Gut Rumbles

January 05, 2005

my son's first haircut

From The Effingham County Herald on July 31, 1996.

My son got his first haircut yesterday.

Okay, it wasn't his FIRST haircut, because I have attacked his flowing locks on several occasions with clippers, snippers, cutters and whackers of various kinds, just to stave off his growing resemblance to Cousin Itt from "The Addams Family." I thought I did a pretty good job, but after my last effort, my darling wife suggested--- nay, INSISTED--- that my son was in desperate need of professional handling in the future.

Heck, I was proud of everything I had done. Quinton still had both ears, both eyes, his nose and all ten fingers after my tonsorial efforts. He might have looked a little ragged, but he was okay. In fact, he LIKED having me cut his hair.

I had three factors operating in my favor. First, my boy trusts me and he will sit perfectly still while I do all kinds of things around his head and face, no matter how frightening a mature adult might find my actions to be. Of course, Quinton is two years old and is easily convinced that Daddy knows what he's doing even when Daddy doesn't.

Second, he is MY SON and I can cut his hair if I want to. If I tell him, "C'mere," he comes. He knows who is the Tall Dog around the house. He grasped that concept of "he's bigger than I am" early in life. He understands because we've done some serious male bonding on this subject while his mother was away.

Third, my boy can sit in his own chair to have his hair cut at home. He likes that. Being a very perceptive, intelligent little man, he realized a long time ago that anytime grownups insist that he sit somewhere he wouldn't choose to sit on his own, bad things happen. He associates being MADE to sit somewhere with getting shots in the doctor's office.

That's why he won't sit on his potty-chair, on Santa's lap at the mall or any other place not of his own choosing. He is a smart boy.

That's why he didn't like the barber shop. My hormone-riddled teenage daughter had her hair cut first, just to show Quinton how easy and pleasant the experience would be. He watched, fascinated, while he munched candy, which is a standard tranquilizer dispensed to two year-olds in barber shops because the employees of the shop cannot prescribe stronger drugs.

My boy was fine watching my daughter. Then, it was his turn in the chair.

If you are of a poetic nature, listen to the wind in the trees tonight. If you hear a faint, keening, death-wail among the rustling leaves, that's simply the last of my son's screams being shaken from where they stuck like shards of broken glass, sent forth in all directions.

If the level in rivers and streams across the country seem higher now, it's not from recent rain. My son's tears flowed in such profusion that no levee on the banks of the mighty Mississippi could have withstood the flood. Heartbroken and pained, I watched the episode and cursed myself for not bringing the roll of immobilization duct tape I bought just for this occasion.

My son ended up with a fine haircut. I believe that the barber is in therapy.

When the ordeal was over, we fed the boy pizza, his favorite food. I asked him if he liked his haircut and he stopped eating.

"No!" he said. "Daddy do it next time." I didn't tell him the unpleasant truth.

I'm afraid that those days are over, son.

(Heh. Read this story, too. Some things never change.)


Great column, Acidman! It brought back memories of a similar experience I had just a couple of weeks ago...

What is it about that fuckin' barber chair that makes 'em scream?

Posted by: Steve on January 5, 2005 04:37 PM

If you haven't already, you really should get back into writing for newspapers and magazines. That was a fine piece of writing.

Posted by: DogsDon'tPurr on January 5, 2005 05:15 PM

Agreed, a fine piece.

Your writing style hasn't changed much, and that's GOOD!

Posted by: Henry Blowfly on January 5, 2005 10:52 PM

That almost mirrors my sons experience with his second haircut. Thankfully we all lived to tell about it.

Posted by: Kari on January 6, 2005 10:06 AM
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