|Form a line, folks.|
My sons are 7 and 9, and I’ve finally given up cutting my sons’ hair. There’s a small indication that this has been 7 to 9 years too long in coming.
I thought they were simple men, and in fact, one of them still is. The 7-year-old is fine with whatever a No. 4 clip can hand out. But Kendall, my older son, started to make noise about wanting a hairstyle. Third grade appears to bring with it a sense of one’s self and a Nickelodeon awareness of fashion.
He wanted long hair. “The kind you can flip, like this,” he said, whipping his head while his ¼-inch hair stood still.
Fine, I said, I’ll grant you a No. 5.
This lasted through one haircut, during which he yelped with the injustice of cutting a single strand. It was such a scene that threats were made and delivered upon, me brandishing the ultimate punishment in a Conair 23-piece haircut kit.
Time passed, hair grew. In order to get him to submit to a haircut the next time, I granted him a No. 6. But I accidentally snapped on a No. 3 and watched in shock as one strip of his marvelous three months of ratty, uneven hair fell to the floor. I can’t say it was an unpleasant shock.
This time the threats were delivered from a short, tufted youngster in a long plastic bib.
As a peace offering, I decided to “officially” let him grow out his hair this winter. It’s been a rough stretch of indoor togetherness, what with me having to spend a lot of time with a hairstylestraight from Big Time Rush.
About at the peak of cabin fever, I couldn’t take it: I got out the scissors. Scissors are not, as it turns out, as foolproof as trimmers (it’s duly noted how the trimmers did, in fact, fool me). He went crazy trying to stop me, but I trimmed a little here, a little there, feeling all capable and crafty with my pocket comb and sewing scissors. It ended up looking less shaggy but, alas, more mullety.
About then, he blew up and refused any more styling from me. I noticed then that it was a mullet. Fine, I said, Go! I wanted him away from the mirror and fast.
But he loved it – had never even heard of a mullet. But everyone else took note that his new hairstyle was more or less a bad haircut. And after 9 years of bragging about cutting his hair, suspicions rested on me.
Tim said nothing, knowing full well it was a decision I had to come to on my own or he would pay far more than a $12.95 haircut could ever cost.
“We need a professional,” I finally admitted, face to face with my handiwork at a family lunch where they casually discussed the merits of cosmetology school. While I secretly prided myself on saving us untold $12.95s over the years, I was happy to be done with the chore of making small angry boys stand still.
And so I caved. I paid for each child to get a haircut. After howling through my haircuts for years, they sat in the pump chairs preening into the mirror, even as their hair fell to the floor. I watched, mystified, and worshiped these women and their thinning shears.
I was shocked to see what a real haircut looks like in this decade. The boys looked awesome! My run as Chief Haircutter has come to an end. And for this, we shall rejoice. Scissor- and mullet-free.