“No, I don’t want a pony tail,” four-year-old Melissa complained.
“I have to put your hair up,” her mother demanded. “You’ll have it in knots by the time you get done playing.”
“But not a pony tail,” Melissa whimpered. “Like the eyes.”
“Eyes?” Laura glanced curiously at her friend, Annie.
“It has to be like the eyes!” Melissa insisted.
Laura was baffled. “Honey, what eyes are you talking about?”
“The ones in the back of Annie’s head!”
Laura turned to Annie again. “Eyes in the back of your head?”
Annie shrugged again. A few weeks earlier, she was babysitting Melissa. Sitting out in the patio with Eric, she’d caught Melissa in the reflection of the big sliding glass door. She replayed the moment in her head.
“Missy, keep your fingers out of the flower box. The neighbor’s cat poops in there.”
Melissa had stared at the back of her head for the longest time, before turning around and starting to disobey.
“I said keep your fingers out of there!” Annie snapped.
Melissa spun around. “How did you see me?”
“I have eyes in the back of my head.”
Melissa walked up closer for an inspection. “I don’t see any eyes,” she said.
“Well they can see you.”
“What am I doing now?”
“Waving your hand at me.”
“What did I…?”
“It’s not polite to stick your tongue out.”
Melissa’s eyes had gone wide as saucers. She’d come up and touched the back of Annie’s hair in awe.
Suddenly, Annie burst out laughing. “Oh my God, Laura, she wants a French braid. I had my hair up in a French braid that day.”
“Just braid her hair up. I’ll explain later.”
Melissa sat happily as Laura brushed out her hair and then weaved it carefully into a classic French braid. When she was all finished, she banded the end.
“There you go. Are you happy now?” she asked her daughter.
“You did it wrong,” Melissa pouted.
“What are you talking about? You look beautiful. It’s beautiful. Annie?”
“You look adorable, Sweetie,” Annie agreed.
“But the eyes don’t work,” Melissa complained. “I can’t see anything behind me.”
© 2013 Anne Schilde