I cut Simon’s hair today. I’ve always just used clippers to hack his hair back to near bald. It’s been awhile since I last cut it. He wasn’t particularly verbal yet last time. But it was still short hair.
I sat him down in my lap in the kitchen, and showed him the clippers. I showed him how to turn them on, and he explored the guard and the blades with his finger. He was fascinated with the buzz. Then I informed him that I was going to cut his hair.
He said, “No. I don’t need a hair cut.”
I said, “Yes, you do. I’ll be quick.”
Though he disagreed with me, he held still for the first pass, and agreed that it felt funny. And then he saw a hank of hair hit the floor.
I’m sure the neighbors thought I was after him with a chainsaw, cutting off entire digits and limbs. He screamed, and writhed and sobbed. I wanted to sob.
“NO, MAMA! I TOLD YOU NOT TO!”
“I’m so sorry, Simon.”
He paused in his screaming, and writhing, and sobbing to wail, “That’s okay!”
More hair hit the floor. There’s no hiding it from him. He’s writhing in all directions.
“NO, MAMA! I TOLD YOU NOT TO! I HAVE TO LEAVE! I HAVE TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW!”
More hair, more withering of mama’s soul.
“NO, MAMA! I HAVE TO LEAVE! I HAVE TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW! YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT BETTER.”
Finally, I’m done. He points at the pile on the floor.
“YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT BETTER! YOU HAVE TO FIX MY HAIR!”
I lack that magic.
Half an hour later, with little red dots still around his eyes from having cried so hard, Simon is quietly, peacefully playing in the bathtub as his Daddy arrives home from work. I’m still shaking in my corner.
“Hey there, Buddy! I see you got your hair cut.”
Simon smiles up at him. “I did.”
Daddy asks, “It looks good. Do you like it?”
Simon answers cheerfully, running a hand over his head, “I do like it.”