For him I think it is the hair that falls on his neck that bothers him. Maybe it’s the buzzing sound of the clippers or the vibration of them on his head. Or maybe it’s the salon smell or the hands of a stranger touching him. Or just the fear that comes from not knowing exactly whats going on or why it is necessary. It could be all or none of these, but I’m not sure – because he can’t tell me. The only thing I’m sure of is that it is hard. He runs and squirms and resists. Then he screams and squeals and covers his head with his hands. My little almost four year old boy suddenly has the strength of an enraged teenage boy and the more I try to keep him still the stronger he gets. He behaves this way not because he is bad but because for him haircuts are hard.
For me I think it’s the eyes. The looks of disapproval that I can feel across the room make me second guess myself and wonder for a moment if this is all because of a lack of discipline. It’s also his eyes that are wide and full of tears and they’re screaming “why are you doing this to me!?” and I wonder if it’s worth it but we have already made it this far. It’s his voice that is so big when he is screaming and so tiny when he cries “please please”. It’s the number of times I feel like I should apologize to the hairdresser who has patiently tried everything from giving him candy to cutting his hair in the play area. It’s the feeling of defeat when we get in the car with only the back of his hair trimmed. I stoically thank and tip the hairdresser and load up the kids. I try to move on in my thoughts as I drive home and am only partially successful. I feel the thoughts flooding in. “What should I have done differently?” “Should I have come earlier or waited until after naptime?” “Did I give him enough a transition time?” “Does he think I’m torturing him?” They keep coming and I keep pushing them back. Then a man honks angrily at me and all my feelings come forth in the form of rage. I whip around and gesture and shout and then I cry a cry that is unstoppable and clouds my vision but strangely feels good. I do this not because of an impatient driver, but because haircuts are hard. For both of us.
But he makes a reverse mullet look cute anyway. ❤