Cake batter and hair don’t mix  

Writer’s note: I ran across this column I wrote years ago and just had to share it. For the concerned reader . . . it should be noted that yes, her hair grew back in just fine. She has a great head of beautiful blond hair and is now a young lady. I don’t know how much baking she does these days, as she’s probably too busy with school and growing up. But rest assured, Brooke lived through this life event; I don’t think her mom, however, will probably ever forget it. 


My niece, Brooke, is a beautiful little girl of preschool age.

She has luxuriously fine, long, blond hair. Her blue eyes sparkle like diamonds.

She loves Justin Bieber and wearing dresses.

She enjoys helping her mommy in the kitchen, especially with baking duties . . . or, well, at least she used to.

My sister, Maria, says that last week she was in the kitchen making a cake. Of course, Brooke was there to help because she’s become an expert sous-chef.

They put the ingredients in the bowl, Maria inserted the beaters into the hand mixer, plugged it in and hit the “on” switch.

Brooke’s already been warned about keeping her fingers away from the spinning beaters – so all corners have been covered regarding culinary safety measures . . .

Well, at least regarding the dangers Maria knew about.

As the dry and wet ingredients combined to make a creamy and delicious batter, young Brooke smiled and watched with earnest while her mother mixed the goodness.

With the smell of chocolate in the air and the pre-heated oven creating a warmth that superseded the winter chill outside . . . the whirring of the mixer created nearly a hypnotic state of euphoria.

Brooke leaned in to get a better look . . .

Beating, smiling, bonding, mesmerizing, whirring . . .

Suddenly the peace was broken with a terrifying scream! The mixer was violently ripped from Maria’s hands!

It was beyond her comprehension as Maria tried to get her bearings to determine what had just happened! And much to her disbelief, her eyes sent a signal to her brain that indicated somehow the mixer had not only slammed itself into the head of her youngest . . . it appeared to be stuck there!

Brooke was hysterical and it was everything the seasoned registered nurse/mother could muster to not join the youngster’s state of mind.

Maria quickly realized that not only was Brooke crying out in shock – she was shrieking in pain! And for good reason.

“It was only two seconds, but it felt like minutes for me to realize that she must have leaned in too close to the beaters and somehow, I have no idea, her hair must have gotten caught in the beaters – and they quickly wound up in her hair!” Maria said. “I literally thought I was going to lose my mind!”

And so little Brooke thought the same. There she was, with a hand mixer stuck to her head, her beautiful white-blond hair tightly wound in the beaters.

What’s a mom to do? With her young one sobbing, she surmised in horror that she’d need to get a scissors and cut the golden locks free.

“Her hair was wound so tightly into the beaters, I knew there was no choice – that or she’d have to go through life with a mixer stuck to her head,” Maria recalled.

She gently tried to survey the situation to see how closely to Brooke’s scalp she’d have to cut. Maria tenderly wiggled the beaters to see if there was any way to unravel the mess.

That’s when she understood the true extent of what she was dealing with. She realized the entire chunk of hair . . . oh no . . . wasn’t necessarily . . . oh boy . . . completely connected to her child’s head any longer.

“It looked like . . . when you’re butchering chickens . . . if you don’t scald them enough before plucking . . . all the red little bloody bumps . . .” Maria recalled. “I was literally sick.”

As Maria jiggled the mixer near her child’s head, she saw the hair had been ripped from Brooke’s scalp.

As the household cried and Maria held in her inner demons, she slowly removed the mixer and with it a beautiful chocolate-coated swath of Brooke’s hair . . . including, unfortunately, a portion of her scalp.

When the procedure was completed, the carnage was revealed — a circle of bald head and a long chunk of strands any Hollywood diva would have been proud to use as a hair extension.

Then the healing had to begin. Everyone eventually stopped crying and Brooke now has her disturbing badge of baking honor.

Will it grow back? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I guess a comb-over technique will be in effect.

Days later, they prepared to watch a Justin Bieber documentary and Brooke dressed up for the occasion . . . complete with a hat.

“I’m making a dessert,” Maria said. “I asked Brooke if she wants to help.”

Yes, the mixer would be involved.

“I’ll help, Mommy,” Brooke said, eyes again sparkling yet harboring a hint of anxiety when looking at the mixer. “But I think I’ll just stick with a spoon.”



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