How do you solve a problem like Maria?

It looks like we, as parents, have trouble on our hands.
We had an episode yesterday afternoon when we went as a whole family to a dance class presentation and disco.  Maria has started dancing within the last month and loves it, it brings out the very best in her, listening closely to the teacher following instructions and gives her a chance to express herself.  We were invited to the dance class’ annual awards which was to be followed by refreshements and a disco.  This would have been an ideal opportunity for Maria to socialise with her new friends and for us to meet some of the parents.  It all went wrong though as Maria became upset and stroppy through the presentations because everyone was getting a prize except her, she got to that point where she couldn’t be reasoned with, and Alex was getting quite vocal too so much so that it sounded like he was heckling.  Maria was given a number of opportunities to snap out of it with the calm and reasoned threat of going home before the disco, but she stood firm and so did we.  We walked calmly out of the church hall with Maria in floods of tears and I was just relieved that we had not yet got to know anybody there so wouldn’t be missed.  There was no need for us to show how annoyed we were as Maria was already very upset and she cried for quite a while.
Anyway we were all friends again by bedtime and she settled down without any trouble as usual.  Being the bad parents we are we were far too busy eatting and watching Strictly Come Dancing to check her ever 15 minutes through the evening but at 11pm before settling down we checked both the kids were comfortable and that’s when we found out…..
Catriona was meaning to take Maria to have her fringe cut yesterday but didn’t have chance so quickly trimmed it after washing her hair at bedtime.  She left the scissors in Maria’s room so at some point during the previous 3 hours she had cut most of her own hair off.  Maria has a 5th party to attend today and a school photo tomorrow so Catriona has booked an emergency hair appointment.  It will be funny to look back on in a few weeks time and it’s not exactly the end of the world but it is frightening to think what she might do next if she’s capable of this at the tender age of 4. 
Maria has absolutely no regrets and even last night in her half asleep state she was giggling.  She looks better with short hair as it brings out her big eyes and the shape of her face.  Once her fringe has grown back it will look quite funky.  She looks like a mischeivous pixie (which is her to a tee) – like a baby Bjork (and equally off her head) or something Gallic: I keep thinking of Amelie and Betty Blue – didn’t Beatrice Dalle hack off her own hair in that film? (before gouging out one of her eyes!)  I don’t think she was rebelling against the whole princess thing because it was never forced on her she really enjoyed it with the climax being the Princesses on Ice last weekend.  Maybe we all move on now into a new phase of punky attitude but us parents need to make sure we keep one step ahead of her and never ever ever leave her alone with scissors.

About holmesinho

Happily married father of 2 living in Prestwich 5 miles north of Manchester, England. I cycle most days though mostly commuting and also enjoy running and triathlon.
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