the hair raising truth in the powder room by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner

The Hair-Raising Truth

Things sure can get hairy when kids speak the truth.


“Mommy! That lady looks like a man!” No one delivers the truth like a child. And nothing sparks self-doubt like the solid whack of facts. Being blonde and fair skinned, I never really worried about hair removal. Sure, I own a razor, which I use for the perfunctory trio of hair removal duties: pits, bikini, and calves. The rest of me is fine. FINE, I SAY!

“I’m blonde!” I tell myself. “No one can see that baby fine hair! This is the advantage of white eyelashes!”

The hair-curling observations started yesterday when my lip-gloss fell from its perch on the pedestal sink. The clink of the tube hitting the floor caught the attention of my three-year-old.

He bent down to inspect the tube and asked, “What’s this for?”

Accustomed to his incessant questions, I gave my standard response, “What do you think it’s for?”

He thought for a second, then said brightly, “It’s for your mustache!”

I froze, looked him square in the eye and demanded, “What mustache? Do you see a mustache? POINT TO MY MUSTACHE!”

He smiled and sweetly touched my lips.

With a sigh of relief, I glanced at the faintly noticeable row of fine white hairs above my upper lip.

I thought, “I’m blonde. No one can see that tiny mustache.”

Yet the hair-raising comments continued.

“I’M DOOOOOONE!” my three-year-old hollered.

I rushed into defiled air to clean a tiny hiney. As my little guy assumed the position, he held my legs for support. I was wearing shorts. His hand was above my knee in my “I don’t shave there because I don’t need to” territory. Suddenly, I was being petted like the family cat.

“Ooooooh! SOFT!” he said.

Engrossed in cleaning, I mumbled, “What?”

“This hair! It’s so SOFT! Wook at it!”

I wooked. My little man was focused on the tiny hairs peppering my thighs with the intensity normally reserved for ant watching. The petting continued.

I weakly thought, “I’m fine. I’m BLONDE. No one can SEE IT.”

Finally came the hair that broke the camel’s back. I was bathing the boys and my three-year-old, engrossed with his own genitalia, yelled, “WOOK! WOOK at my BUTT!”

BUTT, FART, and POOP all hold the same comedic brilliance to a three-year-old.

Never one to miss a teaching opportunity, I said, “No. That is your scrotum. Now stop playing with it and let’s wash your hair.”

He looked at me mischievously, then yelled, “Wook at my PENIS!” This is life with boys.

Then he asked me, “Where’s your penis?”

I sighed, “Girls don’t have penises.”

That is when the all-knowing six-year-old piped up, “Nope! Girls have HAIR!”

Bath time was over. My self-esteem was in the toilet.

Later that evening, the three-year-old gospel continued. My tiny truth slayer looked at me and said, “You’re pretty Mom.”

One dose of the hair of the dog and I was cured.

Johi is a writer, an illustrator, a humor blogger, a stay at home mom, a horsewoman and a photographer. She was raised on an Iowa horse ranch, where she was worked like a beefy man. Somehow, in the midst of hay lifting, manure scooping and mud boots, she developed a love of books, art, fashion and design. Johi currently resides in Ft. Collins, Colorado with her husband, their two sons, two naughty dogs, two adorable ponies and one smelly cat. She writes about her life at Confessions of a Corn Fed Girl.

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