Saturday, April 23, 2005

Losing our hair

It has become something of a tradition in our house for me to take the boys for haircuts. I do so with more than a little anxiety, however, for I still harbor a deep-seated fear that I will somwhow ask for the wrong kind of cut, and our two beautiful boys will return home with monstrously deformed heads of hair.

But it always seems to magically work out because the ever-changing roster of women (yes, just try to find a male barber in this town...not gonna happen) still manages* to understand my stylistically-challenged instructions.

A number of things dawned on me as we repeated the ritual:
  1. The lady at the front will manage to misspell all of our names, this despite my repeating them at least twice, and spelling them for her in that really...slow...voice...that you use when you realize the person on the other end of the conversation isn't tuned to the same station as you.
  2. The magazines will be older than your kids. They will be missing pages. The ones that remain will likely have crayon all over them.
  3. There will be one children's book on the coffee table in the waiting area. For an assessment of its condition, please see #2 above.
  4. Another child will be reading this book as you arrive.
  5. The only thing your child wants to read is, you guessed it, that book.
  6. Thankfully, you loaded some bedtime stories on the PalmPilot. Crisis averted.
  7. Your children will need to pee. At least twice. Not at the same time.
  8. They will need to go really badly, just as soon as the actual haircut begins.
  9. Your children will speak to each other, not loudly or rudely, but they will be heard.
  10. You will be glared at by everyone because of this.
  11. The only seat available will be immediately adjacent to the wall of overpriced hair care products with the cheeky-sounding names.
  12. The overweight woman whose coat sits on that one remaining seat will pretend to look away as your four-year-old son makes his way toward the seat.
  13. He will ask in his loudest, most innocent voice why that lady isn't being polite.
  14. He will then sit there anyway before smiling at her, speaking gently to her, and generally charming the pants off of her.
  15. You will be charged a crazy amount of money for 10 minutes of work with a cutter and trimming scissors.
  16. A ridiculously small fraction of said money will actually go to the hairdressers in question.
  17. They will each regale you with stories of how lousy it is to work there.
  18. On your next visit, half of them will no longer work there.
  19. On the visit after that, neither will the other half.
  20. You will return home with two freshly-shorn boys. Mom and sister will eagerly greet us all at the door, and we'll all be thankful that we have what we have.
I know, in the end it's just a haircut. But every experience in a child's life leaves a footprint. Don't forget to remember what those footprints look like, or what it felt to leave them in the first place.

* Yes, this is correct grammar.

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