I already know that the process will involve squeaks, so I pick my time. I hope to keeps the screams of agony to a minimum but you just can't be too careful with this kind of thing. I wait until the boys are engrossed in electronics time and then coax her to the table. I don't know how it got in there and neither does she, but some how or other, the bubble gum shall be removed from the tresses. Ice cubes have proved a failure so now it's onto olive oil and picking. She doesn't believe my promises after the previous debacle with ice and I've noticed that all the scissors from the kitchen drawer have disappeared. The offer of a new hair style was shunned. This is definitely one of those chores that I would prefer to delegate to her father.
I make soothing noises as I massage the sticky mess, messages of reassurance with few real words but still she whimpers in anticipation of pain or pending baldness. I hear the scrape of a chair in the hall, quickly followed by another clatter. Over her shoulder I see two boys move in slow motion. One adopts the marine on manovres approach, on his tummy, the hand over hand crawl. The other is in a sitting position, his back towards us as his feet propel him in our direction, very, very, slowly. They take up position under the table in silence. Their sister squeaks, shudders and snivels. The big brother takes the universal protective stance of flat fingers over eyes and thumbs in ears. The little brother takes the alternative protective stance of thumbs in eye balls and index fingers in ear holes. They wait in silence. Every few minutes one of them bends down to peck a kiss on her feet. Precious electronics time minutes ebb away, as they stick to their vigil of solidarity.