I thought I could never do it. I thought I could never cut my children’s hair; it would be way too embarrassing for me to have anyone realise what I had done. Would they look closely enough to see the stray long bits where my sons had wriggled and screamed to get away? Would it be too obvious to see that I was in fact responsible, not some apprentice hairdresser? Would my darling hairdresser Aunt be mortified that she had not taught me anything?
Now, having subjected my children to the home haircut I’m not embarrassed to admit it. It’s more about the convenience of not having to drag all three of them to the hairdressers than the saving, but that helps too. At the moment they are too young to care what it looks like so I can get away with it; for now. It’s not as bad as the old-fashioned bowl cut where mothers made it look like (or maybe they did) they had placed a Tupperware bowl on the child’s head and simply cut around it. However, there is no ‘style’ to my haircuts; it was a straight out number three all over; fortunately the boys’ heads are as round as soccer balls.
Master 3 and Master 2 asked me to cut their hair after they saw me cut my friend’s for him. I explained to them that I was going to use the clippers and that it might feel funny on their heads and make a buzzing noise like a bee. They were fine with it. They still said “yes please!” with the enthusiasm of someone who doesn’t know that hair cannot be glued back on when you’ve had enough of sitting still for the haircut. I knew that as soon as I started there would be kicking and screaming. There was kicking and screaming in spades. It was hilarious!
Master 2 went first. He kept nodding when I explained what I was going to do and that his hair would be shorter. “Cut hair please”, he kept saying, so I got started. His first protest came as he saw hair fall onto the cape. Then he said with alarm, “Hair coming off!” I kept going because by now he had a large swathe cut through the back of his head. Then he jumped down off the chair pointing to his lopped locks on the tiles and said “Put hair back on!” The look of shock on his little round face was something to behold. I took him by the arm and put him back on the chair. I had to put him in a firm headlock to finish the now very rushed job.
When he was finally allowed down to go he was pretty pleased with himself, “Hair gone”, he said proudly. I told him that he looked very grown up and he beamed even more. So it wasn’t long before Master 3 wanted some of the action.
Master 3 was a bit easier to manage because he didn’t wriggle so much but whinged a lot in a panicky voice once I started. I kept promising him that I was nearly finished and that he would be much cooler. This was a big mistake because that statement led to many questions such as “Why will cutting my hair make me cooler?”, “What does being cooler mean?”, “Who is cooler?”, “If the sun is hot, what is cooler?”. I had to concentrate on the cutting and the answering!
After we had finished they danced around under the hose to wash off the loose hair that had made them itchy. What startled me was how old they looked. Shorter hair made their deep brown eyes and long lashes more prominent and I was lost in their beauty.
Have you ever inflicted the home haircut? Or were you ever the victim of bowl-cut abuse?