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First Haircut

Ronan Bangs
Capturing the increasingly mobile infant isn’t easy.
Here he is between the first and second haircuts.

So Ronan and I were at the playground with our Dad’s group the other day. One of the Dads looked at Ronan and said, “You need to cut his hair. It’s time for the first haircut.”

Not tht we didn’t know that. His bangs have grown so that they are down past his eyes, and we are constantly brushing them out of his food. (Remember, babies attempt to put their food through their noses and eye sockets. You would too if no one had explained to you how to eat.) Every night we comb the leftovers out of his hair. We had decided that we would cut it ourselves, and put a pair of scissors on our wish list for Christmas, which nobody bought for us.

So, yesterday, Terry woke me up as she was leaving for work. I don’t know why Terry thinks that giving me instructions when I’ve just woken up is a good thing; perhaps she gives me instructions so that my brain is forced into action and I’ll wake up faster. I dunno. Anyway, I heard “Give Ronan a haircut, trim his bangs,” when she actually said, “TOGETHER, we should give Ronan a haircut, trim his bangs,” which implies that I should wait until she gets home or for the weekend. Nevertheless, my sleep-addled brain heard “give him a haircut” so that’s what I did when she went to work.

Again, not really awake, I decided that the best thing to do would be to dampen his hair and trim his bangs before breakfast, when he is relatively immobile in the high chair. However, no one told me that I would need the chair from A Clockwork Orange in order to keep his head immobile. While he couldn’t move his body, his head squirmed around, attempting to keep the scissors in sight at all times.

Now, I should mention at this point that for whatever reason, my brain, which I’m beginning to think is working against me, recently gave me quite a vision during REM sleep. My jumbled day turned into me giving Ronan a haircut and accidentally stabbing him the eye with the scissors as he squirmed.

So I had a little trepidation about cutting his hair, and his bobbing and weaving (no pun intended) wasn’t helping. So, after a firm grip was applied to his chin, I cut the long bangs down to what I thought was a good length.

As I pulled the cut hair away from him, Ronan became apoplectic.  He wailed and cried as if he’d fallen down. He grabbed the hair out of my hands and looked at and cried some more. He looked at me with those big brown eyes and it was a look of betrayal and sadness. Not expecting such a reaction, I calmed him down and cut some more, because, well, I didn’t cut in a straight line, because he was squirming so much.

For those of you who aren’t parents, baby hair is strikingly beautiful hair; because it’s so fine, much less coarse than the brillo I grow. Which is great. However, when you cut it, the fineness causes it to get everywhere, and it’s really hard to hold onto or pick up. So very soon into the breakfast I suddenly realized that Ronan had hair in his hands, in his mouth, and for some reason one strand was in his food. Even though I had carefully collected the cut hair into an envelope marked “Ronan’s first haircut (bangs)” with the date, the hair was everywhere. So after his first haircut, Ronan ate part of himself. Well done, Dad!

The crying and the upsetness faded, and we enjoyed the day together. I told Terry over the phone about the haircut, which she was mighty sorry to have missed and explained the actual instructions she gave me. So I’ve made a mental note to not do anything with Ronan that might be considered a “first.”

When she got home, she took one look at Ronan’s crooked hairline, and gently asked, “Would you mind if I tried to trim his hair in the bath?” Of course I had no objection, given that I had robbed her of experiencing his first haircut, and also because it looked like I took a weed whacker to his forehead.

However, trimming his hair after the bath proved slightly more difficult. Unlike the high chair, which immobilized his body but not his head, Ronan was free to move about the baby bathtub at will. And, he was determined, to keep those scissors in his line of sight at all times. Because of the distractions of the water and the bath toys and the noise and both of us, he didn’t seem to notice that his hair was being cut like he did with me. However, Terry would repeatedly comb together a shock of hair to be trimmed, only to have Ronan move and pull the hair out of her hands.

She, too, was only able to cut an inverse angle of the top of Bart Simpson’s head. The zig-zag line that we cut looks so terrible that we have abandoned plans to trim the rest of Ronan’s rather long hair. I knew Terry would be disappointed, so I attempted to part Ronan’s hair a different way to cover up the meandering bangs. She saw through that right away. The horror of the zig-zag was known to all members of the family.

The great thing about your first haircut is that Ronan doesn’t seem to care. And that hair grows back.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 13, 2008 12:32 PM.

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