May 7, 2008

First Haircut

Lady E.’s hair was becoming an unruly shock of shiny brown that hung over her eyes and curled around the back of her head to form a quasi-mullet. At almost 14 months old, we knew we had to take her for a haircut.
(Check out the difference from a year ago, i.e. her ID mugshot in the last post.)

We kept procrastinating for two reasons. One was that Naomi had already administered a very nice trim of her bangs a few months before, but this rendered a charming K.D. Lang-esque cowpunk effect. So my dear wife was reluctant to trim our daughter's hair again. The second was that our energetic little person enjoys moving around so much we were concerned she simply could not stay still long enough for a proper haircut, or would cause some kind of bloodletting from either Lady E., or the hair stylist.
Inevitably, our child is developing her own personality, one not-so-pleasant feature of which is a penchant for 10 minute-long screamfests when she doesn’t get her own way, or doesn’t want to do something. These are characterized by frenetic waving of her little arms, jackhammer leg kicks, and wails at the same decibel level as a Motorhead concert. This happens as she is laying down wherever she happens to be: our apartment floor, in the middle of a mall walkway, in a restaurant, or beside a busy road—she does not discriminate in selecting venues.
So, naturally, we had vivid images of a haircut inducing a similar episode at a hair salon.
However, as her hair grew longer, our recognition that it could not be avoided grew more acute. Naomi found a nice salon that specialized in kids’ haircuts nearby. And once recent Saturday, the momentous occasion arrived: our child’s first haircut.
The hair stylist was a real pro, sizing up her pint-sized challenge with one glance, and adroitly placed Elena facing her Mom in the barber chair.
Incidentally, the salon featured a cool play area stocked with toys and other diversions. I had a great time waiting for Naomi and Elena, ruthlessly elbowing the little kids out of the way as I grappled for the best toys.
Meanwhile, the veteran stylist murmured a few soothing quips, then snip-snip-snip. Initially, Lady E. was too surprised at the swift assault to react. Then, the expected sniffles and wane cries soon arrived, but it was a manageable crisis. Regrettably, before I could finish my kickass Lego rocketship, The Haircut was over.
"Owarimashita," (finished) said the hair stylist, satisfied with her handiwork.
I reluctantly handed over my half-finished Lego masterpiece to the smirking 2-year old next to me, and left the Etch-A-Sketch in the care of the primary schooler who was waiting with extended, expectant hands.
As you can see, we all survived the experience. Elena still has a full head of hair, nicely coiffed to match her proportions, and we still have our eardrums intact. I’m thinking of a new design for me to build during Elena's next haircut in a few months. And, yes, I enjoyed yet another milestone in our mighty daughter’s evolution into a real toddler.

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