So, just when you thought it was safe to leave your six year old alone with his art supplies, you find out you were wrong. Waaaay wrong.
Snags came downstairs a few nights ago after taking his bath and wanted to know if he could have one of my hair barrettes. He said his bangs were “getting in his nerves,” only I thought he said “in his nose,” and that was odd because it couldn’t have possibly been true. His bangs were still up on his forehead. At that time anyway…
He got mad at me when I said he couldn’t wear my hair barrette to school to keep his bangs pushed off his face. “You look like a girl,” I told him.
He cried. He argued with me. “Well, I think it looks good and I think it makes me look older!” he said.
“Yes,” I agreed. “Like an older girl.”
“If you want your bangs to be shorter,” I offered, “then let’s go tomorrow and get your hair cut.”
“No!” he responded. “I want to grow my hair out to be long.”
Let’s just get this point clear: He wanted to grow his hair out “to be long” so he could look like Adam in the movie Snow Buddies, and also so he could wear one long braid down the side of his face like Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with either look, but shaggy skateboarder is apparently “IN” right now, so I thought I could be a little flexible on the hair. Besides, getting to the braid point was going to take some time. With summer approaching, I figured Snags would give up at some point, and ask for a hair cut just to get the wet sweaty hair off the back of his neck. I figured we probably weren’t really in this for the long haul, but I had no idea just how soon the situation would change.
Snags ran out of the room crying because I wouldn’t let him keep my hair barrette.
Less than a minute later he ran back in.
“How do you like my hair now?” he demanded with a huge smile and a menacing cackle.
I glanced at him. The middle portion of his bangs were pulled back, the hair barrette was hidden somehow. If he was a girl with really long hair, it would have been a great look.
“Where’s the hair barrette?” I asked. “How did you do that? I can’t even see the barrette.”
“That’s because there is no hair barrette!” he laughed.
And then it hit me…
“Did you CUT your bangs?” I asked, wide-eyed, as my husband more or less groaned, “Oh! Snags!”
And then Snags ran from the room crying once again. He ran up the stairs as my husband called after him, “What scissors did you use? Where did you get them?”
Well, he used his art supply scissors. Of course! The ones with the red handle. The ones intended for paper. Not hair.
“Did you even look in the mirror when you did that?” I asked when I found him crying on his bed.
“No!” he wailed.
My husband tried to fix the damage by trimming the sides of his bangs, with (why do boys do this?) the same art supply scissors. The ones with the red handle. Again, for paper. Not hair.
Of course that only made it worse. Snags stood there crying in front of the mirror.
“You look like Willy Wonka,” I offered, kindly. I thought that would cheer him up. When he was four he wanted to BE Willy Wonka. He wanted me to buy him a purple wig or let him grow his hair out in a page boy style and get it dyed. He had a Willy Wonka costume. We fashioned a “W” out of an old coat hanger and he wore it everywhere, just like Johnny Depp in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
But now, well, I guess that’s not cool anymore. Snags cried some more. I tried not to laugh, but honestly, I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.
I took the scissors from my husband’s hands and figured, well, what the hell. No use going all the way back downstairs to get the kitchen shears at this point. Besides, kitchen shears aren’t much better for cutting hair than the red handled art scissors. I trimmed the other side. But that didn’t help much, either. Finally, I put the sniffling, snuffling Snags to bed.
When I woke in the morning I stayed in bed for a while, hoping it was all just a dream. But it wasn’t. Snags came in my room and demanded to know, “Why did you and dad make me look in the mirror when I didn’t want to? That’s just RUDE! That is like sticking someone’s head down the toilet! That’s how rude that was!”
“Oh!” I said, a bit startled at the analogy. “We weren’t trying to be RUDE. We just wanted you to see your hair since you cut it without even looking at it.”
I sent Snags to school and I sent his teacher an email to warn her about his hair. When I picked him up after school it seemed like every teacher in the building had heard the story. They all gave me sympathetic smiles as they said, “Off to get Snag’s hair cut by the professionals now?”
“Yes,” I said. Yes we were, indeed. Thank you for asking.