I've been reluctant to cut it. As you know, I'm not usually sentimental. But I kept looking at his hair thinking, that's the same hair he had the day he was born. And when he was growing inside my belly we had no idea he'd come out with this full head of dark hair. Over time it gradually got lighter, as we figured it would (Tony's hair was white-blonde as a kid and mine has always been on the fair side). But it's still the same hair from my teeny tiny newborn baby boy.
It's not like I made a big fuss the first time we cut his fingernails, saving the little clippings in a baggy with the date on it. I promise you I did not do that. But hair, nails... they're technically the same thing, right?
So before his birthday, as visions of his mop-top covered in blue frosting danced in my head, we decided it was time to suck it up and take the plunge.
We originally planned to take him to one of those haircut places for kids, with the rocket ship chairs and TVs playing cartoons at every station. We even drove up one afternoon. I went in to ask what the wait was and it was like Dr. Seuss exploded in there. It was a 30 minute wait, with dozens of overstimulated kids running around, and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
Instead we took him to a local barber that Tony went to as a kid. We pulled up and I was all excited that they had one of those red, white, and blue twirling barber poles. Ooh so kitsch, I love it! Walking in, the vibe was slightly... different.. than the other place. Let's just say that instead of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the walls, there were other animals... heads of them.
"Hmm... this is a lovely room of death. Look Des, Bambi!"
Okay, so I would get past the carcasses. And the pro-hunting, anti-liberal bumper stickers everywhere I looked. And the oddly grandma-esque display of porcelain teacups badly in need of dusting. Where am I? Did I just enter some alternate universe? Maybe the deep south? But for some reason, it all worked. Tony grew up here, Des was totally at ease, and I felt like this was the right place for his first haircut. Whoa.. was I feeling alright? This really is another universe.
Some before shots of the do:
After a short wait in the room of death, they were ready for him. Des was in good spirits and I was hopeful that this would go well.
He was a little hestitant at first. But he stayed still and went with it.
Finding his happy place.
This is a face that says, "You guys are gonna sit there and let a stranger do this??"
Then he got a little fussy. Then a little more. Until he wanted none of it anymore.
And the barber brought out his secret weapon.
A toy jeep with a dead deer strapped to the front that played "Sweet Home Alabama." The deer lifted his little head and sang along with the chorus. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
And by golly, it worked. He was totally entranced, and more importantly, still. So the man with the sharp scissors could do his job without any bloodshed.
It was my job to keep pushing the button after the song stopped.
A few snips here and there, and he was finished. Not his finest work, the barber admitted. But it did the trick. He looked like such a handsome little man!
All in all, it was a surprisingly fantastic experience. Nothing like I expected it to be. But I don't know how anyone could have predicted such a scenario.