Wednesday, June 29, 2005

My Toddler's Haircuts

One thing we can usually count on as parents is the struggle that comes with trying to perform regular grooming tasks for our babies and toddlers. I have a son who is just over two years old, and it is a challenge to get him to sit or stand still and cooperate as I attempt to wash his hands, brush his teeth, comb his hair, cut his nails, etc. When he knows it's time to do one of these things, he reacts in one of two ways. He either runs away and hides somewhere in the house, or he immediately starts kicking and screaming. He hates going through any of those grooming rituals, but I would have to say that he hates getting his hair cut even more.

He's one of those kids whose hair grows very quickly. I like to keep it cut short, especially in this summer weather, so we're looking at haircuts for him every 2 months or so. I tried giving him a home haircut first, but I botched it up so badly that I decided to just bite the bullet and take him to a professional barber. In my area, there are a couple of shops that cater specifically to children; they don't take adult appointments at all. One of the shops looked pretty inviting. They had smaller chairs, televisions and DVD players at each station, a large waiting room filled with colorful toys, and stylists who were specially trained to deal with children. I decided to take my son there despite the hefty $40 price tag for a simple cut.

The session started off well enough. We were 15 minutes early, so my son kept himself busy in the play area for during that time. When it was our turn, I discovered that my son was too small to sit in the chair by himself, so I had to squeeze in so he could sit on my lap. The stylist put a colorful Mickey Mouse smock around both of us, which my son loved. The stylist then put a cartoon DVD in, pulled out her scissors, and started to cut. That's when my son flipped out.

He started screaming and crying like I had never heard him do before. Once I got him calmed down, the stylist tried again, but to no avail. My son just started screaming again. The stylist said that if I could just hold him still, she could still cut his hair. So I did my best to keep my son from wriggling around too much. What followed was an agonizing 20 minutes of tears and loud wails. In the end, his hair got cut. It didn't look too bad, considering the circumstances, but I still decided not to go back to that place.

My son has had four additional haircuts since that time (each at a different place). He's getting a little better, but it's still a big hassle to go through. Hopefully he grows out of this haircut-hating stage soon!

No comments: