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The Upper Cut

It’s weird how none of my kids have ever liked to be touched on their head. They didn’t grow hair until they were one and are quite possessive with it.

When my daughters had enough hair to scrape together into pig tails, they would barely tolerate it. Hats, headbands, clips and bows were out of the question. I had to bribe them with videos while I french braided them, but it was a rare treat.

My girls inherited stick straight brown hair and the boys all received lush blond locks that grow out in curls. The girls tell me how stupid this is all the time. What can I do?

In an effort to help out the strangers who invariably guessed the wrong sex of my small children, I wasted a lot of time trying to plant hair bows on my girls and keep the boys’ hair trimmed up.

You would think cutting hair would be easier than styling it.

But no.

It’s a cage fight every time.

They square off with me across the arena, bobbing and weaving and feinting. If I can catch them off guard, duck in and pin them to the mat, I have a chance.

But someone will have to hand me the clippers.

It’s like shearing galloping sheep.

It’s like getting a growling Chewbacca ready for date night.

It’s like trimming hedges into a topiary. A banker-shaped topiary.

And I only have to the count of 10 to get the job done.

Round One:
Wait until the last possible moment of bad hair tolerance before attempting the job. Circle ‘Cousin It’ slowly. Wait for his hair to fall in his eyes before lungeing.

Round Two:
Corner victim onto the barber stool and clip a massive sheet around his throat. Get halfway done before he flaps around and finds the sheet opening.

Round Three:
Pull the bribe: “Here is a lolly for you while mommy cuts your hair.”
Pull the threat: “If you turn your head while I cut your hair, you will have a divot in your hairdo and I will leave it there!”

Round Four:
When he makes a break for it, pull the tears: “Please please please do not go to your high school graduation with hair longer and glossier than your sisters! Please Fabio!!”

This scenario happened, and was swiftly followed up with:
“Stop flipping your golden locks at me or I’ll sneak into your room at night and pull a Delilah.”

And that will be the fifth and final round.

At the moment my sophomore son sports delicious curls all around his head and he twirls them without realizing that he does. He will be engrossed in a good book, turning the pages with one hand and twirling his forelock with the other.

I’m thoroughly annoyed.

The President of the United States does not twirl his curls while pondering the state of the union. Not even George Washington. He pulled his wig into a proper ponytail and stayed focussed on chopping down the cherry tree.

It’s scary that my oldest just removed his own mohawk of three years’ standing. I have been chasing him with scissors for years with no luck.

So I really can’t imagine what he’s going to do next.

How awful can it be to have a nice conservative banker’s haircut? Maybe a little movie star edgy but definitely a head of hair that looks like a million bucks?

You could sell ring-side tickets to our haircut events. The amount of hair that hits the canvas would make a rug.

We usually go the distance.

And once in a while, my son is a knock-out.

Don’t get excited. It won’t last.

Published inLiving Larger


  1. pamela schlottman

    Loved it. Very funny . I myself have straight fine hair but luckily my daughter and granddaughters all have movie star or model beautiful hair. I do sometimes covet their hair ( my husband’s hair also} but usually they complain about how hard it is to take care of. We always want what we can not have.

  2. Kiki

    Your blogs make my day! Always a great way to start. I can visualize each of your kids as you describe them. Thanks for making me smile!

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