Like many parents, thanks to the lockdown, I’ve been moonlighting as a hairdresser. With the actual hairdressers being closed these last months, we’ve had no choice but to take matters into our own hands. My wife even ordered a proper hairdressers’ scissors and combs online, to give us an undeserved air of professionalism. With these shiny new tools, and with some trepidation, we recently set out to tame four unruly mops.
All went well with the older girls’ hair, the cutting of which is fairly straightforward. It took all my skill with scissors and electric razor to tackle my son’s Beatles hairdo, but this too was neatened quite successfully. The greater challenge would be to give our toddler her very first trim. There’s something moving about cutting the fine hair of a toddler for the very first time. My mother had kept a lock of my own hair from the first time she cut it, and I did likewise with each child in turn.
Everyone was very excited when the day came for our two-year-old girl’s very first haircut. Everyone, that is, except the little girl herself. She was absolutely horrified at the idea and burst into tears, before running away saying “no, no, please don’t cut my hair”!
The look on her face was one of true fear. It told me that she wasn’t just worried about having a bad hair day. I reassured her, “it doesn’t hurt at all! Don’t worry”. Yet she still seemed quite sceptical. I guess when you’ve been repeatedly told that knives and scissors are dangerous and can hurt you, you’re bound to feel a little concerned when someone suddenly proposes cutting off a part of you with them.
We demonstrated on my eldest daughter, who let me trim a small bit off her hair. “See! It doesn’t hurt a bit,” she said. The little face then grew very slightly less wary. She sat worriedly in the kitchen chair, unconvinced at the whole concept of cutting off hair, and very sceptical of our promises that it wouldn’t hurt.
As the other kids distracted and entertained her, my wife gently set about her work. With a neat snip, the first lock of golden hair came off. Everyone cheered as my wife showed it to her, and let her hold it. Now she had proof that it didn’t hurt. A smile slowly returned to her face, as she looked around the kind faces of her brothers and sisters. A few more snips and more blonde locks fell about her, as she relaxed into the occasion and even began to laugh.
After the momentous first haircut was finished, a more grown up looking two-year-old went to admire the “big girl” in the mirror, with her trim blonde bob. She rushed off out to play and I was left feeling happy and sad at once, with a lock of her hair in my hand. I was to see this wonderful little lady grow and thrive. Yet I was sad at the sure realisation that we now had a little girl on our hands, one who would turn three soon. We no longer had a baby in the house, nor even a toddler. We had a big little girl who got haircuts, and who knew that they didn’t even hurt, not one little bit.