Backed into a corner! That’s where I found myself this afternoon. I was out with the family, not expecting anything life-changing to occur. We’d just had a blast at the playground and then stopped at Panera for lunch. I had wanted to take the kids to one of the shops a few doors down from Panera, when we suddenly walked past the door. OB and I saw it at the same time and I tried to look away. Don’t make eye contact, I thought. Well, it was too late. He saw it, he saw me see it and he said the words I’d been avoiding for so long. “Should we take PR to get a haircut today?” The door that we’d walked past was our local Snip-its. I wanted to scream, “UMMMMMMMMMMM NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” Instead, I looked at him with what I’m sure was a class-A stank face and said, “Ummm, I don’t know. Ask her. Does she really want one?” Unfortunately as we know, she wasn’t the one who wasn’t ready for a haircut and when he asked her, she answered with a firm yes.
When we walked through the door that I had hoped upon hope to avoid, my nightmare only got worse. The little salon was bright, colorful and had all kinds of games and fun things to look at. What the heck?? How was I going to get out of this now? The girls were off and running, spinning the wheel on some game designed to make kids forget the treachery-by-scissors that is coming their way. I managed to tear her away from spinning that wheel for two minutes so that I could attempt to get one final picture of her with that long, long hair. She did a few awkward poses and then after OB saw that I was about to burst into tears or call the whole thing off, he talked to her and somehow convinced her to sit still and smile.
I heard her name called and realized this was my last chance to grab her by the arm and get the heck out of Dodge. As the hairdresser walked PR over to her chair, complete with a little TV and a bucket full of lollipops (you sneaky little wench), she asked, “So, you are going to get your first haircut today?” I was all over that like the crazy lunatic that I am. “No! Not a haircut. Just a trim! A tiny, tiny trim! Really small. Not a lot!” She gave me a nod that said that this wasn’t her first encounter with my brand of crazy.
PR was such a good girl! It actually took longer to brush her hair out than to cut it. That could be because we don’t believe in brushes and it only gets combed out every other night after her bath. After that, we finger comb only (if you are paying attention, that is how I achieve the wavy mermaid hair look that I am obsessed with). Anyhow, she brushed and brushed, probably to prove that I am a bad mother that doesn’t brush her child’s hair. Or maybe she just wanted it all untangled before she cut it. Who can be sure? PR sat there so nicely and so still. She didn’t complain at all. Suddenly I felt like I was going to burst into tears. I had desperately wanted a baby with hair because my poor sister didn’t have hair as a baby and was mistaken for a boy all the time until she was two. Through the pain of labor, in between pushes, I had asked the nurse to report back to me as to whether or not she was seeing any hair on the tiny head I was trying to force out of me. I stuck it out when PR’s hair in the back was significantly longer than what was growing on the sides. I had embraced that baby mullet, knowing that for 41+ weeks, I had worked so hard to grow a baby with hair and I wasn’t about to part with any of it. I have painstakingly put it up every time she’s used the potty so that it didn’t get peed on or worse. I spend time styling her hair every morning before we leave, while I’m lucky to even get a messy side pony. Her hair and whatever I was about to lose of it was definitely making me feel all the feelings.
The hairdresser said that since her hair was so long and she was so little in her chair, she needed to cut it standing up. PR cooperated perfectly. She showed me how much she was going to cut before she did anything permanent. I’m pretty sure that it was less than an inch. “Yup! That looks good to me!” It seriously took about five minutes. She braided PR’s hair for her and we were on our way. Both girls got some bubbles. One more cool thing for them to remember and want to come back for – what a racket this place is!
That night when I unbraided PR’s hair so that we could take a bath and wash it, she was quite dismayed to find that it was still down to her butt. “Did someone cut my hair today? With scissors? Seriously? For real? Because it’s still really long and I wanted it short like yours or LB’s or Daddy’s. Wait, did I say Daddy’s? No way, I don’t want to look like a boy!” I realized that maybe I could have let her cut off a teeny tiny bit more. Maybe I had been a little bit overprotective. OB said that he was just happy that I had survived it and allowed it to happen. He evidently thought that if we had waited much longer, it might start getting weird. The next day I told PR that I was so excited to take a picture of her with her new haircut and she looked at me and said, “Mama, my hair is still so long. No one will believe I cut it.” Maybe so, but I could still see the little pile of cut hair that had fallen to PRs feet as she stood there. So we got the haircut she’d been asking for, the teeny tiny trim I’d demanded, both girls ended up with a lollipop and some bubbles, and only one of us cried.