So Not-So-Baby Ike got his hair cut this weekend.
He is still kinda mad at me about it.
I fully admit that I accidentally created a Hairz Monzter, a kid whose long blond hair became a really big part of his self image and identity, and who would cry at the mere suggestion of a big kid cut. People have been making a fuss over his hair for as long as he can remember, and it set him apart from his brothers, or all the other boys at school. His hair made him unique and he definitely understood that.
"I won't look like Ike," he'd wail, any time the topic of a proper haircut came up.
He would tolerate "at home" haircuts, provided I promised not to cut too much off the sides. But I am terrible at cutting hair -- and no amount of online/YouTube tutorials helped improve my utter incompetence, particularly with a wiggly preschooler who refused to sit still. The small handful of times I managed to convince him to let a professional trim his hair or add some desperately needed layers/shape were just awful for him, with so much crying and anxiety. Plus he was so beyond particular that his hair HAD to cover his ears (at least) that we'd end up trimming off so little it didn't make much of a difference, and he'd be back at shaggy uneven Prince Valiant status a week later.
I didn't actually expect any of that to change this weekend, either. We took Noah and Ezra in for haircuts and I immediately got to bribing Ike into getting into a chair as well. We eventually cut a deal that he would receive 1) two pieces of leftover Halloween candy (gross), and 2) two episodes of Wild Kratts, his favorite PBS Kids show. Plus a lollipop, and I promise she won't cut your hair too short. We'll leave it long, it just needs some shape.
(Here are the most recent hairz-out-of-control "befores.")
(Oh hey it's TIREWATCH: NOW THIS IS A GOOD TIRE.)
I should have known better, though, the second the woman set to cut Ike's hair made a semi-rude comment about his "girl hair," and was clearly ready to cut off as much hair as possible. Once I was happy with the length on one side (just barely covering his ear, as per my promise to him) I told her that was perfect, then had to dash over to another chair to supervise Ezra's cut.
(Ezra requested a spiky faux-hawk sort-of look, which I assumed was because he wanted to look like his dad. But I was later informed that no, he was going more for a Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes vibe. Okay then! He looks absolutely adorable, although now we've added "apply hair styling product on a 7 year old" to our already bloated, batshit morning routine.)
When I came back to Ike's chair, she'd inexplicably HACKED AWAY at the other side of his hair, like in a way that didn't even look good or make any sense. And the long-lost baby waves had reappeared so everything was sticking up all over the place and OH NOOOO, IKE STOP CRYING.
I was like, okay, you need to stop. I took Ike home and gave him his candy and THREE episodes of his show, and everybody tried to pep talk him and convince him that his hair still looked good/handsome/adorable/Baby Ike-ish/etc.
A total lie at the time, but after another at-home haircut I managed to even up the sides and get them semi-presentable. This, of course, required me to cut the longer side short.
"Are you putting my hair back?" Ike asked as he desperately pulled at the hair above his newly exposed ears.
I tried to assure him it would grow back, but in the meantime you look great! And you still look like Ike! I promise! And I bet my promises mean absolutely nothing to you now because I let someone do the exact traumatic thing I promised you I wouldn't let happen! And it only cost me $11 plus tip.
The next day at preschool, everybody made a nice big fuss over his hair, and his best little girlfriend told him how much she liked it. He smiled a relieved smile. Okay. Maybe this isn't so bad.
But I still catch him tugging at the sides every now and then and scowling at his reflection in the mirror. "You should not have done that," he says. "You should not have let them take my hair away."
"I'm sorry, buddy," I keep replying, then reassuring him that he really looks quite cute and handsome this way, and very much like himself, a Big Boy Baby Ike.
Especially when he conks out in the hallway outside his room wearing Christmas pajamas in 70 degree weather, because #NOTTIRED.
(Fingers crossed that by the time he needs a trim he'll no longer be scarred for life.)