On Tuesday, my sons and I played "torture chamber." Oh, yes, it started out innocently enough. T--, the 2-year-old, was still in his pajamas, watching Barney in the living room, adjacent to the kitchen, while delicately slurping chocolate milk out of his sippy cup. He had that "just woken up" smell and was cocooned within his blanket and snuggle, reclining gracefully on a pillow. Such the picture of tranquil domesticity.
Now, picture a madwoman carrying a chainsaw (a.k.a. hair clippers) entering the kitchen. With an insanely evil laugh, she captures said 2-year-old and removes his jammies down to a top and a diaper. Suspecting nothing, T-- giggles and gives the woman a hug as she carries him to the electric chair (a.k.a. the high chair). Upon realizing that he is going to have to sit in said chair and (heaven forbid) be STRAPPED IN, he begins his struggle.
Alas, he is firmly entrapped! [sharp and prolonged intake of breath] The madwoman plugs in her torture device and gets to work. Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!!! As the hair flies, the tears and boogers flow as quickly as the chocolate waterfall in Willy Wonka, although the river is perhaps not as sanitary or palatable. The ensuing screams would bring forth a compassionate response from most mothers, but this is no ordinary mom. This is a mom with hair clippers, scissors, and a mission. [cue Mission Impossible music] The mission? To give the 2-year-old a haircut before he looks like a girl or self-destructs, whichever comes first.
The results were pretty decent, if I do say so myself. And it would have stayed that way if he hadn't grabbed the scissors about two hours later and cut a huge chunk out of the front. Of course I had to fix it, much to his dismay. He was thrashing around so much this time that in the end I just had to give him a buzz cut (using the longest setting I could--I didn't want him bald). It was bad enough the first time to watch parts of his curls fall to the floor, but they practically disappeared the second time around. However, after 9 years of doing my boys' haircuts (yes, that includes their dad as well), I know that the only way to get the job done is to strap 'em down, work really fast, and ignore the shrieks of "NOOOoooooo! Mama! NOOOooooo! Hair owieeeeee!"
You'd have thought I'd had enough hair cutting by then, but no...we moms must be either long-suffering or forgetful: I decided that S--, the 6-year-old, needed a haircut too. His hair was even longer than the baby's. I could have put it in little pigtails all over his head and made him look like a Koosh ball. (I actually threatened to do this, but for some reason he was not amused.) He was long overdue, and it was going to be more than a trim.
I'd been easing S-- into the idea for weeks now, but you'd think I had sprung it on him without warning. He pleaded with me to please use just the scissors. I calmly explained that his hair was too long: he'd refused to let me cut it earlier when I could have just trimmed it with scissors. Now we were going to have to use [dum dum dum, long pause] the buzzers. [Enter Mrs. Norman Bates with hair clippers in hand; proceed with high pitched screaming.]
The screaming lasted from the moment I turned on the clippers until the second I turned them off. Any eavesdropping passersby would have thought I was trying to perform an appendectomy on the child using my dullest serrated kitchen knife. Then, as I was finishing off with the scissors, he kept asking me, "Aren't you done yet, Mom? This is taking way too long." Grrrrr. It would have taken much longer to do the whole thing with the scissors (which is why I ousted that option), but it would have been much faster to buzz the whole thing (which he absolutely refused). Here I was trying to compromise and I was getting COMPLAINTS about how long it was taking?!?!?
Maybe next time I should take them to a barber.