a hairy tale

According to my friend Wikipedia, there are three essential parts to a cautionary tale: “First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the narrative itself is told: someone disregarded the warning and performed the forbidden act. Finally, the violator comes to an unpleasant fate, which is frequently related in large and grisly detail.”

The following is a cautionary tale about handing a pair of scissors to a man to give a sleeping baby a trim.  Not to worry, the grisly details to come don’t involve blood like many of my other blogs as of late. However, the hair on my 13-month-old’s head certainly met an unpleasant fate that day.

This was not baby J’s first haircut. Truth be told, my son came out of the womb in need of a good trim. As you can see from this picture taken when he was six days old, he came into the world with lots of dark hair that extended quite a bit over his cute little ears.


Over the course of his first year, I trimmed his hair eight or nine times as he napped on my lap. It was easy to keep up with his fast-growing locks in the early months. He napped multiple times a day and was easy to maneuver on my lap. Plus, as he lost his initial baby hair, there wasn’t as much hair to trim.  Here he is at four months sporting a sweet baby comb-over.


The system was working fairly well until he transitioned to one nap a day and became bigger, more wriggly and much hairier. Which brings me to that fateful day when Daddy took scissors into his own hands.

We’d been putting it off for way too long. We were constantly sweeping his hair behind his ears and across his forehead. He had started pulling at his hair, and we began to imagine it was because his hair was tickling his ears and eyebrows. I just couldn’t imagine the mayhem of taking my clipper-phobic one-year-old to a barber. So, it seemed like a good alternative at the time.

My conscientious husband started out cutting slowly and accurately as baby J slept peacefully on my shoulder. But then things took a terrible turn – he grabbed for the clippers. The buzz awakened my hibernating baby bear, and he let out a quick growl. His sudden reaction startled my husband, who detached a sideburn.

“Ooo…that’s going to take a while to grow back,” said Mama Bear. (I should pause here to point out the first moral of my story:  the number of “constructive comments” made to the person holding the scissors is in exact proportion to the number of holes carved into your baby’s hairdo.) Daddy Bear became flustered.

Our little cub nuzzled back into my shoulder, turning his head to the opposite side. Learning his lesson, my patient husband abandoned the clippers for the scissors once more. Learning my lesson, I kept my mouth shut. . . for as long as I could. This is hard for me to do at the best of times, but I was finding it increasingly difficult as the chopping ensued.

Giving in to temptation, the “gentle suggestions” began. “Don’t you think that’s a little short? Could you take a little more off right there?”

And, I can’t fail to admit that I broke out a couple of my signature sounds that are generally reserved for the passenger seat of our car: the quick intake of air {schwuuuup} and the slow exhale of air {heeeeeeh}. (Another good life lesson. . . breathing can be annoying. Sometimes it's inappropriate.) 

At this point, my conscientious, patient husband transformed into a wild-eyed, scissor-wielding madman. He randomly picked off bunches of hair, lopping them off without remorse. He grabbed the clippers again and dove in for the kill.

I could tell by the look on his face that his mission was clear, and he wasn’t going to let up until it was completed. As our firstborn began to squirm and howl, his father clipped unmercifully.

When my dear husband deemed the deed was done, he took a step back to survey the damage. Amid wails and fallen comrades, baby J’s remaining strands of hair stood on end. One sideburn on, one sideburn off and a big chunk missing in the front, his broken bowl cut was equal parts disturbing and comical.

I cast my gaze from the hairy mess up to my husband, still with nostrils flaring. Our eyes locked, he snickered, I snorted and we both burst into fits of laughter. As usual, poor baby J just coudn't see the humour in it. Maybe he will when he looks back at these pictures one day.




And this is after several day's growth!

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1 comment

Stacey said...

Hahahaha I can't believe how bad his hair was when he came in! It's Stacey from Beaners btw. Kids cry during haircuts, its just another haircut for us, crying or not. We love cutting kids hair. Especially if the hair was as bad as J's! Its a nice transformation afterwards!

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