Nail Clippers to the Rescue: The Time I Got Gum in My Child’s Hair

I had my first experience with the combination of gum and hair last weekend. It seems like every girl out there has at least one story or memory of a time when they got gum stuck in their hair. Maybe it’s like a rite of passage, or maybe I just heard one or two stories and assumed that it happened to everyone. How many kids haven’t had a story about scissors being used in the wrong place without any parental guidance? Heck, Addie’s had several of them. Just ask her cat Percy. The gremlin looking cat was stuck walking into walls and stuff for the four weeks waiting for his whiskers to grow back after Addie decided they needed a bit of tidying up.

Anyway, as far as I know Addie hasn’t had a gum in the hair story. Vivi? She’s now got one of those stories and it’s pretty much all my fault.

Casey and I decided to take Vivi to the Home Depot so Casey could get her Christmas present ordered. Vivi and I started playing games as we ran up down the aisles. Some of the Home Depot workers started playing along as well and Vivi got to laughing pretty hard. I don’t like moments like that to ever stop, so I usually find some way to keep them going.

Ten minutes later, Vivi and I walked past Casey as she was finishing buying her new storm door from one of the old guys at the Home Depot. We all headed outside and to keep Vivi laughing I started playing the growl game with her.

The growl game is when I hold her and I stick my face down into the side of her neck and make growling noises. It’s one of her favorite games and she goes crazy with laughter whenever we play the game.

On one rather intense growl I had to suck in some air and what I got was a mouth full of hair. To keep from choking and gagging I pulled my head away from Vivi’s head and realized that the gum I had been chewing was no longer in my mouth. Vivi’s hair had pulled the gum out of my mouth.

My first worry wasn’t for Vivi’s hair or for my gum. My first worry was what kind of wrath was I going to come under once Casey found out I got my gum stuck in Vivi’s hair. Surprisingly however, Casey’s initial reaction was mostly just annoyance. It seemed like she wasn’t surprised. Like she had expected me to get gum stuck in Vivi’s hair one day.

My second worry was about trying to contain the damage. I isolated the hair where the gum was located and carefully carried Vivi to the car and  strapped her into her car seat. Then Casey handed me some fingernail clippers and told me to cut the gum out of Vivi’s hair. With four or five firm snaps with the fingernail clippers, Vivi received her first amateur haircut.

The damage to her hair wasn’t bad and I’m sure I won’t be playing the growl game while chewing gum ever again, but in the end it’s another one of those memories I’ll get to hold onto forever and never lose. Which means it was all worth it.

At least that’s what I’m going to tell Casey if she ever uses it against me in the future.

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