This morning I inflicted the most terrible trauma on my unsuspecting 2 year old. He was coaxed, totally unaware into the shopping mall and then lured through the barbers door, using an apple scroll (lovely cake from Bakers Delight) as bait. Poor little thing, he didn’t stand a chance.
The first wail came out before I could even extract one arm from his harness. By the time I had completely unbuckled him, he was enforcing all laws of gravity to keep his bottom as firmly wedged into his stroller as possible. By the time he was pinned onto my lap, wrapped in a Wiggles cape and in front of the mirror, his lungs were working at their full capacity. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t peaceful. It certainly wasn’t fun, but what’s a mother to do?
With an incredibly thick head of hair, a troublesome double crown and sideburns that can leave him looking rather Hobbit-like, if left for too long, I had no choice but to ambush him and instruct someone to take a pair of scissors to his mop.
Of course the more I pinned him to me, the more he wriggled. The tighter I had to grip, the more he cried. The more tears that flowed, the wetter his face became, and within 5 minutes he had so much hair stuck to his face that his place on the evolutionary pecking order was becoming increasingly questionable. Even the apple scroll, normally perfect for bribery, didn’t do the trick. He clutched a piece in his hand, squished it through his fingers and refused to either eat it or part with it. Just as well really, as it was fast taking on the form of a hair ball, and would have proved a little tricky to swallow.
To say I was slightly warm and sweaty by this stage would be something of an understatement. I was certainly regretting wearing my new pair of cream trousers for the event, be it that my legs would now have looked more at home on a well groomed Shetland pony. Yet despite all of this, whilst I am normally the sort of person prone to panic attacks whenever stress rears it’s head in my vicinity, for once, I was actually able to maintain my composure. Maybe because I knew that to have a complete meltdown at this point would have finished us all off, and after all, he really was crying quite enough for the 2 of us.
Obviously I felt incredibly mean throughout the ordeal. Hearing your child beg for freedom is never nice, but as with all battle of wills, if I backed down every time and gave in, I’d have to kiss goodbye to him ever listening to me again. That aside, we’d also had to have left with another lop-sided cut, leading to possible teasing in the playground and the subsequent years later spent in therapy as a result.
Thankfully the woman with the scissors was everything you could ever ask for given the situation. She was experienced, calm, patient and most importantly of all, good-humoured. She somehow managed to hold his head still long enough to cut around his face, eyes and ears without removing any of the skin attached. She moved around him, snipping as she went and smiling the whole time. No doubt her teeth were gritted as she smiled, but at least she gave the illusion of being happy. Even the continuous blood curdling screams that were unsurprisingly alarming other customers and potentially losing the place any new passing trade, failed to stop her in her mission.
Now after the last place we had been, this was such a relief that had I not been holding an irate, hairy eel on my lap, I might just have relaxed a little at finding someone so good. The last girl who attempted to cut his hair had been so young and useless, she sent him out with uneven sides, a tuft on top and something that looked suspiciously like a mullet. “It will look better when it’s wet”, she assured me. It didn’t. It looked worse, far worse. After I got him home and shrieked for a good 5 minutes about how awful it looked, as I unsuccessfully tried to pin the tufts down with a comb, I was forced to get out my own scissors and corner him while he ate his tea. Needless to say he was less than amused.
Finally this latest cut was complete, and I’m pleased to say that the end result was definitely worth all the fuss. My son was dusted off and settled back into his stroller. He beamed up at me as he victoriously waved the remaindered of the apple scroll in the air, obviously believing that he had won the battle and finally got his own. I was just glad to be out of there and able to hear again. Win-win all round.
A waiting mother sympathised with me on the way out. “My son was just like that” she told me, “its a nightmare I know, but there’s nothing you can do.”
“How long did it last?” I asked, already suspecting what the answer would be.
“Oh until he was 4” she replied.
Marvelous. Just what I wanted to hear. Only 2 more years to go, or perhaps I just grow out his locks, rename him Samantha and start saving for the therapist instead.