Be honest… How many of you took one look at the title and assumed this blog would be about my husband getting a vasectomy? Stop lying, you know you did. But sorry to disappoint; it’s not.
Today was a day I’ve long dreaded; it was the day of Junior’s first haircut. After nearly 26 months his sweet head went from housing wispy strawberry strands to soft blonde curls, and in recent weeks, a badly kept mullet. The time had come.
I knew we’d take him to the fancy kid salon for his first trim, so I prepped all week by telling him he’d get to sit in a cool airplane chair and watch cartoons while he got his hair cut. He was all about it. We walked in on Saturday morning, along with every other mom, dad, and kid within a 20-mile radius. Fortunately the place was set up well with toys and TVs in every direction so the time passed quickly.
As we sat at a table stacking blocks with Junior, another little boy who was a few months older took his place in the racecar chair, and promptly started losing his mind. He was frantic. Screaming, writhing, trying to climb out of the chair. His mother was holding him down, apologizing to the stylist, and insisting to her son that everything was OK. Meanwhile, Junior stops what he’s doing and starts staring at the kid having the out-of-body experience. Then I saw a little bit of concern land on his forehead. He looked at the screamer, then back at me, then back at the screamer and asked “why is he crying mommy?” Uh oh. The last thing we needed was for Junior to perceive this fun, colorful, non-dangerous place to be threatening because of one panicky child, and possibly pitch his own fit later.
So we moved him to a new place so he couldn’t see the boy anymore, and in a few minutes Junior’s name was called. He raced over to the empty chair painted like a police car and we strapped him in. Who’s his neighbor? None other than the poor boy who hates haircuts, still wailing away. Junior’s face went ashen, and despite the positive chatter we threw at him he retained a stoic, glazed-over look. It’s like he thought the kid next to him was being punished for something, so he stayed perfectly quiet and still so as not to face the same consequences. I felt terrible for the upset child and his poor mother, who was doing everything in her power to calm her baby. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do.
Those stylists spend all day giving haircuts to little kids, so they’ve got the process down. Six minutes and $20 later Junior’s mullet was lopped off and his hair was shaped up. Out of courtesy his stylist didn’t inquire about his choppy, crooked bangs; clearly the work of an untrained mother wielding kitchen scissors who desperately wanted to buy more time before the “real” haircut. She was very kind to keep her mouth shut and not ask questions before she got to work.
I think the first haircut was his final step out of babyland and into boyhood. Funny thing is, I feel like he looks younger now instead of older. I didn’t cry when it all went down; it was a fun experience for me because HE had fun. In fact he’s chatted about his haircut all day, and even more so about the “boy who was sad”. I wonder if that boy will be scarred for life…
I hope Junior’s curls spring back as his hair grows out again. If I never see them bouncing on the back of his head I know I’ll be disappointed. So just to be safe I grabbed the kitchen scissors once more and claimed a curl for myself before we left. There it sits, in a labeled Ziploc bag waiting to go in his baby book. Baby’s first haircut: Saturday, November 17, 2012.