My 8-year-old, Evan, has long needed a light on in his room to go to sleep. Not merely a night light, but an actual light. We haven't made an issue of it but have allowed him to keep a small lamp turned on when he goes to bed. If someone happens to still be up when Evan falls asleep that person turns his light off at that time, but Evan is such a night owl that he is often the last person to fall asleep, so often his lamp stays on all night. I figure if it helps him to feel safe and doesn't impede his sleeping, what's the harm?
This morning Evan announced with pride that he had gone to sleep without any light last night. I was impressed. This was utterly at his discretion with no suggestion from us. I congratulated him on his achievement and he responded, "Yeah, I'm getting to be a bigger boy" and I, of course, agreed. A little while later when he was getting his clothes on I noticed something odd about his hair. One portion of his bangs looked a little shorter than the rest but I attributed it to his haircut this past week--I usually cut his hair myself but in the interest of time got his cut when my daughter and I went to the stylist for ours. I figured the barber must have made a small cutting error that I hadn't previously noticed.
Um, no. As I was fingering his hair, Evan proudly informed me, "That part was bothering me so I cut it." After impressing upon him the pitfalls of cutting his own hair and my desire that he never do that again, it occurred to me to wonder where that hair ended up. In the sink drain, perhaps? I asked.
"In the vent." That would be, in case you're wondering, the heating/cooling floor vent in his room. Of course. That's where we always put things we want to get rid of, right?
Check your vents, everyone. And remember, "responsibility" and "maturity" are entirely relative terms.
(P.S. If you know Evan in real life, let's just keep this post between the two of us, okay?)