Monday, September 5, 2011

When a Haircut Isn't just a Haircut

I had great hopes for Saturday. I was going to do things. Good things. Productive things.

I should have known better.

Instead, I took Bear for a haircut. I know, why on earth would that interfere with doing things? Well, I'm glad you asked, because now I can vent. (Well, I'd vent anyway, but now you feel obliged to keep reading because, well, you asked.)

Bear has needed a haircut for weeks. The poor thing couldn't see out from under his hair when he put his bike helmet on. On Thursday I picked him up after school and told him we were going to go run some errands. No problem...he was game for that. After all, we were going to the party store to get invitations for his birthday party (he turns 6 this week...whahhh....) and then to get a haircut. We always go to First Choice to get his hair cut, but that's because I'm not paying more than $10 for a child to have a haircut, no matter how good his hair is (and he has really good hair...the girls are going to love it!). We managed the party store without any issues, but on the way to the haircut he informed me that he wanted to go home. I tried to convince him that it would only take a few minutes, but he was adamant. "I'm not going into the store and I'm not getting my hair cut, and there's nothing you can do about it!" Damn it, I hate it when he's right! There's a real feeling of powerlessness to admitting you have very little control over your own child, especially when he's only six, and you once again find yourself questioning your parenting abilities. After all, who's the parent here? If I say he's getting his hair cut today then, dammit, he's getting his hair cut today! Right? <insert hysterical laughter here> Oh, so very wrong.

Anyway, after talking it over we compromised on getting his hair cut on Saturday (today), with a trip to Walmart afterwards. He had received some birthday money that I had promised could be used to buy a toy, so we were already planning an excursion to Walmart at some point. Perfect, I thought...I'll tell him he needs to get his hair cut before going to Walmart or there's no Walmart. He wasn't terribly amused at my playing hard ball, but he agreed to my terms. Yes! Victory was mine!!!!

So for almost two days I listened to nothing but how much he just couldn't wait to go shopping at Walmart. Of course, being a bit of a witch, I gently reminded him every time about our deal. "Yeeessssss, Mommmmm," he'd say with great patience.

Flash forward to Saturday morning, and it's time for him to have a bath and wash his hair in anticipation of his hair cut. Sounds simple enough, right? Except Bear decided he didn't want to get his hair washed, and, again, there was very little I could do about it without a physical confrontation.

"Well, that's fine Bear," I said in my most reasonable and non-confrontational voice, as if I really didn't care one way or the other, "but then I guess we won't be going to Walmart." Bear stopped, looked at me, and said: "That's fine. I've decided I don't want to go anyway." For the uninitiated, that's a pretty typical reaction from Bear when something is being taken away. No sweat...I didn't want it anyway. It's actually pretty infuriating. Does nothing bug this child?

About an hour later he reappeared, having changed his mind. Could he please have his bath and wash his hair, he asked sweetly. I have to admit that I was really torn. Should I be the heavy and refuse, or should I be nice and agree? Would refusing teach him a lesson in doing what he's told? (Probably not. That hasn't worked in the past.) In the end I said OK, because I really wanted him to get a hair cut.

Although school started for Bear last week, the majority of kids go back tomorrow. Figuring the wait time at First Choice would be horrendous and thinking I was being really clever, I called a place in the mall and made an appointment for him. The result? Bear's anxiety, which has grown exponentially this summer, reared its ugly head and he refused to go in. Rather, I chased him pretty much from one end of the mall to the other (thank goodness it was dead, so I could see him at all times), calling for him to stop. Oh, did I mention I had Stitch with me? So I followed Bear around, unable to catch up, alternately dragging and carrying a 27lb toddler, with people looking at me funny as I went by for the second (or was it third?) time, still trying to catch up. Funny, what stopped him was when I yelled out "Bear! ArrĂȘte de marcher!" I guess French school is paying off.

After discussing it for a few minutes, we established that he was scared to go in because he didn't know them and he didn't know how they cut hair. My explanation that they cut hair just like everyone else, with water and scissors, held no weight with him, and so we decided together that we would go to First Choice, where he would be more comfortable. First, though, we would swing by Grandma and Granddad's to see if we could leave Stitch with them, because I was drained by this point.

Thankfully, everything sailed along beautifully after that. Grandma and Grandpa were home and were delighted to have Stitch for an hour. Bear and I arrived at First Choice to discover we had just missed the rush and we didn't even have to wait! We were in and out of there in about 20 minutes, and then on to Walmart for the promised shopping excursion.

So, if you've done the math, a 20 minute hair cut took two days. No wonder my house is a mess! (That, and I really hate cleaning, but today I'll blame it on Bear.)


  1. Oh gosh, I'm sorry but I laughed the whole way through this one, especially the mental image of people seeing you for the second or third time chasing Bear around.

  2. I laugh now, but I certainly wasn't laughing at the time! Ah, life with Bear. At least I got some exercise!

  3. Oh yeah. Vampira won't comb her hair. She has fine, curly hair and it tangles when you look at it. She has a super-sensitive scalp and it hurts to brush her hair, even when I'm holding it, have plastered it with detangler and am using an afro comb first to get the tangles out.

    I am taking her after school tomorrow to get HER hair cut. 2 years of every other day fight about the hair was enough. I'm not doing it every day. Hello layers...if she agrees to go in, although we have a trip to Zellers to buy a Barbie planned after so maybe...

  4. Good luck with that, Lisa! You'll have to blog about it and let us know how it goes. ;-)

  5. Great story - I can identify to some degree. I have Boy, age 12 with ODD (just found out) I say to some degree because I don't drive due to the fact that I have epilepsy and am on heavy meds. So, imagine if you can, a 12 year old Bear, out of control, and you are unable to leave the house - that is until your husband comes home, and by that time he doesn't feel like going anywhere! Thank you for this blog. I believe I will start my own soon complete with Boy's adventures - (and my own!) I will sty in touch. God bless you!

  6. I can completely relate! It's one of my many reasons for quitting my job and working from home on my own schedule because with an ADHD ODD child you pretty much can never get anything accomplished in a timely manner. Some days just getting my son to sit down and eat takes all day and all my energy. Trying to get ready in the morning and the kids out the door (when a fit ensues each and every day over just getting dressed) leaves little energy to do much but go home and cry afterwards. It's not all terrible but it is very draining. I love my little guy more than words can express but some days just stick a fork in me because I'm done.