Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I am sitting here after having just put James down for bed for the night, and honestly, I just want to cry my eyes out.

For whatever reason, James hates having his hair cut. I mean HATES it. I mean flails his arms and legs, screams, cries until he is nearly puking, sweats profusely and has rivers of snot gushing out of his nose.

The first few times he had his hair cut (I think he was 11 months old when we first started) it was not really a big deal. He whimpered a little and we got thru it.

The last few times have been just terrible. I end up holding him on my lap while Chris dances around him acting silly or bribing him with a toy while the hair dresser tries to cut as fast as she can.

It was so bad the last time that Chris and I were both practically in tears and I thought James would need to be sedated.

So, I decided to give it a go myself at home (which after scouring the internet for tips and tricks to cut a toddler's hair, seems to be the route that many parents take.)

Over the last few weeks, I have tried to get him used to both the scissors and the clippers. He gets to sit in his chair with a treat and watch his favorite shows, while I try desperately not to make him look like a Chernobyl victim.

I have taken it very slowly. It has not gotten better.

I tried again tonight, and basically told myself to just get the job done. My hairdresser suggested I just clip his whole head on a #6 setting, so that is what I did.

At one point I was holding him tightly against me and making frantic swipes at him with the clippers while holding his arms down with the other hand.

You can imagine that he wasn't happy.

I am basically thinking that he will be forever traumatized by my idiotic desire to have his hair neat and tidy.

Well--no more. I will NEVER EVER EVER cut his hair again. I loathe long hair on little boys (sorry, I know it is in style right now) but I guess I will be letting James' hair grow long, because unless Chris does it, or Chris takes him somewhere that can do it, I am NEVER EVER EVER doing it again. (Did I say that already??)

Even though as soon as I shut the clippers off he stopped crying, even though he played trains with me happily for an hour before bed, even though he snuggled against me while I read him five bedtime stories, and even though he said "Love you Mama" as I left his room tonight, I still feel like a CRAPPY, LOUSY mother.

You can say what you want to be supportive, or to console me--but I just have to say it. My mothering skills sucked tonight.

I guess that is part of the reason why blogging is so cathartic. I can get my thoughts out there for the world to read.

And if there is anyone out there who is contemplating cutting their toddler's hair, knowing full well that their beautiful child would get through receiving their vaccinations better--just think about my experience for a moment and STOP.

It's not worth it.

*Edited to say--We are both fine today--I don't know if it is preggo hormones that made me freak out about this last night or what, but thanks for letting me vent!


dina said...

Okay - here's my insider's tip on haircutting... Let someone else take him. Sometimes it's just the mother/son bond. My Mom (much beloved Grandma to my son) was *way* okay to be the one to take my boy for haircuts. If I went - same story as what you've been going through. It's a tough age to get anything done that requires sitting still.

By the time William was 4 he was begging me to cut his hair - he thought it was *so* cool that one of his friends' mom was doing the hair cutting - so that's when I went back to that role. Not before.

Believe me, you're not the first Mommy to feel like she flunked Mothering 101 for the day. Heck, my kids are 15, 14, and 11 - my banner days are when I fail resoundingly with ALL three of them - and yet they all still love me and are willing to forgive me and still seek me out for an ear, a hug, or just time to be together. What a gift!

Draw a nice hot bubble bath - give yourself time to relax - even cry a bit - and remember that this day is now a part of the past and the future is a new chance to love on that precious little boy some more.

One great bit of advice my Mom shared with me when I was a Mom with younger kids was this, "This is an amazing season of life! But it will go so swiftly! It's okay if the house isn't perfectly clean - this season is about loving your kids well, training them to be the people God calls them to be." Gosh, I miss my Mommy! She was one wise woman of God!

Blessings, dear one - it will get better.



LaAna said...

Hi there! Just wanting to give you a big AMEN! Today was not one of my proudest parenting moments either. Lets just say we're dealing with a loose tooth and it REALLY needs to come out. I hate to say it, but thanks for feeling like you might have messed up a little too - sorry, I guess sometimes misery does love company! : )

Your little boy is so cute, short or long hair

Jerolyn said...

Sometimes parenting just sucks...but the good ALWAYS out weighs the bad...You'll both feel better tomorrow!

Gini said...

OK - I am scared that there are no pictures posted - after the haircut??!! Let's be honest here Allison, I does not get any better and the more kids you add to the mix, it only gets harder. But I know you and you try your best at everything. Never second guess yourself, because when you least expect it you are going to see your hard work shine in your kids. I know I do every day. I am NOT getting the Mother-of-the-year award EVER, but I love who my kids are becoming....stop beating yourself up or you are going to miss all the good you are doing.

Allison said...

Dina--you are so sweet! What a great comment. Reading this last night definitely made me feel a little better. Stop by anytime!

Laana--you are right, misery does love company. It is nice to know that we all aren't perfect!

Jerolyn--you were right--we do feel better. (And if you can believe it, I missed a spot on his neck and I keep looking at it thinking "How bad could it be if I just snipped it really fast?" WHAT?? Did I not learn anything yesterday!!!???

Gini--Uh, no pics--it probably isn't THAT bad--but it is very short, which kills me. Like, military short. And you are right--I try to make everything I do PERFECT and I need to stop setting my bar so high, or else I will probably start feeling like I can't get anything right!

blackbird said...

I'd let someone else take him too...and no clippers, just scissors.
And THEN, don't be so hard on yourself.

(the coconut bread recipe is a couple of posts down on my blog - I can't find your email address)

Redhead in Vegas said...

poor mama. i'm happy to see that all is well today. take a deep breath and maybe wait until chris is home before you attempt this again. even if it's just for support.

Kim said...

I think the key is understanding that being a Mom sometimes means you'll do things your children won't like or understand at the time. You just have to take comfort in knowing that someday kids come to understand and even appreciate the things their parents did to/for them.

That said, I'm facing the same thing soon. Matthew really needs a haircut already, at less than 5 months, and I'm dreading it! It just looks so cute, curling up in the humidity!

Denise said...

I am NOT a mother so this might be moot, but what I have learned in my life (and profession) is that the presence of strong emotion doesnt always mean that you are doing anything wrong or that something bad is happening. The fact that he re-grouped quickly and let it go is good. You rock as a mother - it is crystal clear -and this is true even if you have some of your own strong emotions (frustration, anger, etc). xoxo