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neighbour's dd cut off her her at our house! OMG what do I do???

(18 Posts)
ernest Sun 17-Apr-05 06:23:49

I'll try to keep brief. Really value & need honest opinions & advice.

Our neighbours came round yesterday to discuss boundries. during discusiion our kids played together downstairs in playroom & upstairs in bedroom. When they left their dd (4) wanted to stay & play with our ds's (4 & 5). We said it was ok.

Most of time they were in sitting room with us but then went back upstairs. Short while later my ds's shout for me to come - I go up to find the girl has cut chunks out of her shoulder-length blond wavy hair & has given herself a sort of mullet. I could have cried. I took her straight home & apologised profusely. The mum was at work. Dad obviously not happy.

I am very upset about it. I don't know what to do I'm a bit scared of the mum who seems to be well, quite stroppy & easily miffed. And this is no little thing.

- We are foreigners and while everyone is friendly, we're not very well involved & I was so pleased to have the girl round, both for our improving our neighbourly relations, but also to help our sons integrate with the local kids. Now I feel depressed we've messed this up & everyone will hate us!

- We don't have kids round often. Genuine question - am I supposed to supervise the whole time a kid is with us (she wasn't in the same room when her parents were here). Obviously a pair of scissors lying around is not ideal, but it was an oversight. but had big repercussions.

- would you be really angry with your neighbour if it happened to you?

- should we offer to pay for her to go to the hairdressers?

- what else could/should we do?

- we've apologised to the dad. mum was out all day. do we seek her out & apologise to her too or is my guilt making me panick & over react?

Honest advice appreciated.

charleypops Sun 17-Apr-05 06:33:47

Oops! The first thing that occurs to me would be to say that they were round ended child-friendly scissors. Make sure you have a pair to hand just in case. I think that because their mum was obviously happy to have her dd playing with your dss in another room then she can't really say anything about you leaving them unsupervised can she.

If I were her, my main concern was that there had been sharp scissors around - if you can say what I suggested then that should cover that.

As for paying to go to the hairdressers, I don't know, I suppose I would, a kid's haircut isn't that expensive. See what her reaction is.

Good luck!

WideWebWitch Sun 17-Apr-05 07:17:46

Oh no, I wrote you a long post and then accidentally closed the window, bum! Again:
I don't think it's that bad. No, I wouldn't constantly supervise 4yos and didn't when ds was that age. She didn't hurt herself, it could have been worse and wasn't. Offering to pay for haircut is a nice conciliatory gesture if you think the mother will be v cross. But I don't think it's that terrible, you sound mortified, don't worry! I wouldn't seek out the mum but would apologise again when I see her.

Freckle Sun 17-Apr-05 07:43:15

Well it could have been worse. It could have been one of your ds's who cut her hair off. Now that would have been difficult to explain.

Give the mum a bunch of flowers and offer to pay for a decent hair cut, and, unless she's a fruitloop, she should be OK about it.

Kelly1978 Sun 17-Apr-05 07:51:25

This happened to my dd at school - she chopped a huge chunk of her hair off at school. TBH I was slightly annoyed with the school, but I was more annoyed with dd - who is also 4 and I think is old enough to know better.
Hopefully the mum concerned will feel the same, though I think the offer of a haircut would be a good gesture. Nobody could expect you to supervise constantly - when there was three children in the house you can't be expected to watch all three all the time.
I hope it gets sorted for you - I know what it's like trying to make friends cross culture. My dd is british white but most of her playmates at school are asian or black so she doesnt get many playdates invites neither.

roisin Sun 17-Apr-05 08:30:36

Ernest - it is not in any way your fault. Children do this sort of thing; more often when they are together encouraging each other, than when alone, but that doesn't make you responsible. We've always had children round to play, and they've had periods of time unsupervised from about aged 2.5 ... not long periods at that age, but long enough to chop each other's hair off if that's what they wanted!

With 4 and 5 yr olds I generally only check on them every half hour or so unless I can hear screams or see blood dripping from the ceiling

The parents may be a bit miffed, but they've no reason to be upset with you. If they are a bit off at first, I'm sure if they're reasonable people they will soon come round and realise it was in no way your fault.

kid Sun 17-Apr-05 08:41:09

Tricky situation but at the end of the day, the parents shoud be annoyed with their DD as she cut her hair.
It would be very kind of you to pay for a haircut, as long as they didn't take advantage of your generousity.
Appoligise to the mum when you see her and explain about them being child friendly scissors (as suggested by charleypops) Do you have a pair to show her?

Try not to worry, you didn't do anything wrong. 4 year olds don't need constant supervision and the mum had been happy enough to have her play in a different room.

Blossomhill Sun 17-Apr-05 08:45:36

No I wouldn't offer to pay for the haircut. I would go and speak to the mum and just say that you feel awful but that they were child friendly scissors and you didn't for a minute think that she would cut her hair with them.
Try not to worry too much, you've done nothing wrong!

ernest Sun 17-Apr-05 09:58:07

blimey, thanks you guys. I've been away from mumsnet for a while as it was starting to take over my life, lol, but you're there when I needed you. Thanks for the reassurance. Just gotta face scary strop mum now & hope all the neighbours agree with you

WideWebWitch Sun 17-Apr-05 10:03:06

I only go and check on them for screaming or blood too! Welcome back ernest!

Whizzz Sun 17-Apr-05 10:05:27

I also wouldn't beat yourself up about it. The girl should have known it was wrong. My DS is 4 and he knows to be careful with scissors & understands what he can & can't cut. If it was my child - I would be more disappointed at the child I think & would ensure that I gave them a 'sit down talking to' about the dangers of playing with scissors.

Jimjams Sun 17-Apr-05 12:27:24

gosh no if the mother gets in a strop about it then she needs a wake up call to be honest. These things happen- certainly not your fault.

If it makes you feel any better- I was left to supervise 3 of my friend's children and my 2 whilst she took her eldest to a and e. DS1 threw her mobile phone in a stream whilst I was looking inside the house for him. (eek). She was wonderul about it.

TinyGang Sun 17-Apr-05 12:41:55

Agree with JimJams and others here. Not your fault. Her Mum might be peeved (I would) but not with you, just at the fact it's happened. My dd (3) did this at Christmas to her lovely hair with some ELC scissors, whilst in my care and I like to think I'm usually one step ahead of the next potential crisis! (Not, as is turns out)

Freckle Sun 17-Apr-05 12:50:03

At the end of the day, it is not life-threatening or anything like this. My DS3 as a toddler had the most beautiful blond curly hair. His first haircut consisted of just his fringe which was getting in his eyes. My hairdresser had strict instructions to stay away from his curls. Two days later I found all his curls on my living room carpet! When quizzed about it, DS1, who was about 5 at the time, admitted that he'd cut off the curls as he "didn't want DS3 to be a girl and only girls have curls"!!! I couldn't be cross with him but was deeply upset at DS3 losing his beautiful hair.

As a side-note, DS3 still has beautiful blond hair, and he might, for all I know, have lovely curls, but he keeps asking to have his hair cut. Might have something to do with the fact that many people mistook him for a girl when he was younger. He's my surrogate girl. If he turns out gay, I don't care, because gay men love their mums - totally off topic now.... sorry......

JoolsToo Sun 17-Apr-05 12:52:36

you haven't got James Nesbitt staying have you?

they'll be upset but they'll get over it - my first reaction was to laugh

noddyholder Sun 17-Apr-05 12:58:31

It will grow back it is not the end of the world

pindy Tue 19-Apr-05 07:14:30

Any update?

Have you seen the family? Perhaps you didn't recognise the little girl!!!

My dd did that many years ago, she got gum stuck in her hair and knew I'd be cross about it - so virtually at the roots, by her crown! she chopped a chunk off!!!! Didn't look too bad until it started to grow - and then it would only stick up!!!! Looked ridiculous for ages, but wasn't the end of the world and taught her a lesson she wont forget - she was about 7. I did find the clump of hair when we decorated her room, it was behind the wardrobe - luverly!!!!

We do all laugh about it now, but at the time..... no way!!!

FairyMum Tue 19-Apr-05 07:25:25

All little girls do this, don't they? My DD did it last summer. She was really upset and wore a hat for months (we had to cut it short and she thought she looked like a boy). The rest of us were laughing. It grows out. If she had cut off her finger it would have been worse

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