For weeks, nay months, we’ve had an ongoing conversation.
The professor, sighing heavily while looking at his youngest’s coiffure with a mixture of repulsion and fright, declares ‘he needs a haircut…he looks like one of those birds.’
And I, the primary hair-cutter; feeling attacked, protest ‘it’s not that I want him to look like that. He doesn’t like having his hair cut. He goes nuts, he shakes his head, swats at the (very sharp) scissors and screams. You cut his hair.’
Followed by the professor walking out of the house to some meeting or other and me placing Percy in the booster seat for another grey-hair-inducing attempt at trimming a nano-inch from his locks. All while cursing the professor – silently – for guilting me into trying that-which-should-not-be-attempted.
The professor comes home several hours later, and I – weary and battle-scarred – point at the baby’s head: ‘I cut his hair.’ After which the professor squints in his youngest’s direction and pretends to notice that the cherub’s hair is, indeed, a nano-inch shorter. At which point I sigh and say ‘it was awful. If you want him to have a hair cut, you’ll have to cut it.’
When the Gort and the Hen were this age, I used to ply them with candy and something animated on a laptop. They never liked getting their hair cut, but I was able to complete the task. For the most part.
But our youngest starts shrieking the minute he sees the scissors or senses a comb is about to land on his head. He twists vigorously in his seat, swatting at whatever instrument is within three inches from his head. It’s slightly dangerous – not to mention infuriating. And so, the little man’s hair has gotten progressively longer and stranger-looking with each passing week.
I watched the professor plop the babe in his booster seat. With scissors in hand. ‘I asked him if he wanted a hair cut and he said yes,’ my better half gloated. I stared in amazed-outrage. Was it really going to be that easy for him? Had I labored all these months under extreme duress and here the professor had gotten the equivalent of an invitation?
I lingered in the doorway, curious as to how the scene would unfold.
The professor lifted the scissors and Percy sat still. They moved in, close to his head…..nothing. I couldn’t believe it! The unfairness of it all.
And then the slapping began.
It took two adults, a pair of sharp scissors, a pair of buzzing clippers (a decoy, to distract him), a handful of fruit treats and a lot of pleading.
The end result was….not good.
‘He looks like a mushroom,’ I moaned-accused. A mushroom with a mullet, actually. ‘He does not,’ the professor protested. And then he took a second glimpse at 70% of his handiwork. ‘Well at least he’s a cute mushroom.’
And yes, I’ll admit I used the ‘best of the worst’ after-picture – the one where his hair is slightly damp and combed so as to minimize the mushroom-mullet effect.