There were two things that surprised me upon seeing my son BC for the first time after his birth. The first was how small he was. Well, he wasn’t small per se. He actually weighed 8 pounds & 15 ounces. But we were expecting him to be much bigger based on how big he measured in utero and because I weighed a hair under 11 pounds at birth.
|(Not BC, but rather a Slimy Stunt Baby)|
The bigger surprise to me was how much hair he had. Thick dark hair. And not just patches, he had full coverage. In retrospect it probably looked thicker than it actually was due to the styling gel-like properties of placenta.
After a couple months, BC’s hair began to recede and thin out. I figured it had been a fun ride, but he would soon be just like all the other bald babies out there. Once his hair started dropping it didn’t stop until it was a mere memory. It had only been a few months so hopefully he wasn’t too attached to it.
Naturally I was surprised during the second half of his first year of life that when BC’s body grew, so did his hair. He’s always been near the top of the growth charts in both height and weight (and head size, but that’s a story for another day). Similar to his birth hair, his “new” hair was unique for its waves and twists. It was cute, so we let it keep growing. And growing. And growing…
Shortly after his 1st birthday, BC’s hair did something interesting. His slightly wavy hair turned into tight ringlets. Think “Annie”, but not red. And without the weird bald guy and mangy dog hanging around. BC had always been a hit with the ladies, but this new hair made him a chick magnet. I was happy to see he inherited several of my best traits.
As his hair grew, it didn’t look as long as it was since the curls tightened it up. But some of the curls still fell into his face. He spent a lot of time pushing it out of his eyes, until my wife convinced me that he NEEDED a haircut. I was apprehensive but she showed me the websites for a couple of hair salons that specialize in kids and I finally acquiesced. I knew he needed the cut, but didn’t want to see him butchered.
On the following Saturday morning, we headed to one of those kid-friendly hair joints. The place had balloons out front, so how bad could it be? I’d soon find out…
We stepped inside and saw all of these cool mini sports cars that were barber chairs. There were a slew of
TVs on the wall to divert the little ones’ attention from the task at hand and colorful murals on all of the walls to distract the bored parents. There was also the sound of a pediatricians’ office mixed with a haunted house. Shrieks and wails filled the air of this brightly colored haven of hair.
A woman with a thick accent and a Sideshow Bob-esque mop on her head greeted us at the front and led us toward one of the Cars of Doom. Or at least that’s what BC must have thought it was. It all seemed innocent enough to me, but then again I’ve been getting haircuts for decades.
As we approached the chair we heard a kid screaming his brains out, as though the hairs had just been removed one-by-one from his scalp with rusty tweezers. My wife said to me “Oh, that poor mother. Her kid is acting like a putz!” As the mother led her freshly-shorn kid toward the door, we recognized them as people we’d recently met at a mutual friend’s party. At that party her kids were terrors and made a huge mess all over the friend’s house, writing on the furniture, etc. I figured this was just her payback.
So I lifted BC into the red sports car chair and said to my wife “see, piece of cake”. Famous last words. Within one one-hundredth of a second of the cape being put around his neck, before the barber-lady even had the scissors in her hand, BC was screaming like Angela from "The Office" at Burning Man. I’d never heard noises like this before. I put the camera down as my wife started to comfort our little man. Sadly, nothing helped. He was miserable, crying and nearly hysterical. The “stylist” looked at us and in her thick accent said “What iz de pro’lem?”. Um, isn’t it obvious? The kid isn’t happy. Let’s get this over with, um-kay?
We tried soothing BC to the best of our ability. Nothing helped. Not even the super-sticky lollipop or the stale animal crackers the place offers as consolation to the miserable kids. If they were smart, they’d also offer earplugs and shots of Cuervo to the parents.
After 15 minutes of this torture, it was finally over. I’m not sure how the woman knew she was finished, as there was just a curly mess in and around her hands and on the floor, but that was it. We were released from the torture chamber. Hair samples noting the happy occasion of the First Haircut were slipped into an envelope. We were also handed a “Certifucate of Commemeration” [sic] where BC’s name and the date were filled in by the receptionist. The certificate was most noteworthy to me because it contained at least six typos. Now I know why the place currently boasts a 2-star rating (out of 5) on Yelp.
What I learned from this experience is that I hope my son doesn’t mind his hair growing into his eyes in the future, because I can’t imagine going through this traumatic experience again anytime soon. And I do mean traumatic for me and my wife. I’ve brought BC with me to watch me get my hair cut a couple times since then. He sees that the crying during the actual cut is minimal and once I get my lollipop I’m good to go. Here’s hoping he feels the same next time.
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--JJ aka The Dude of the House
Please check out my previous blog posts: http://dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com/