The problem was, I felt worse afterwards, especially to see my sister so upset. It just occurs ot me, I wonder if that had anything to do with my sister, who was my hairdresser when we were in high school overseas, cutting my hair way too short every time.


    December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    • Yep, pretty sure your sister was exacting her revenge, though that dog’s tongue does sound wrong. My brothers actually made a noose to hang my favourite doll. I’m sure they think that 3 decades on I’ve forgiven them, but I’m just biding my time for payback.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm

  3. Maybe Kelly should try a hat? I think it is a rite of passage to cut something you shouldn’t in childhood so look at it as a positive developmental milestone……

    Angela F.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    • Definitely a rite of passage. Just hoping we only have to go through it the once, though something tells em that won’t be the case. :/

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

  4. When I saw the headline I thought for sure we were going to see a picture of Pudding with sheared hair. So, there is a bright side, right?

    Oh, and there are a lot of artists on Etsy.com who make some cool doll hats. Maybe that’s worth a shot before you go for the doll hospital? 🙂

    Karla (Mom2LittleMiss)

    December 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    • We have a hat from another doll that fits, but she just wants the hair back. She did cut her own, but it is right on the crown and you can’t really tell. Glad I got in there when I did, or she would have matched Kelly.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

  5. In the week that Christian started school he cut his hair,not once, but three times. Big hunks of it. The teacher saved them for me just in case I wanted them (um ,no-but thanks). Then they put the scissors away. Christian wants to cut his hair like his Dads, a number two with the clippers, my very big issue with this is that once it is done he will want me to put it back on somehow.
    Maybe kelly doll could go the whole hog and really do the ‘rock chick’ look, die it pink maybe?


    December 20, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    • Yeah, she wants it back on. She didn’t want the hair to go, just to cut it. Now she won’t play with it. 😦

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

  6. Punkish Pixie Style! Love it! Pudding actually didn’t do too bad! Maybe a hair stylist could fix it up a bit when you go next? If she would be willing – they could both get Pixie hair styles? (one kid of mine loved haircuts, the other saw his impending doom each time) I’m sure the stylists would all remember doing the same thing as kids — I don’t know anyone who didn’t cut their own hair, a doll’s, a pet’s, or a sibling’s when they were just getting the idea of how scissors work and the power they wield. My uncle’s whiskerless cats could have attested to that back in the day.

    Nomads By Nature

    December 21, 2011 at 6:28 am

  7. […] played by dressing up in the same outfit as newly-shorn Kelly doll and telling her a story.  Maybe I joined in likewise- you can’t tell because […]

  8. […] (yeah, I’m no good at counting).  Oh, and she ended the year by displaying her talents for hairdressing and telephone […]

  9. […] placed out of reach, but nothing is out of reach to Pudding.  It was only a matter of time before she cut her hair again, and that was the time she […]

  10. […] shortly after Pudding cropped Kelly’s hair, I discovered that for about 1/3 of the cost of a new doll, we could send her to hospital to be […]

  11. Are you sure she was not trying to make Kelly have short hair like she got a while back? I do think she gave the doll a great cut. It’s just slightly better than what I usually give Toots. 😉


    June 18, 2012 at 10:57 pm

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