I was cutting the hair of a 7-year old girl. When I asked her how old she was she told me, but added “I wish I was 17 though!” Why? Because her brother is 9, and she hates him. I tried explaining that when she is 17, her brother will be 19, but she wasn’t hearing it. So I asked her why she hates her brother. “Because he’s mean!” Well that’s fine. siblings fight, and older brothers tend to have a penchant for being the mean ones. But then she went into detail: he calls her names, but then she punches him in the stomach until he runs into his room and cries. He takes her toys, but then she hits him with her lightsaber.
I began to think that maybe her brother wasn’t the mean one…
Later in the day, purely by chance, this girl’s dad and brother came in for haircuts as well. (I guess they were having a boys’ day / girls’ day.) I recognized the name, and asked about his sister. I told him what she had said, and all of this came as news to both him and his dad. Neither of them had any recollection of the boy being punched so hard by his little sister that he cried, or any of the other stuff she said.
I’m sure she embellished a bit, but according to the boy, her entire story was fabricated. So now I’m a little curious as to who really is the mean one in that household.
When a child sits in my chair, I treat the chit chat situation like he was an adult: If he seems talkative, we’ll talk. If not, I work in silence. The other day, a 6 year old boy was there. When I put the cape on him (which was black) he said “I look just like Darth Vader!” That was something I could latch on to and talk about, so I said “Oh, you like Darth Vader?”
And he just took off conversationally running. He told me all about General Grievous, who is his favorite character, and how he likes the Dark Side so much better because they have the choke force “and they’re just awesome.” I asked “What about Yoda? Yoda is pretty awesome too!” Which led to him asking my opinion on why Yoda didn’t kill the Emperor when he had the chance. I replied that Yoda thought there may still be some good in the Emperor, and even though Yoda had the power to kill him, he had too kind of a heart to kill others so much. The child seemed to accept this explanation, and our Star Wars conversation moved along. Eventually we got back to the topic of why the Dark Side is awesome – but this time he added “But Yoda is pretty cool too. He didn’t kill the Emperor, even though he could have, because he had a good heart and thought the Emperor might have some good in him still too.”
I cracked up, wondering if he remembered that I was the one that put that idea in his head, not 5 minutes prior. He seemed convinced that these were Yoda’s reasons though, so I couldn’t argue. Later I found out that the entire salon – both stylists and clients – were listening to me cross the line between small talk and geeking out with a 6-year old. I was applauded as being “very knowledgeable” on how to keep children entertained. I didn’t need to tell them that I could and would have had the same conversation with anyone.