No more mommy haircuts, please

I wear many hats at home: mom, wife, friend, teacher, counselor, chef, housekeeper, toy finder, schedule maker, comforter, fish keeper, homework nagger, encourager, discipliner, etc. Beginning this week I realized that I’m also a hairdresser for both kids.

In the past, I took Elliot to a salon for two separate haircuts, but we’d all come home exhausted and traumatized from his nonstop crying. If the hairdresser got close to his head, he’d cry and try to squirm away by pulling off the velcro from the haircut cape. It was exasperating to hold him while his hair got all over me. I decided to save us from the trouble and cut his hair at home instead.

Rare occassion where he’ll allow me to pin his hair.

Mostly the hair cuts turn out well, even to my surprise. Everyone is content and I congratulate myself for saving time, money, and jangled nerves. But…there’s the other part too. I accidentally cut too much, unevenly, or make blunt cuts that don’t blend naturally with the rest of the hair.

I finally told Elliot that we are going to trim his bangs. It’s been a few months since his last successful haircut, so I assumed this one would be the same. These days he likes his bangs long and swept over to the side. We negotiated: he’ll let me cut his hair after I’ve watched him play several rounds of video games.

I started out confident but got nervous after the bangs turned out jagged. I’m not a trained hairdresser! He must’ve sensed my uneasiness because he ran to the mirror to check out the damage. When I went to see what his response would be, it was what I expected. Tears.

Previously he’d ignore a bad haircut and forget all about it. Not this time! He checked his hair in the mirror at various angles, combed his hair with his fingers, wet it with water, recombed, and as the last resort, shook out his hair as though that’d settle the wonky bangs into place. He asked me how I could do this to his hair. I offered to style it with pomade but he told me to leave the bathroom so he could be alone.

I realized that he’s not a small kid anymore; hairstyle is a big deal to him now. It’s a sensitive subject for growing kids about their identity, confidence, and appearances. What am I saying? It’s sensitive for grown ups too. A bad haircut makes me grumpy too.

I put my ear to the bathroom door and heard soft snapping scissor sounds. Alarmed I knocked loudly and asked if he was cutting hair!! I imagined opening the door to hair shredded all over the sink with bangs cut too close to his hairline, maybe even a mullet (which always reminds me of my 8th grade science teacher). My imagination went ahead of me. He only snipped a tiny bit. But it was a close call. He could’ve been tempted to go ahead and cut his hair.

I called in the big guns; Chris, you gotta help me fix this hair issue!! I tried not to ask him since he was inundated with video meetings that day and the following day, but this qualified as an emergency. He got the supplies and calmly proceeded to snip away the excess hair from the sides and cut it in proportion to the very short bangs. My approach is the exact antithesis to his; not methodical but unorganized in the name of creativity. Elliot was slightly appeased with the end result, but his eyes began to tear up again.

It’s been four days since the hair fiasco. Today he tells me that he likes his new haircut and that his hair is beginning to grow out. I smiled but inside I couldn’t help rolling my eyes.

My conclusion: I’m taking off my hairdresser hat and confidently passing it onto Chris. He has my blessing and profuse thanks.

13 thoughts on “No more mommy haircuts, please

  1. I used to cut my son’s hair all the time and my husband’s hair. Once my oldest daughter wanted me to buzz her hair underneath but keep the top long. I figured I could do it but I got distracted and the clipper slipped and I took out a whole section of hair right up the back of her head. We both cried. Luckily she went to an art school at the time so none of her friends gave her grief over her weird hair cut.

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    • Oh my, that sounds like a traumatic experience for you and your daughter. Just hearing about it made me nervous. You must’ve felt so bad!
      It’s great that your daughter took it on stride and she didn’t get grief from her peers. That would’ve been awful for her and for you to know. I wonder what your daughter thinks about that time. It’s an interesting story to tell!

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      • We were talking about it on the weekend. A new friend hadn’t heard the story before and my daughter can now see the humour in it but her recollection of the circumstances is a little different from mine. I guess that’s normal.

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      • It’s an interesting story to remember and special that you and your daughter experienced it together. You’re right…recollections can differ. But it’s great that your daughter finds it humorous now.

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  2. Ha ha – he is growing up quickly isn’t he? Now you have to wonder who he is going to be impressing, since we are still in a pandemic and school will be taught at home even after that. Good thing Chris saved the day and came to the rescue.

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    • He is! He wonders when he will be considered a teen and when I told him that he’ll be a tween before a teen, he grinned silly.
      I remember my younger days when all I wanted to be was a grown up. And now that I am, I realize my mom was telling the truth. You don’t get more time and life gets busier with more responsibilities.
      Not sure who he’s trying to impress either. It’s a self image thing. That will probably change in a few years. It’s a natural part of growing up, but Chris and I will have to get over the awkwardness and fear of dealing with those teenage years.
      Kids are more critical of me than with Chris. Since I’m with them all the time, they know what they can get away with. With Chris, they’re not so vocal about critical remarks. He lets me be the bad guy…

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      • Yes, your little boy is growing up and cannot wait to be more fingers old. ๐Ÿ™‚ My mom was the bad guy in the family and would mete out punishment for any wrongdoing and my father would hold back, except one night when I came home late and he locked the screen door on me – sigh.

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      • Oh boy, dad must’ve been mad to lock the screen door. What did you do? Did he let you in soon after?
        In high school I came home late too and the driveway was dark. I was relieved that maybe they had gone to sleep and not noticed that I was not home. Ugh, the only child. Kind of hard to hide when there’s no one else to distract them. When I turned in to park my car, I saw both my parents waiting for me. They saw me and then walked away without saying a word. The next day they took away my car keys.

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      • I had to bang on the door to get him to open it … I had a door key, but not for the screen door. He claims he didn’t realize he locked it … I was just late getting home as it was a high school friend’s wedding/reception and I was late coming home. I was with a date but I don’t think it was his fault. I was just visiting with my friends. I didn’t drive that night, but can picture my parents doing that to me too. I worked just five blocks away but I only worked weekends/school breaks/Summers, but started at 7:00 a.m.

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    • Thank you! It was a stressful moment for me and my husband, but it worked out in the end. I’m happy that I can see his eyes now.
      This is like when my mom harped on me for wearing low rise jeans in the 90s. But seriously, that was the only kind of jeans sold in shops in those years.

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  3. We recently had a hair fiasco too. A bad barber cut and then a redo at my salon for our 11-year-old son. Iโ€™m so grateful that hair grows! Kudos to you and your husband for the DIY!

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    • Ditto! I’m so glad hair grows quicker for kids than grown ups. I have done some pretty awful haircuts over the years. Well, I had a piece of hair that kept falling on my cheeks. Guess what? This was after my son’s meltdown. I cut it and didn’t bother to wear my glasses. I can only laugh about it now. It’s Covid and hair experiments maybe the norm for now.

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