Kelsey had been upstairs in the bathroom by herself for quite awhile – probably fifteen minutes or so. It’s not unusual for her to spend that much time in the bathroom, and I wouldn’t have thought much about it if we’d been at home. But we were at her grandmother’s house, and I decided she’s been in there long enough.
Jeff was standing near the foot of the stairs, so I asked him to yell up to Kelsey and make sure she was OK. I stood up and followed behind him just to be sure. We both stood on the stairs as he called in to her:
“You OK in there, Kelsey?”
“I’m doin’ good,” came the muffled voice behind the door. “I’m combing my hair.”
Satisfied that she was fine, I started back down the stairs… but then thought better of it, turned around and went back up to the bathroom.
I knocked on the door and told her I was coming in. She didn’t say anything. I pushed the door open… and the first thing I noticed was the sickening quantity of honey-brown hair in piles on the floor. Then I looked up into her eyes, open wide with fear (that “Oh shit, I’m in trouble” look in them). And at the pair of hair-cutting scissors still in her right hand, still held up near her head.
I’m cutting my hair, she hsd said. Not combing. Cutting.
I don’t remember yelling or screaming or anything of the sort, but I know that Terry was standing in the doorway behind me in a matter of seconds.
“It’s just hair,” I told myself as I picked Kelsey up and hugged her tight to my chest, stroking the ragged mop that remained on her beautiful head. Yes, it was just hair — but I cried as I tried not to think about what else could have happened to a four-year-old alone in a bathroom with a sharp pair of scissors.
(Pictures of her handiwork and the new ‘do after the jump.)