We have a haircut routine: Phil and I meet after work and all three kids get a cut (cut + tip = about $20 X 3), then we have the mandatory dinner out at a “family-friendly” place the kids love and we despise. So it ends up being around a $100+ night that soaks up the whole evening. Back in high school my mom trusted me to cut, color, and perm (remember those?) her hair, and she was never publicly ostracized, so I felt like maybe I could tackle at least the boys haircuts and we could spend less time and money each month on this routine that always ends up being unpleasant. After I snagged a copy of Haircutting for Dummies on the Free Books table at work, I felt armed and ready to tackle home haircuts. But getting the kids to give up the evening (balloons! Dum-Dums! an indoor playground!) was going to be a tough sell. So I hit them where it mattered: Cash.
I made a deal with the boys that since the haircut out, base price, was $14, I’d pay them $7 to do the haircut at home. Money talked, and they agreed. Then I got cold feet. My dad once — once, and only once — gave my brother a haircut in an effort to save money. I remember my poor brother emerging from the bathroom where he’d been shorn, sporting Frankenstein-like bangs that went nearly to his hairline. My mom just leaned over and put her head straight down on the dining room table so she wouldn’t laugh out loud, but I could see her shoulders shaking until she could get herself together. The world is cruel. I didn’t want the same fate for my boys, so last month we still did the traditional haircut night.
This weekend, though, I bought a pair of professional scissors, and because Tom was getting closer to saving enough for a Lego set he wants, he asked several times if I could cut his hair.
Tommy has thick hair, and I always say that when he’s ready for a haircut he looks like a middle-aged lady shopping in a sparkly holiday sweater, shopping at a discount department store. His hair gets that kind of boufy look. It sneaks up on you, and suddenly he looks like he’s shopping for a pair of Sansibelts, which is how he was looking. So it was time.
Sylvie has curly hair like me, which is more difficult to cut. I know I came home over-curly and styled cuts (“I look like Jermaine Jackson!”) or straightened hair (“I look like Linda Tripp!”) from hairdressers who didn’t know how to deal with my hair. So for her, I just pretended I was cutting the back, and merely gave her bangs a little trim.
Following the haircut Tom had, he emerged the handsome boy we know, $7 closer to a General Grievous Lego set.