I recently received my son's pre-school calendar for the fall session. I perused the calendar for any important days to make note of. One day stood out in particular to me: school picture day. How cute! School pictures for pre-school. I could just see my little guy smiling for his first school picture. I realized I should probably get him a haircut so it would grow out to the perfect length in time for the photos. Yes, I'm just that persnickety.
I have always kept my son's hair on the long side. Longer hair just seems to suit him. It's not down to his chin or anything, it just skims the top of his ear and his bangs sweep to the side. Totally normal, kid appropriate hair. I'm not a fan of parents projecting adult hairstyles on to kids. I feel bad when I see young children with mowhawks, fauxhawks, shaved heads, and dyed hair. It seems like it's the parents pushing their kids to look "cool" and to reflect the tastes of the parents. That's fine if you like punk rock or heavy metal, but why don't you just let your kid look like a kid instead of a Metallica fan. Can you imagine if some parents were really into Flock of Seagulls ? Scary.
The other day I took Junior to Great Clips to get his haircut. He doesn't really love haircuts, so I usually have to sit in the chair with him on my lap to make him feel comfortable. I have a favorite stylist named Mary , and I was hoping to see her that day. She is very fast and gives Junior a perfectly good, “slightly on the long side” little boy haircut. When we got to Great Clips I was disappointed. Mary wasn't there, so we had a brand new stylist. I explained to her that Junior would do better on my lap instead of in the chair with the booster seat. She seemed slightly annoyed, but we continued on.
I asked the stylist to trim his hair but to keep it long. We went back and forth about the definition of long, and I finally said, I'm sure whatever you do will be fine. We chatted a bit as she worked. I explained that Junior didn't particularly enjoy haircuts. The stylist proceeded to tell me that it was because he was an only child. I guess she assumed he was an only child (correctly) because I had no other kids in tow. She went on about how Junior would be more comfortable with haircuts, school, and everything else if he had siblings to learn from.
I wanted to say; "Maybe he doesn't like haircuts because having a sharp tool 10 centimeters from his eyeballs makes him uneasy". My mind wandered as the stylist expounded on the importance of siblings to a child's development. I decided just to nod and keep quiet. No sense in getting into it with a person wielding sharp scissors. It seems that once you become a parent people you have never met before feel they can tell you what you are doing wrong and give you all kinds of unsolicited advice.
When the stylist was done, we headed to the register to pay and choose a lollipop. I couldn't wait to get out of there, so I didn't take a close look at Junior's hair. When we got outside, I assessed the situation. Let's just say it was not the best haircut ever. It was long on the sides and his bangs were cut too short straight across the forehead. I remember telling her to keep it long. I don't remember asking her for the Joey Lawrence circa 1985.
This haircut experience has caused me to raise some questions: Why are some people critical of parents who only have one child? This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard comments correlating my child’s behavior to being an “only”.
Are only children really that different than kids with siblings? More importantly, should I just let the haircut grow out, or should we attempt to make the bowl cut cool again? Was the bowl cut ever cool to begin with?