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Just Call Me Delilah

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So Not-So-Baby Ike got his hair cut this weekend. 

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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. 

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(Here are the most recent hairz-out-of-control "befores.")

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(Oh hey it's TIREWATCH: NOW THIS IS A GOOD TIRE.)

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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. 

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(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.

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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. 

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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.)

Comments

Becca

Rage. I mean. He looks adorable, but nooooo, you don't do that, professional hair cutter person.

Three weeks before my third was born and four weeks before Christmas a Great Clips employee told me she couldn't use scissors on the boys' hair because they were too young, but don't worry because it'll look almost the same, then SHAVED THEIR HEADS LIKE THEY WERE GOING TO BASIC TRAINING.

They still looked like they had been deloused on Christmas morning. It was not a good scene.

blu_canary

Argh! Ike looks absolutely adorable either way, but what is it with adults who don't remember what it's like to be a kid?

I had a swim instructor do something similar to me when I was just about Ike's age. I was terrified of water (hence the lessons) and part of that day's lesson was going down the slide. I didn't want to, I didn't like going under water without control. To get me down the slide he promised me (and my mother) he would catch me at the bottom so I wouldn't go under. Halfway down the slide he stepped back so I could see he wasn't going to catch me after all. I panicked. Left nasty scratches down his torso as I tried to claw my way to the surface, and to this day, still don't like going under water.

So, if Ike ends up a CPA with dreads to his ankles, I hope this woman is happy with herself. (Though, I'm pretty sure Ike will totally get over it, I just don't think anybody should ever betray the trust of a kid. It's not nice.)

Jocelyn

Love it but wouldn't have paid for her not following directions and snarky comments.

Kirsten

SO MAD AT THE HAIRDRESSER. SO ANGRY. How DARE she? HOW DARE SHE? I am at HOLD MY EARRINGS levels of mad, here, honestly.

I mean, he is cute and adorable and wonderful. But just going against both of your explicit desires like that because of her stupid gender-y baggage is wrong on so many levels. I feel so bad for you both. I'm glad he's getting lots of positive attention for it and hopefully now that what he considered the worst has happened and he's getting through, the next haircut won't be so bad? (Trying for bright side.)

tadpoledrain

You are a nicer person than I am, because I would have not paid, and I definitely would not have tipped, and when I got home I would have called to complain. And I normally put up with a LOT before I complain, because I've worked in customer service positions and know that it can suck and that complainy customers are the worst. But RAGE. Anyway, please tell Ike that lots of strangers on the internet still think he looks adorable and Just Like Ike!

cris

Baby Ike face, totes. Also, would not have tipped that woman (I have issues with NOBANGS and bangs being done)

Pam

I wouldn't have tipped her (much less paid). My sister is scarred for lyfe after a haircut when she was 5 -- from below her waist to shorter than Ike's is, here. Yeah. So.. good luck.

Judy

Wow, you're a lot nicer than me. I would not have paid for the haircut after the "stylist" went rogue, and even if I paid for the cut because he did take up time in the shop's chair, I certainly wouldn't have tipped her for scarring my child.

Donna P

Personally, I've never been a fan of long hair on a small boy, I like boys to identify as boys without having to ponder their gender. But I also agree that a hairstylist should never go against a mother's wishes and instructions either, especially when it is traumatic for the child. I would've packed up without paying or tipping. Ike's haircut looks nice and I hope he puts this incident behind him. Ezra looks absolutely adorable.

Lori

Zah, Seriously, When did you turn 16? OMG!

Genevieve

You're nicer than me. I would have complained to the manager and refused to pay for his haircut. Personally, I'd still call and complain since you told her one style and she did another without your approval AND mocked your kid!

SarahB

"You should not have let them take my hair away."

OMG. That would be going in a letter to the manager and to corporate and maybe directed at them on Twitter and their Facebook page until an apology came along.

My son of the same age is into purple nail polish and the colors pink and purple, and the first person to make a negative comment about it to him is going to feel my Mother Bear Dragon Rage.

Ike still, of course, looks adorable. But, oh, I feel for him.

laura belanger

Hairdresser rage aside, what are you using in Ezra's hair? I have a 7 year old with the same haircut and we have not been able to find the right product to make his hair the way he wants it. help!!

Amy A

Ike looks adorbs, either with or without longer hair. Did you think to grab some shorn curls for the scrapbook? (You can laugh if you don't have scrapbooks for your kids--I don't either, but in my fantasy life I'm that mom who documented everything.)
But Ezra and Calvin--gaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!! Totally love that child. He just raised the bar exponentially on hairdos with his Calvin reference--major props to him :)

-k-

"Are you putting my hair back?" Oh, my heart.

Major scowl at the stylist, and, ahem, anyone else who would give him grief over his adorable long Ike hair.

lesli

Like everyone else so far, I am also angry at the hairdresser; how dare she?! Ike looks adorable anyway, of course, but... never let her near his hair again! Like laura belanger, though, I really want to know what product you use in Ezra's hair... my 8-year-old has dreams of having hair like David Tennant or Matt Smith and... yeah, definitely gonna need product. Ezra also looks adorable! You and Jason sure make cute kids!

Natalie

Did you complain at the hair place? Please tell me you did... I am not a big complainer but this kills me...this woman took things into her own hands and made a decision about what a little boy should look like regardless of his feelings. That makes me so angry for him.

Amalah

So for the record, *I* did not pay or tip her. Jason did, not yet realizing what had happened (and before he'd gotten a good look at Ike's hair). He paid for all three cuts at once while I was mostly focused on getting Ike out to the car (and away from the mirrors) so I could distract him. Didn't want to make a big thing about his hair being short in front of him, especially over $11.

But yes, in retrospect I was wayyyyyy too nice and we will NOT be going back there. And if he wants it long again after living with this cut for awhile, I'm fine with that. It's his hair/identity, after all.

As for Ezra's hair we've been using the same product Jason uses on his (similar styles after all). It's American Crew Fiber.

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You only need a teeny tiny touch of it and it's nice because it stays pliable/soft and not all crunchy.

Olivia Enabulele

Ah hell no. I'd be complaining and sending them a pic of Ikes's sad face.

My 4 yr old son loves wearing nail polish, and favors pinks and reds. I get so tired of all the comments from adults and other children. Of you don't have anything nice to say...

Dori

Poor Ike. He does look cute but it was terrible of that hair stylist to ignore your instructions and to be so snarky.

I LOVE Ezra's hair. I would also like to know product recommendations. My 5YO thinks he needs to start styling his hair (wut?) and we may need to give in and get him something for that. I believe he also wants that same haircut.

Maggie

Whyyy did you tip that monster?!

Arnebya

Oh, Zah. I want to lie 'pon de flo' at that haircut. I'm going to respond to every email for the rest of the day with "you should not have done that." (Wild Kratts makes me want to stick hot fireplace pokers up my own ass.)

Sue W.

Hairz will grow back. Baby Ike is now Little Boy Ike. And he is still adorable!

skroll

Please call and complain to the manager!

JenVegas

Oh Ike, you are still adorbs. But now is as good a time as ever to learn that bad haircuts happen to good people. Milk it for all the lollipops you can, kiddo.

Heidi

You are totally justified if you decide to cut a bitch.

B

He is so stinkin cute, no matter the do! Zah is too. Seriously, what a stud.

Chelsea

Please call to let the manager know what happened. Between the insensitive comment and the disregard for both Ike AND your opinion, this stylist and manager need accurate feedback for future reference.

OF COURSE Ike looks super cute and of COURSE you won't go back, but informing the manager how Ike's experience played out may prevent someone else going through the same thing.

Love Ezra's style, that boy is cool!

Cimorene

You're really nice. No way would I have paid--and certainly not tipped--a stylist who purposefully did the exact opposite of explicit instructions.

Lynn

You tipped her?! I would have complained to management. People need to stop thrusting their own weird morals/style ethics on other people's kids.

liz

Sending all the hugs to Ike (who looks totally adorable, but STILL!) and a major where'd that teenager come from for Ezra. HOLY GUACAMOLE.

April

Kid #1 has a double backwards cow lick in the back of his head. I cannot count the amount of times some random young hair dresser butchered his hair. Like bad. I tell them he has this hair problem that's why it's longer on top, and if they could just trim. But no that definitely means buzz cut with a #1 clipper. ARGH!!!

Sylv

Oh Ike, I can totes relate! I was a "bit" older (about 11 or so), when my mom sent me to a lady who operated a little salon in her basement for a little trim of the split ends. I had hair down to my waist going in, and walked out with it barely covering my neck, and it was all jagged!

The woman was chatting away with another customer who was having a perm set while she was butchering my hair. I didn't have a mirror to look into, and didn't truly realize what had happened until I got on my bike and didn't feel my hair whipping around.

I cried many tears that night, and had to go to another (actual) salon the next day to have some style created. Also, I never again had long hair.

mamalang

When my son was about 8 months old, we took him to get a haircut (Boy was born needing a haircut). We were in the chair with the cape on and the girl had the scissors in her hand when the manager yelled across the salon "We can't cut her hair, it's against the law!" I told her that a. he was a boy which is why we needed his hair cut, and b. that's ridiculous, there isn't a law. She refused, we left and went elsewhere where they happily cut his hair and provided a cute little poster to tape a lock of her hair. It still makes me ragey 13 years later.

Marianne

Cutest kids ever!!!

My boys (5 and 8) have the worst cowlicks... They've never ever ever had a good haircut. Your at-home haircuts look MUCH better than the ones we pay $18 +tip for.

Erika

You're so nice. There's no way I would've paid for that haircut. She obviously did what SHE wanted, not what YOU asked her to do. It kills me when stylists do that!

Ike's adorable anyway though.

Ms. Blake

Unfortunately, it doesn't always get better as you get older. I can't tell you how many bad haircuts my husband has endured. I'm not saying that the stylists at places like Supercuts aren't trained but I would venture that good stylists don't stay there for very long. One of the best comments he received: "Your English is so good!" My husband is from England, btw.

Kris

Ms. Blake - I am dieing laughing. And, yes the stylists are traind. You have to be licensed but not all stylists are created equal.

Danell

Heh. I have butchered my kids' hairz so many times that they don't bat an eye. "Eh, it's just hair! It'll grow back before you know it"...this mantra is deeply ingrained in them.
Maybe it's just me, but I firmly believe my kids are so freakin' adorable that it doesn't matter what happens to their hair. As are yours. (Repeat this to yourself frequently for maximum believability after hair disasters)

Cheryl S.

As much as the hairdresser should not have gone against what you wanted, he looks adorable. Personally, I like it much better than the little Lord Fauntleroy look. Tell him how handsome he is and he'll get used to it. And when exactly did Ezra grow up?????

Jo

SO unacceptable. I rarely complain, and have taken my share of bad hair cuts and walked away with an empty wallet, but I would not have paid this stylist. I recommend you call and complain to management, making it clear that this was gender-based discriminatory behavior to spare another little boy from receiving the same treatment! (Ike does look adorable either way)

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