Friday, July 17, 2009

Time Capsule Part II: My Kidney Itches!

While Arby travels to Chicago, please enjoy “My Kidney Itches,” which originally appeared in November 2007 on Arby’s Archives.
When a local talk radio DJ fielded a discussion about problems in public school classrooms I e-mailed her a brief suggestion that home schooling could alleviate many of the problems that have parents concerned. Judging by her reaction I thought she might pop an aneurism. Her apoplectic on-air anti-homeschooling rant included the criticism that my e-mail implied that some parents didn’t care enough about their children, or were not willing to make the necessary sacrifices to home school. I shared this with the Boss when she returned home from work that day.

“So?” the Boss replied. “What’s the big deal? They aren’t.”

That gave me pause to consider. I hadn’t meant to imply that parents who do not home school do not care about their children. I didn’t mean to imply that parents who do not home school aren’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices for their children. I simply meant to say that parents should consider all of their options. They are not victims of the modern educational system with no choice but to knuckle under to the beliefs of liberal educators. They have a choice. Home schooling is a viable option.

As we all know, home schooling is not easy. There are many sacrifices that we make in order to keep our children at home and teach them according to our values, our religious beliefs, and our educational philosophy. Most of us live off of one income. That’s a challenge. In order to live off of one income we do not have many of the “luxury” items that seem so prevalent in society. For some of us, basic necessities can be a challenge from month to month. So we drive older model cars that are a little banged-up, we don’t go to the movies very often, and dinners out are rare. A lot of our clothing comes from thrift stores. And in our house, the Boss cuts our hair.

The Boss has been cutting our hair for years. She’s cut mine as long as we’ve been together. And she’s good at it. If it were only my hair that she was cutting, everything would be fine. The problem comes when she has to cut the General’s hair. Cutting the General’s hair is like hugging an eel.

On the patience scale, both the General and his mother are two’s. Hair cuts are generally long, loud, frustrating shouting matches.

“I itch!”

“Sit still!”

“How much longer?”

“If you’d stop wiggling I’d have been done an hour ago!”

It got so bad that the Boss recently admitted that she hates cutting hair and doesn’t want to do it any longer. So I was more than surprised when she announced last night that she was cutting everyone’s hair. Major Havoc has preschool pictures today, and his mop needed a serious trim. When she was finished, the Boss called for General Mayhem.

I was shocked.

She didn’t get five seconds into wetting down his hair when the General began to wiggle and squirm, giggle and shake. The frustration level rose so quickly you’d have thought this was a continuation of the last hair cut six months ago.

“Stop moving!”

“My shoulder itches.”

“Your shoulder always itches, now look up!”

“Can I go to the bathroom?”


And then came the comment that brought the haircut to a halt. After ten minutes of barking and snipping the General looked at his mother and said,

“My kidney itches!”

“That’s it! I don’t care how your hair looks. You’re done. Leave!”

She slammed her scissors on the table, muttering in disgust. Then she looked at me and asked,
“Are you ready?”

“Me?” I gasped.

“Yes, you. You need a hair cut.”

“You know, I think I’d rather have you cut my hair before you cut the General’s. Not after.”

"You know how to sit still. Come here!”

So I got my hair cut.

I only heard one “Oops,” and one “Oh, shoot!” and one “Now that side is too short!” in what was otherwise a pleasant moment between husband and wife. Finally, she put her instruments of follicle terror on the table and asked, “Does this feel even to you?”

I told her it was fine, and commenced sweeping up all of the hair clippings. And it is fine. If I tilt my head ever so slightly to the right my hair looks perfectly even.

Ah, the sacrifices we make to home school!


CrossView said...

LOL! Ah! The sacrifices we make! Keep on tiltin'!

Kathleen said...

So I'm curious...since you did pull this from the archives, and since the General is now older and more--ahem--mature...are haircuts any easier? Or does he still suffer from a kidney itch?

Love 2B Homeschoolers said...

When my son was younger this was a HUGE issue for us. I finally got to bribing him with a lollipop if he could sit still through the whole thing.

I'm glad he grew out of it!