Kimmy Sophia Brown

The Nest on Tymon's Head

May 6, 1996

(Author's note: When our son Tymon was three years old, he hated having his hair washed. I used to tell him this story to convince him to wash his hair.)

When Tymon was very little he didn't like having his hair washed. Whenever he took a bath, his mother would say, "Time to wash your hair, Tymon."

Tymon would yell, "No!" and try to make himself very small in the far corner of the tub.

"Don't you want to have clean hair?" his mother would say.

"No!" Tymon would yell, covering his head with his hands.

One day Tymon's mother said, "Okay Tymon, you don't have to wash your hair any more."

Tymon yelled, "Yippee!"

The first day he was very happy. He played in the sandbox. He rode his tricycle. He ate a lollipop. Somehow the lollipop got stuck in his hair. His mother had to use scissors to remove it. The place where it stuck got hard and sticky, but he didn't mind.

The next day he climbed a tree. He played with blocks. He swam in the plastic swimming pool. His hair got wet while he was swimming. Then he played in the sandbox and got sand in his hair. It was a bit itchy, but Tymon didn't mind.

After a week he couldn't comb his hair anymore. He woke up in the morning and had a big knot on one side. His mother got a hairbrush and tried to brush it, but it hurt too much.

"Tymon, why don't we wash your hair."


"Okay, it's up to you," said his mom.

After a month or so, Tymon's hair was quite remarkable. Everyone in the neighborhood thought he was wearing a new kind of hat.

One day Tymon sat down on his back step. It was very warm and sunny. He was a little bit sleepy so he leaned against the railing quietly. Suddenly he felt something land on his head. Then he heard some chirping. A bird had landed on his head!

He became very excited and sat very still.

Then another bird landed on his head! "What are those birds doing on my head?" Tymon thought. Soon the birds began flying back and forth with pieces of string, sticks and grass. It was a pair of robins, building a nest! When he realized what they were doing, he sat very still.

"Mommy!" Tymon said in a loud whisper. He walked slowly into the kitchen. "Mommy, what is happening on top of my head?"

His mother looked up from her coffee and newspaper. "Tymon! How exciting! The mother and father robin built a nest on your head. There's four blue eggs in it, and the mother robin is sitting on them."

"Wow." Tymon said.

For several weeks Tymon had to walk very slowly so the eggs wouldn't fall out of the bird's nest. If he made too much noise or moved too much, the mother robin scolded him.

He even had to learn to sleep sitting up.

Wherever he went, people would point at him and say, "Look at that boy with the crazy hat!"

Or if they realized what it was they would ask, "How do you wash your hair with those birds on your head?" Sometimes Tymon's face would get red and he would look away. Other times he would shrug his shoulders and grin.

The nest on his head changed his life. No more jumping rope or somersaults. No more basketball and head stands. He spent every day walking slowly, talking quietly and sitting.

Finally one day, he heard a tap-tap-tapping sound coming from the eggs. Little pieces of blue shell fell on his shoulders, face and hands. Then he heard some high pitched cheeping sounds. The little birds were hungry!

If Tymon thought he hadn't gotten any sleep before, now he really didn't. The baby birds were always hungry. The father and mother robin were constantly flying back and forth getting worms and things for them to eat. Tymon's parents had to leave a window in their house open so the robin parents could get in and out. Tymon had to keep brushing crumbs and worms off his clothes and off his pillow.

After a while the baby birds were ready to learn to fly. Tymon spent a few days feeling the baby birds leaping from his head, practicing their flying. Finally the last baby bird had learned to fly and the father and mother moved out. He felt a little sad as he watched them all fly away. But Tymon's head felt ten pounds lighter.

"Mommy," Tymon said, "I need to get this nest off my head."

His mother smiled at him. "I wondered when this day would come. Come on. I think you need a haircut."

They went to a barber shop and the barber raised his eyebrows. "I have never seen such a nest on anyone's head before!" he said.

Tymon and his mother smiled at each other. His hair had grown quite long by this time, and it was tangled with sticks and eggshells. The barber snipped and clipped and Tymon's head felt lighter and lighter. When the barber was finished Tymon looked like a movie star. He admired himself in the mirror from different angles. "You look very handsome," his mother said.

As they walked from the barbershop, Tymon touched the top of his head and turned a cartwheel on the sidewalk. "Yippee!" he yelled.

That night in the bathtub, Tymon said, "Mommy will you wash my hair?"

Kim lives in Maine, which is lovely, and where she continues her enthusiastic relationship with Art, Music, Nature, Books, Animals, Humor and Trees.