First Professional Haircut

Last week when my eye was swelling out of its socket, I took Cavanaugh for his first professional haircut. That hadn’t exactly been my plan. I was hoping his dad would take him. I hadn’t expected to have a crazy allergic reaction anyway.

Instead, the Toys R Us haircutting salon had moved so when my ex and son went for the haircut, they were given the address of another place. I think Toys R Us proved a distraction and they never made it to Cool Cuts.

 When I met them for the lunch/kid exchange, I had just rubbed my eye and started itching, swelling, tearing. By then though, Mike and Cavanaugh had bought a LEGO Fire Rescue Set  and made a deal that Cavanaugh could open it after he got his haircut. I ended up in the middle of the deal, so it was me taking Cavanaugh to Cool Cuts 4 Kids

I called the eye doctor first. It sounded like all I’d be doing is giving myself eye drops antihistamine, so having something for Cavanaugh to do that didn’t require my active participation seemed good.

They had a taxi cab or firetruck or the kids to sit in. Cavanaugh chose Magic School Bus Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! to watch during the haircut. He was so excited about the LEGOs after that there was no resistance at all. It kind of felt like a bribe and I don’t usually go in for those, but it was working.

Haircuts around our house have been a mixed bag. They usually take two or three days. I cut the back with clippers one day, then the sides and bangs with scissors over a couple of days as I make corrections and try to even things out. This is all fine unless Cavanaugh shakes his head and I’m afraid I’m going to poke him in the eye or make him into a 21st century Van Gogh. Then I get yelly. “Stay still. I don’t want to hurt you!” Like that reassures him.

It’s just that sometimes the haircuts go so well. It’s easy. We play or talk. It goes quickly. Cavanaugh makes funny faces at himself in the hand mirror. So, I try it again. The next time, maybe not so good.

I just hadn’t been convinced Cavanaugh would deal with some stranger touching him, especially not his head. (No, we still haven’t been to the dentist. We’re working up to that one). Also, my son is not particularly fond of loud noises, as echo-ey salons with music and clippers and water and people talking are wont to be.

So I just kept trying to cut his hair and make it as easy on both of us as possible. But the last haircut was so far out of my league. His hair was getting thick on top. He has two cowlicks on the back top of his head, like a Buddha. Plus there was the whole wiggling and trying to grab the scissors business. 

Paying someplace twenty bucks so I wouldn’t yell at or accidentally injure my child seemed like a good investment. So he’s sitting in the taxi watching a video and it takes fifteen minutes.

They didn’t really ask me how I’d like it to look, I realized as the stylist turned on the clippers. Cavanaugh wasn’t freaked out really, though he wasn’t so sure about the spray bottle used to wet his hair, or her turning his head one way or another to get a cut.

The haircut was generic, not nearly as cute as I’ve managed in the past (if I do say so myself). Still, I thought we’d won not only the battle but the whole haircutting war, even though I was afraid Cavanaugh might expect a toy for every haircut, which wasn’t really a bargain I wanted to make.

When we get up front to pay, Cavanaugh looked at me and said, “I don’t want to come back here again, at all.”

“Why not?”

“You just cut my hair Mama.”

“But you got to sit in a taxi and it took a short time and there was no yelling.”

“I don’t want to come back here at all Mama. You cut it.”

Luckily, his hair is short enough that we’ve got a couple of months before we have to revisit this.

1 comment to First Professional Haircut

  • Karen Adamo

    We went to that same place a couple days ago to even out Ruby’s bangs and get Langston a decent cut before the baby comes. Langston freaked when a male stylist approached and we tried to get him into that very taxi cab. We ended up with Langston on my bulging lap in a salon chair with a gentle female stylist. The whole haircutting deal is so fraught for him, I asked for the very shortest cut (labeled on their menu as “The Spike”) so we could get more time out of the haircut. Now Langston looks about five years older and punky, like he should be wearing an army uniform. Right after we left, we went to the toy store next door, which was empty but for the clerk and us. With his gel-spiked hair, he got mad that I meandered too far from him and screamed out, “Stupid Mommy!” The sweet, timid little boy with the long floppy hair who I had taken into the haircut salon an hour before was transformed into a mean little punk! I wished I could explain to the clerk that it was only the second time he had ever said this to me and how sweet he really is. Instead, we made our way out of the store in shame.

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