To trim or not to trim

‘I guess you’ll be cursing a lot again,’ Jason remarked on his way out of the house for a walk, after I told him of my plans to cut the boys’ hair. I gave him a not-so-nice look. ‘I mean, it’s not like you actually curse,’ he back-tracked…’it’s just the look on your face…I can tell you want to curse.’

This look?


Cutting my kids’ hair is one of my least favorite things to do and tries my patience more than most activities.

I’m not sure what’s worst about it: my lack of skill; their inability to keep their head still; the way they swat away the scissors with their hands; my unfailing ability to cut the middle finger on my left hand at least twice; or their habit of crying throughout the experience.

It’s beyond stressful – a thankless job. And then I have to hear my better half’s comments when all is said and done. ‘It looks like Playmobil hair’ or ‘he looks like He-man’, or, my personal favorite: ‘what happened in the back?’

You try cutting their hair, I like to say. He has, and his results were no better. In fact, the horizontal ‘layers’ he gave the Hen (He-man) are only now starting to grow out.

So it was with low expectations that I set about my task on Saturday afternoon. Having bribed him with a movie and some m&m’s, I began cutting Mr. G’s hair while his younger brother napped. His eyes began to droop before I’d finished cutting his bangs. I’d forgotten that he’d stayed up way too late the night before. His head swayed abruptly from left to right, as he battled the sleepiness that was quickly overcoming him.

I thought about being a kind, considerate mother; abandoning my task to let the poor guy rest in peace. But then I realized I had a captive audience. One who wouldn’t cry or ask ‘how many more cuts’ until I was done or fail to keep his head still when I had a pair of super sharp scissors at the nape of his neck.


So, I put some pillows under his neck – to make him more comfortable and in an effort to keep his head stationary. And, cut to my heart’s content. It was a thing of beauty. Though I had to concede defeat when I made my way to the back of his head. I would have to wait until he woke up from his nap.

By that time I’d finished cutting his little brother’s hair. Who was rather relaxed about being in the barber’s chair this time around. Admittedly I had to part with a lot more m&m’s than I wanted to. But a little sugar/food coloring rush is a small price to pay for a peaceful hair trimming experience.

When all was washed and combed, they looked okay. Pretty good, even.

At least I haven’t heard any snarky ‘by the power of Grayskull’ comments.

9 thoughts on “To trim or not to trim

  1. LOVE that look! and so kind of your other half to capture it for you. for several years, it took one of us to hold Spencer (screaming and writhing) and the other to attempt some sort of cutting…so there are no pictures of my looks during those times. 🙂

  2. Ooooh, Amy, I would have had some unfortunate sound clips during those years! Did Spencer’s hair look like he’d been held down? I’ll ‘google’ He-man, Brandi, but I thought he had hair that looked like a square wig….

  3. I think some natural wave ended up making it a little less noticeable, but the back was guaranteed to have some obvious uneven chunk. And we usually went about 6 months in between cuts. I will say that it has gotten much better…there is still hope!

  4. Soooo, just curious…is it an option to just take them somewhere to get their hair cut? We went a few times to one of those specialty kid places where they watch movies, get toys, and other people deal with the stress of the emotions. It may seem like a waste of money… but it sure doesn’t feel like a waste of money to me!! 🙂

  5. No, it’s a good point. Mr. G usually behaves a teensy bit better when someone else cuts his hair. But last time – at one of those places with the fancy chairs and movies – he ended up with a bowl cut!! So it’s cheaper if I do it and easier – in a way…just not on my nerves 🙂

  6. Actually we would probably be asked to leave any public place in which we attempted to shear the sweet little lambs. I distinctly remember one of the boys impaling a complete stranger in the giant ball pit they had on the premises.

  7. Thanks goodness for sister-in-laws that can cut hair. My sister-in-law cuts Nelson’s hair every time we go to Branson. So his hair gets a bit long, but who cares! Thankfully, he sits very still for her. It’s amazing, he’s such a busy lad, but when in the doctor/dentist/hairstylist’s chair, he sits quite still.

    I am amazed that you even attempt it – kudos to you!


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