For those of you who don’t know, I’m spending my summer working at a camp. My regular hours are with 3-5 year olds, but I also have before and after care shifts occasionally that range from 5-14 year olds. I knew that some of the kids would be confused by my hair, but this summer has proven to me even more that kids are not going to hold anything back.
- Are you a boy or a girl?
This one I totally understand. For most kids, long hair is associated with girls and short hair is associated with boys. However, dressing like a girl (as much as my uniform allows me to) and having everyone use female pronouns around this person with practically nonexistent hair must be pretty confusing. Especially to the 3-5 year olds I work with. Usually, when I clarify that I am in fact a girl, they move on to other questions.
- Where did all your hair go?
Again, a pretty reasonable question. Some of them have the ability to understand that cutting all my hair off was a choice and something I did to help other people. More often than not, they give me some other comments about their opinions of my hair or their oh so creative ideas on how to “fix” my hair.
- I wish you kept your hair
See, I don’t understand this one because none of my campers knew me when I had long hair. So, basically they’re just irrationally upset about the lack of hair on my head…
- Do you want to use ____ as a hat?
This blank can be filled in with basically anything they can find around them. The most common offer I have is their trash from snack time. Like, thanks for the offer, but I don’t think your fruit cup with a bit of juice still left at the bottom is going to fit around my head to function as a hat. Also, if I wanted to wear a hat, I would bring myself an actual hat.
- You look like you’re dying
How is one supposed to respond to this comment? Thank you? I’m sorry? Like, I get it, you’ve only heard of people with cancer shaving their head this short, but I just finished answering your questions about why I don’t have any hair and nowhere in that conversation did I say I was dying so maybe don’t say that… Oh well, my response ended up just being “well, I sure am glad that I’m healthy!” and the kid just walked away shaking his head… Did he want me to be dying? Well, I did just make him sit out so that’s a possibility.
- Your hair is kind of like a porcupine…but its soft
So, I don’t know of any small children that just casually walk up and pet porcupines, but they definitely walk up to pet my head. The second I sit down, I have at least one if not eleven children petting my head and raving over how it feels like a soft porcupine. Seriously though, I don’t think that half of these kids even know what a porcupine is.
Moral of the story is, if you’re not prepared to answer crazy questions or if you’re easily offended, maybe don’t work with small children when you are a girl with a buzz cut. However, it makes for significant, quality entertainment so it may be worth your while.