Running with Scissors: How Not to Give a Toddler a Haircut

20140314-141058.jpgNoodles has very much needed a haircut for a while now. From short back and sides it grew beyond anything that could be claimed to be ‘surfer dude cool’.

But still I put it off.

The last visit to the barber’s had been particularly traumatic. For Noodles. For me. For the barber.

‘He’s doing very well,’ the barber praised as he saw to the top and back. We both began to relax, thinking everything was going to be ok.

We were wrong. So very wrong.

The flinching started as he started to tackle his fringe. Hair fell into the bag of chocolate buttons being used as a distraction technique. The bag of chocolate buttons was a rookie mistake, I would soon realise. A big big mistake. Noodles started twisting his head in jerky movements. Every time the barber took hold of a tendril his head would whip away.

Somehow the barber managed a semi-even fringe and moved onto the sides.

‘He’s not keen on the sides being done. Really don’t worry about using clippers. Just a bit of a trim will do,’ I warned.

What Noodles isn’t keen on is having his ears held, let alone whilst someone wields anything near them.

The wriggling intensified. A squwark started up. Flailing arms and kicking legs. Every time the blades of the scissors came close Noodles squirmed. Every time his ears were touched he shook his head.

The tears began. And the snot. It mixed with melted chocolate, squeezed to liquid by little clenched fists, and stuck to Noodles face and clothes alongside wisps of stray hair.

The noise intensified. The flailing. The bodily secretions. The barber would have had an easier time cutting the hair of a head-spinning Linda Blair in full demonic-possession mode.

In all we were in the barber’s chair for no more than 10 minutes, but the ordeal seemed to last an eternity.

In the end the barber cut his losses before someone lost an eye or a finger and gave me a discount for a shoddy finish. I doubled my tip as a thank you for the stresses he endured in trimming Noodles’ tresses. Noodles sat, blotchy and seething. Think makeover day on Next Top Model. Tyra and Miss J would have rolled their eyes with disapproval.

So, funnily enough, I wasn’t particularly keen to repeat the experience. But little boys don’t have the option of hair clips and Rapunzelesque locks. I tried sweeping his fringe to the side, but one foul gust of wind and he resembled Cousin Itt. I began to employ the use of hair gel, but even that only worked for so long before the hair fell back in a matted mess in front of his eyes. And only David Beckham can pull off a boys’ headband. Noodles started to trip over things, unable to see in front of himself.

Something had to be done.

And then, on Wednesday, he took a daytime nap. I steeled myself, dug out the hairdressing scissors and took a snip at his fringe in an approximation of how the barber did it. If I kept it long-ish, but aimed to get it out of his eyes, at least he could see. But if too appalling to be seen in public I could make a dash to the barbers with enough hair left for professional manoeuvres.

I don’t think I drew breath during each snip, hoping desperately that a falling strand wouldn’t wake him.

Personally I thought I’d done an ok job…until Husband got home and raised an eyebrow. Although I didn’t see him offering to take him for a better cut.

Except then the locks curling around his collar started plaguing me. So every time he’s been engrossed in an activity I’ve reached for the scissors and attempted a drive-by snipping. Little by little the hair has been trimmed. I am the Scissor Ninja.

It’s a long long way from a professional job and each time I look there’s another lock that needs a bit of a snip. I’ve not even attempted the hair around the ears. Luckily it’s reached a length long enough to tuck behind his ears, which stops him from looking quite so feral. It’s also taking so long to finish the job that it could be the tonsorial equivalent of the Fourth Bridge.

I can’t avoid a return visit to the barber’s forever, but hopefully it’s bought me enough time to research ‘sure fire ways to ensure a trauma-free toddler trim’ online. Or I can find a supplier of general anaesthetic. I just hope I’m not quizzed on the current state of Noodles’ hair. The Scissor Ninja has tried her best. At least Noodles can see where he’s going now. And out of the house a hat is always an option.


5 thoughts on “Running with Scissors: How Not to Give a Toddler a Haircut”

  1. Well done Scissors Ninja! Proud of your ingenuity! This actually reminds me of when we tried to take our second son to the dentist for the first time. Little mite would not open his mouth at all! Took 3 trips to dentist over the period of a year and still nothing! They are tough when they make up their minds at that age! (teaser for you……my son is now 14 and in braces, so Noodles will come around about his hair someday!)

    1. When Eve was 2 she banged her mouth at baby gym. She refused point blank to eat or drink anything for TEN DAYS and spent a week in hospital in a drip. The willpower of toddlers when they don’t want to do something is something to behold.
      Thank God they (mostly) grow out of it. Noodles may look like Cousin Itt by the time he does though.

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