I was down in the basement finishing up my workout when Ike appeared at the top of the stairs. He said he had something to show me.
"You'll never believe this, Mom," he said. "Now that I'm six years old my hair is different."
My stomach sunk. I turned around. It sunk even more and took my heart with it.
"OH IKE," I shrieked, "OH NOOOOOO. WHAT DID YOU DOOOOOOO?"
I knew what he did, obviously. He'd gotten the scissors (again) and cut his own hair (again), but this time it wasn't just one small random snip off the top. He'd hacked his bangs off entirely, almost to the roots in some places, and taken off large random chunks around the sides of his head. Only the long, straight locks in the back were untouched.
I more wanted to know WHY. And of course, the unanswerable, perpetual question of CHILD WHAT WERE YOU THINKING.
"Did you want your hair short? Because we could cut your hair short! Oh, Ike, why why why did you do that?"
"No!" he responded, shaking his head and looking slightly stricken, "I still have long hair! I just wanted to make the front look cute like in that picture! No hair cut! NO HAIR CUT!"
At this point my emotions got the better of me and I started to cry, as the reality of what he'd done sunk in and how completely unfixable it was. This was it. Then end of our long-haired little blond boy.
"Baby, we're going to have to cut your hair."
Then he started to cry. Then he ran to look at himself in a mirror and started to sob.
(The "picture" in question: A doodle portrait from an arts street festival last year. It is indeed cute, but not really an appropriate choice for hairstyle inspiration.)
(The peace sign he's flashing there now looks remarkably like a pair of scissors instead and I cannot unsee.)
The apologies and the bargaining began. He was sorry, so sorry, he made a mistake. It was just a mistake! His hair will grow back! School doesn't start for forever, right? We could glue it back on! What about tape! Please don't cut the rest of it off, please! Business in the front, party in the back, etc.
"I know!" he said, in a desperately heartbreaking moment, "I'll wish on the wishing star!"
Jason called the woman who cuts our hair, in hopes of taking him somewhere other than a barber, somewhere that would understand Ike's emotional attachment to his hair and do...well, something other than just a buzzcut as a repair job. I'm taking him to see her later today. We'll see what can be salvaged without veering too much into mullet territory.
I still don't think it's really sunk in yet.
I've caught him staring at the mirror, pulling on his bangs, trying to get them to grow. He's brushed it and combed it and messed it back up again, trying to make it look like before. I've shown him lots of photos of short hair cuts, trying to convince him that he'll still look adorable and handsome and all that. I'm promised him that after this cut, he can absolutely grow it long again if he wants to; we just have to...uh...even things out a little bit.
"But I won't look like Ike," he sighs. "I'm going to look so boring."
Impossible on both counts, buddy, I promise.