Hair. Something that would make or break a person, something we call our crowning glory.
I had my fair share of problematic hair days with the folks for me sporting a different color each month on spiked cropped hair – blonde, pink, red, blue, green, purple, ash etc.. How my parents coped with their daughter being a psychedelic smurf I don’t know. Let’s just hope that part of the apple falls far away from this tree.
Callum didn’t have much hair to begin with. At 6-8 months he even started loosing what looked like a few sprouts! We never felt the impetus to cut his hair, if anything I had enjoyed seeing him grow it out.
“He looks like a hippy.” My mom in law would comment.
6 months still no hair
Girl or boy? At 3 years old
It was until he was perhaps a year old that I realized a trip to the salon was needed and Lo & Behold our little prince wouldn’t allow anyone or anything to go anywhere near an inch from his head/hair face.
He would scream, punch, pinch, shiver, shake, cry, bawl, kick and grab. DVDs, iPads, iPhones, new toys, chocolates, lollies, balloons, car salon seats, you name it we tried it – nothing worked.
Even the kiddy salon aunty told me, “maybe you cut at home better lah” she gave up on us!
I would too if I had to follow this mom around the mall with a scissors and tissue trying to snip locks off her screaming devil possessed child!
The following year was a nightmare with me sneaking in a crooked snip during cartoon time, him not wanting to walk pass any “baby spa” kiddy salon type shops in the mall, having to deal with his fear of hair or anything that resembles hair that had fallen onto his arms, clothes, legs or anywhere within a 1 meter radius of his existence.
I gave up for a while and would sneak in a few snips during nap time. We bought books, played you tube videos and showed him pictures constantly. We brought him to salons to see how we got our hair cut, we allowed him to “cut” our hair, we bribed him with ice cream, toys, the moon.
What have I done? A question that popped into my mind every now and then.
However, slowly but surely at the age of three, he allowed for “only mommy can cut my hair” days – that equated to a shorter fringe every 6 months and even then, the ordeal was nothing pleasant. His dad would have to hold him tight while he shivered, froze and would only allow me anywhere close to his head for not more than 10 mins at each session. It was still, such an achievement.
We continued with the same old books and videos, constantly reading and coaxing every week & every month, explaining to him that while he thought mommy was the bestest hair dresser in the world, sometimes other people like “Nadia” from Getting a hair cut would do a great job too.
So one a fine day in September, something changed.
He wanted and really longed for a loopy loop race track. He had been looking at it for the longest time at the shops. Being three and a half, I thought I would try to speak to him again.
At first he was hesitant, but the temptation of the race track was too great. Ahhh age and the human condition has caught up at last.
It was a Friday, his dad had been prepping him in the morning about the trip to the salon. Grandpa and Nana skyped from China cheering him on.
You could see the uncertainty in his eyes, but each time I saw the fear, I roared,
“How fun would that loopy loop race track be?!”
D-day 27.09.2013- He took a nap in the car. I had made sure I packed the track into the boot and also just in case, had a smaller car ready for him to hold during the cut. I had packed m&ms, cookies, anything that he looked at as a treat.
I was excited and fearful at the same time. A nap in the car? Was I nuts? Won’t I be greeted by an uber cranky child that would not even want to get out of the seat let alone walk into a salon for the first time to get his hair cut? What was I doing? It was too late. I was already cruising on CTE wondering if a coffee playground date would do just as well for a Friday afternoon.
I parked and woke him up. He was cranky. I showed him the car, look! It is your favorite Audi r8! He was happy, he smiled.
“Are we ready for the loopy loop after the hair cut?” He nodded hesitantly.
Mom 1 Hair cut devil 0
We went straight up to the Salon. There were no balloons, no DVD screens, no fancy car chairs. It had no children, no bright happy colors, no Mickey Mouse characters smiling cynically in the mirrors.
What it had was a lady in a wheelchair, an uncle at the front seat and few older aunties chatting and getting their hair blown dry. No one turned to look at him, no one cared for him much.
I walked up to the counter and said,
“I need a kiddy cut. It’s his first time and he hasn’t gotten a proper hair cut since birth. The ladies looked at me perplexed. I warned them again, it’s his first time, he hates hair cuts and he hates salons. Let’s just see what we can achieve here today.”
Jossy aka Nadia (from the book) walked up to him,
“Ok are you ready for your hair cut?”
He shook his head. Looked down on the ground and started to sulk.
“Come on! It will be veryyyy fast. Ok?”
He looked up at her and said,
“Ok. But I don’t want the hair dryer please.”
She smiled and said,
“Ok. No problem. Look here, see I’m turning it off.”
He walked to the seat where there was a curved plank just plonked on top of the arm rests.
“Don’t they look like racing ramps? It’s a special seat just for race car drivers.”
Up he went.
Mom 2 Hair cut devil 0!
Jossy puts a cape over him and he starts to freak out.
Secret weapon release: Out comes the loopy loop track right in front of his eyes.
“Wooooowwwwwwwww! It’s the race track!! Wow wow wow mommy!”
The maneuver buys Jossy a towel tuck in, a scissors unveiling and a nice comb through.
He tells me in his shaky voice,
“Mommy please hold my hand. I just close my eyes ok. When it is finished then I open my eyes ok? I just close now ok?”
Happy as a cow, I reassure him,
“Sure baby, don’t worry my hands are here ok? Once it is all done we can play with your new race track and it will be so fun!”
Suddenly, he begins to open his eyes, mainly because he wants to check out his new toy but also tells me,
“Look I can open my eyes and get the hair cut. I’m not afraid any more!”
Mom 10000000 Hair cut devil 0000000
And as they say, the rest was history. He was so amused by how different he looked that he kept on wanting to see how much she could cut off.
“I am different now! I am so very different now!” He exclaimed after Jossy had finished.
And that was it, one of my biggest mothering milestones. I could have cried tears of joy and hugged Jossy a million times.
No one could have understood how I felt and probably thought I was some nutcase of a mom smiling from ear to ear.
A hard lesson learnt and I told him immediately after that we would be seeing her very soon again.
So there, after three long years, we finally made the cut. And boy oh boy was it a happy day for me.
Eyes on the prize
Who is that in the mirror? Is it I? The great one who fear hair cuts?
Different much? Sure thing my little champion!