Monday, November 8, 2010

Give Me a Head with Hair

I managed to put it off for an entire year, but it was finally time for Ryan to get his first haircut. I think the thing that made me want to put it off was the fear that he’d suddenly go from looking like a baby to looking like a little boy. But since he’s so big he already looks pretty grown up, so how much older could he look? So we decided it was time.

I was concerned that he’d be too squirmy, so we waited until nearly naptime when he was pretty mellow, and we brought a nice warm bottle with us to keep him occupied and distracted. We brought him to Supercuts and there was no-one else waiting, so while we waited for one of the girls to finish the client she was working on, we let Ryan play in the waiting area and we took a few “before” shots:

I stroked his soft curls one last time, tucked the long strands behind his ears, and told myself that I’d save a few locks for his baby book. And then it was time to sit in The Chair. We knew he’d never sit still on his own, so I put him in my lap and we both got capes. His was much cooler than mine – it had elephants and monkeys and giraffes on it. Mine just said “Supercuts”.

He was interested enough in both his bottle and his own reflection that he was pretty cooperative at first. I was quite surprised that he didn’t try to crane his head around to see the comb and the shiny scissors that this strange woman kept waving around his head. But he was content to just sit and let her work – until the hairdresser at the station directly behind us turned on her blow dryer.

Ryan and a blow dryer are like a moth and a flame: he can’t take his attention away from it. So with Rosemary’s help, I managed to get him into a position where he could see the dryer and the hairdresser could still get at his head. When that got too difficult, Herb had the brilliant idea of turning on the hairdryer at our hairdresser’s station so his attention was focused ahead again. (Let’s all hope Ryan gets his brains from his dad.)

The hairdresser had to do a fair amount of chasing him around, but she was both patient and deft and miraculously finished the job without stabbing Ryan, me, or herself.

And there was my big little boy, looking indeed like a big little boy and not like a little baby. I miss the softness of those baby curls, but I love seeing my big boy with his big boy haircut showing off all his big boy skills, like walking and rolling a ball and opening doors and playing with trucks. His new big boy look reminds me that he’s not a little baby any more, and that I need to let him be more independent and make his own mistakes and learn from them. It reminds me that he can fall on his face or bonk himself in the head or drop something on his toes and he’ll be okay even though he cries. And hopefully he’ll remember and be careful the next time. But if he isn’t, I’ll be there to tell him he’s okay and encourage him to try again. Because that’s what big boys do.

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