Mommy, Promise Me!

Growing up, I hustled with the best of them. If I asked my mom for something and she said “no,” you can bet your ass that my first move was to go to my dad and see if he’d say “yes.” When the situation was reversed, you can imagine I did the same. Here’s the problem. Fast-forward 30 years and karma is a serious bitch. My elementary school kids apparently learned from the best, because they both have the good cop-bad cop routine down to a science. Don’t get me wrong – my kids are the center of my universe and mean more to me than I could ever express. But seriously, sometimes, they’re exhausting! I think most moms will feel me there.

A little while ago, my daughter sat me down to have what she explained was a very serious discussion. I freaked out – I assumed she was being bullied at school, or was having a problem with a particular assignment, or needed to ask about the birds/bees/whatever the freaking animals are doing these days. Thankfully, those concerns were mitigated quickly. However, she hit me with a parenting brick.

“Mommy, I want to dye my hair.” Oh, really? I tried to calmly explain to her that her hair is beautiful, just the way it is – pretty, blonde, curly, and completely adorable. I asked her why she’d want to have brown or red hair instead of what she’s already working with, maintaining as much composure as I could. “Oh, no Mommy. Not all of my hair. I want hot pink tips on the ends of my hair – like a rocker chick.”

WHAT?! Let’s back this train up. What happened to pink on My Little Pony or Easy Bake Ovens? I don’t want my kid looking like Nicki Minaj, or Ke$ha, or even Emma Stone’s coiffed departure from the norm:

My mind was reeling. I played mental chess to think through what would happen next based on my potential responses. If I scream and tell her no, she’ll cry, and go run off to ask daddy. Damn it, I taught her a little too well. Again, karma being bitchy. Ugh. If I tell her yes, she’ll know I’ll cave. Plus, my kid will look like a wannabe-girl-rapper. That’s a fail that all the PTO moms would love to rip on me for. That’s out. So what do I do? I get diplomatic.

“Wow honey, that’s a great idea. Why don’t we wait and we can talk about it again when you’re a teenager.” I was so proud of myself. I was stern and told her she couldn’t have something outrageous she was asking for, and yet, I wasn’t shooting down her creative spirit and all that shit. Well, it backfired.

“Oh, ok mommy, that’s great! So let’s make a deal. Mommy, promise me that you’ll let me do it when I’m a teenager. You HAVE to promise me!”

Well alright then, I guess we have another pawnbroker in the making – we shook on it, and a deal’s a deal. Let’s just hope that she forgets by then!

Ashley Gold