Friday, January 23, 2009

Mommy Scissorhands

Almost four years ago, I wrote about my cutting all of my sons’ hair here in Canada. Since then, Gino and Mickey, now 22 and 21, have graduated from high school and from Mom’s “salon”. They are free to get their own haircut from whichever shop they choose--but only on their own dime.

Gino has had a perm, and after that, dreadlocks. He asked me to cut his hair only once in between when he didn't want to spend for it.

Mickey gets his haircut from a shop in Vancouver or Metrotown. He prefers the trendy Korean/Japanese style.

Gabriel asked me to do a Mohawk with his hair last summer. He has kept it since. This requires less cutting. Even Gabriel himself can shave the sides so only the middle part stays long and needs maintenance.

Of the four, only Markus has a regular hairstyle. If he wants to have a haircut, he knows there's just one place to go.

“Mom, can you give me a haircut?” he asked me last Monday night. We kept forgetting to do it or pushing it aside, and now he was tired of hair reaching to his eyebrows and covering his ears.

As he was preparing the haircutting kit in the washroom, we realized that the pair of scissors was missing. Markus suggested that I use the fabric scissors or the kitchen scissors. I said no to both. I didn't like to dull the fabric scissors, and I hadn't forgotten the terraced 'do I did on Gino with the kitchen one.

I was reluctant to cut hair without a good pair of hair scissors, but Markus was insistent.

“Okay, but I’m telling you…” I agreed, with some forewarning.

And so I started running the #8 attachment through his hair. "It's better to start long so when we make a mistake it can still be fixed. When you start short, that's it," I explained and chopped away.

“I will not look at myself until tomorrow,” Markus said, keeping his eyes closed. "I want to be surprised."

“You have to open your eyes and check it,” I said. After a while, I turned the stool he was sitting on towards the mirror. He looked up.

“Mom, it is so uneven! This side is much longer than this one,” he was surprised all right. Or maybe not.

“It’s not done,” I said. “Hey, you look like a punk!” I exclaimed, making that sound really positive.

“I look disgusting and retarded,“ he sounded anything but.

“People pay to have a hair like this!” I continued.

“Yeah, and I can get it free from my mom---“ he mumbled.

“Now you look like one of the J--- brothers,” I couldn’t quickly remember the group’s name. “Jonas’ Brothers!” I said.

“Mom, they don’t have this kind of hair. One has curly hair, the other has long hair---“

“I told you it was risky to cut hair without a pair of scissors,” I repeated my previous warning. I continued trimming.

"Mom, the last time you cut my hair, one side was longer. I always had to comb it to one side,” he said.

“Did anyone notice? Did anyone complain?” I retorted.

“That’s because I kept combing my hair to one side.” Looking at how his haircut was progressing, he said, “Mom, now I look like I have a comb-over, you know, what balding people do with their remaining hair.”

I continued trimming. “Oh this is the first time I’m doing this,” I said as I plowed through the top of his head.

After about 45 minutes, or maybe more, I put down the clipper. “You look good!” I told Markus. “What do you think?”

He checked the top, the sides. He seemed to be satisfied. He didn't want his hair to get any shorter. Or worse.

"You look good!” I reassured Markus. I really thought he looked better than before having a haircut. I liked the outcome.

"Mom, you didn't say it's done. You only said I look good."

"It's done.... You look good!"

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