Mustache Crash

Every once in a blue moon, hardly ever at all, I have to go to the bathroom and take care of some personal grooming. And every once in a while, my daughters might catch me in there with some cream over my lip or under my chin, softening my skin mostly 😊, but also ridding my face of… unwanted hair.
“What are you doing?” Payton asked the first time she’d caught me.
“Well,” I explained with a sigh. “Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.”
“Mom! Do you have a mustache?” she gasped in horror moving closer as she studied me. “And a beard?”
“No, of course not,” I laughed nervously, checking the timer for when I could remove the cream. “I just have dark hair, so the peach fuzz on my face is dark.”
Payton was still shaken as she sat up on the counter beside me.
“I have dark hair, am I going to have one someday?” she asked studying herself in the mirror.
“Oh my gosh!” she exclaimed horrified, touching her upper lip. “I have a mustache, too! Mom! I have a mustache! Why haven’t you told me?”
I laughed, examining her closely, and indeed she did have a faint mustache. She was just beginning puberty and things were a-changin’.
“Fix it, mom. Put some of that stuff on my lip too.”
And so, that is where we were when my 5th grader, little Lexi-Lou walked in on us. Me, with thick cream above my lip and chin, and Payton above her lip.
“Oh hey,” Lexi said nonchalantly, climbing up on the counter between us. “Can you put some on my mono-brow? All the kids at school have been making fun of me.”
I’d known for some time that my little Lou had a slight monobrow but I wanted her to be a kid as long as she could, but, if the kids were starting to make fun of her, then it had to go.
I carefully applied the cream and we all stood back and assessed each other in the mirror.
“This would make a cute family picture,” I commented dryly to the giggles of the girls.
When the time was up, Payton and I each washed our faces. Mine looked normal as ever, smooth and hairless, but when I glanced at Payton, her upper lip was very reddened and a bit raw. We most likely had left the cream on a bit too long for her youthful skin.
“Keep washing it off with cool water,” I directed, hurrying now to help Lex. I grabbed a couple of pieces of toilet paper and slowly began wiping off her forehead. Upon looking more closely, I began to realize that when I’d applied the cream I’d put a little too much overlapping the inside of her eyebrow. Come on, I had no experience with eyebrows!!! Realizing what the results of this might be, I nervously wiped away, my eyes widening when I saw that not only was her monobrow gone… but also a large portion of her right eyebrow was now missing as well. I tried to keep my face expressionless as she excitedly tried looking around me to the mirror. Maybe she wouldn’t notice. Maybe she’d start a new style… Scooting closer, her eyes darted back and forth, comparing both sides. Payton and I looked from her to each other, awaiting her reaction.
“Mom,” she started with a shaky voice and laugh, and then suddenly a bit more serious and accused, “You lopped off half my eye-brow!”
“It’s not that bad dear,” I soothed. “No one will notice.”
“And look at me,” Payton wailed. “I’m going to have a red scabby mustache at school tomorrow.”
With both girls near hysterics, I tried my best to calm them down. They only had one day of school left before summer after all. We could cover Payton’s reddened lip with make-up. No one would even notice Lexi missing half her eye-brow if she always kept her long hair over half her face, or always faced a certain direction. One day of school… it would grow back…
So, the next morning I dropped them off at school with Payton’s upper lip smothered in cover-up and Lexi with her long hair parted on the side. And they seemed to make it through the day okay although Payton’s cover-up must have been wiped off at lunch and the excoriated area was indeed scabbing. But they both admitted only a few people had the nerve to ask each of them what had happened.
So, with my daughters now officially starting their summer vacation, we all breathed a sigh of relief and invited their cousin Olivia over to play.
First thing after getting home, the girls hopped on their bikes and headed around the block. I sat out in the front yard in my old lawn chair, waving as they made their rounds, letting my body de-stress. Suddenly I heard a crash, then a scream, and then Payton came running around the corner, bikeless, holding her wrist and crying. She had blood on her knees, face and elbows. It seemed the girls had darted in front of each other on the hill, gotten tangled up and crashed. Olivia was following behind, pushing both bikes with a worried expression on her face.
I rushed forward to Payton and as soon as she moved the hand covering her wrist, I knew without a doubt, her arm was broken. And the first day of their summer vacation too.
And so, the rest of our day was spent in the emergency room getting x-rays, fitted with a splint, pain meds, and making appointments for the application of the cast. By the time we got home it was already bedtime. After saying our bedtime prayers, I snuggly tucked the two girls in bed and gave last bits of love to the whimpering Payton. Lexi leaned up on her elbow and sympathetically looked over to her sister in earnest contemplation, her one and a half eyebrows raised.
“Well, you know Payton, with all your scratches and scrapes, now no one will ever notice your scabbed mustache, they’ll just think it’s part of the injuries from your crash.”
Yep, we all nodded and agreed. There was always that.

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