mom fun

Pinterest Lies! It Is Not Okay To Cut Your Child’s Hair By Yourself

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Cut Your Kids HairBack in the days before my twins were born, I worked as a courtroom clerk for family cases, so I’m used to drafting documents that will deeply impact people’s futures, lots of human interaction, and power business suits. I’m grateful that I can choose to stay home with my boys right now, but I would be lying if I said that sometimes I miss the feeling of intellectual accomplishment (though I do love not wearing heels every day).

Being a SAHM is a lot of things, and, if I’m being completely honest, sometimes that thing is boring. Reading Good Night Moon, playing blocks, cleaning and refreshing Mommyish can only get me so far in a day, so I’ve come up with hobbies to help fill the hours.  I make muffins with hidden veggies, I’m knitting sweaters for fall with Jack o’ Lanterns on the front, I have a sensory board in my playroom made of an oil drip pan, chalkboard paint and washi tape. Pinterest is my playground and I admit to being a tad conceited about my Martha Stewart skills sometimes. Until now.

I was looking at the boys during that long stretch between lunch and naptime and I noticed how shaggy their hair had become. In their 18 months of being, they’ve gotten haircuts twice and both times I thought to myself, “I bet I could do that myself and save so much money.” Never mind the fact that I had never cut kids’ hair before, or the fact that last time I tried to dye my own hair it turned out orange- and not  the good Eternal Sunshine shade of orange.  My inner Goopy Gwyneth took over and I was all “I passed the freaking bar exam! I can totally cut my toddlers’ hair by myself with no help or experience whatsoever. Let’s do this!”

Before the Mayhem. Shaggy but cute.

Before the Mayhem. Shaggy but cute.

So I grabbed the clippers that my husband uses on his hair, sat on the floor, turned them on and let the smug wash over me in waves:

“Look how I’m letting them walk up and get used to the clippers! They are doing this on their own terms. I’ll just sit here and let them come up to me and cut it one swipe at a time. This is such a good idea, if we were at a barber shop they would force them to sit still and be miserable and that would be horrible for their sense of self. “

And then, the utmost statement of overconfidence- “Screw Blake Lively, I should totally start a blog. “

So of course karma kicked me back down to earth and I messed up royally. Turns out the “number  5” setting on all clippers is not created equal. What yields an adorably tousled toddler haircut on Pinterest creates a look that I like to call “background extra #4” from Saving Private Ryan. I was so intent on getting their entire heads that I really didn’t look down to see how much hair was falling until it was too late. I stopped as soon as I realized that the clump of hair tickling my foot wasn’t the cat’s tail, but the damage had already been done.

One of my sons is blonde like his momma  and has very little hair to begin with, so while I still expect him to salute me everything he lifts his arm to wave or chuck a board book, the overall “what happened to his hair” shock is a bit less than his brother.

UPDATE: since writing this I have taken the boys for a walk in the stroller and while the front of this guy’s hair is ok-ish, I completely missed the crown in the back his head, creating an effect my husband has dubbed “The GREAT SCOTT!” alá Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future. Which is ironic, because when I set out to cut his hair in the first place I had Michael J. Fox in mind.

Remy, my brunette buddy was not as lucky. Depending on your age and frame of reference, he now looks like Demi Moore in GI Jane, the kid that bends the spoons in The Matrix or Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables, right before she kicks the bucket. I was in the middle of his cut when I abandoned all hope, so I left a piece long, stupidly thinking it would trick the eye into believing the rest of the hair was longer too. I was telling Bethany about his hair and she said “oh, like a rattail?” And I face palmed, because why didn’t I think of a rat tail? Then he could have looked like a little hipster baby instead of the lead singer in a pint sized Flock of Seagulls tribute band.

 After the slaughter. (They wouldn't come closer but trust me, It looks worse in person.)

After the slaughter. (They wouldn’t come closer but trust me, It looks worse in person.)


Luckily their vocabulary is currently limited to “tent” “tat” (cat) and “two” so they can’t say “What the hell Mom?!” They have figured out how to slam doors, but they do that because it’s fun and new, not because they’re mad at me. I think.

Pinterest 1, Megan 0.

I’ve learned my lesson, and once it grows back I will most definitely be booking appointments with a licensed professional. For now, I’m off to buy some hats since I can’t take them out in public without the checkout girl thinking they are recovering from a raging case of head lice.

(Image:  Levent Konuk/shutterstock, author’s own)