Saturday, September 03, 2022

Baby's first haircut

Phoebe is a hair-puller, specifically of my hair. I mean, sure, she'll pull her sisters' hair on occasion, but she can't get enough of my hair. She loves to yank, yank, yank it, and no amount of "gentle" parenting has seemed to communicate to her that pulling my hair is a bad idea, so it's mostly been pulled into a bun for the past few months and...last night I had enough and asked Andrew to just chop it off. 

Side note: I'm not against gentle parenting. I just find it annoying when parents are like, "Through my consistent, gentle parenting, little Johnny has learned to respect my earrings. He knows he can gently explore them, but not tug them. Gentle parenting is so worth it!!" And I'm just like, "Neat. I've spent months trying to convince her that she can stroke Mommy's hair but not pull it, but she still yanks on it while deviously cackling."

Like, I'm sure gentle parenting works the same way I'm convinced sleep training works. 

A friend of mine (with one child) posted something recently about how people are always asking her how her baby sleeps so well and all she can say is "thank you, Baby Wise!" Or something.

And I'm over here going. Mmmmhmmmm...

Like, I love that you feel that worked for you. But I'm going to go with the sleep-expert lady whose video I recently watched, who said, "If you can successfully get your baby to sleep putting them down might just have an easy-going baby!" 

I've had one of those. One of those. 

My others all had such terrible reflux that sleep was a pipe dream, and remained a pipe dream for a long time. They all just fought sleep like it was the worst thing ever. Why sleep when you could practice the next big thing on your list of things to accomplish? Sleep is for the weak. You can sleep when you're dead.

I would think it was me or my parenting or something I'm doing wrong but, uh, I had one child who slept like she wrote the book on infant sleep schedules.

And it's not like I tried harder to get her on a good schedule. In fact, I tried less hard. Because she naturally wanted to sleep. A thing none of my other kids has ever wanted to do.

So, anyway, my point here is just that Phoebe is a spirited hair-puller. She's clearly not going to stop pulling my hair and so the hair had to go. I mean, it was either the hair or the baby.

I think I made the logical decision here.

We turned on some Bluey for the little kids and set them down in front of the television with some magna-tiles (because the big kids were at Grandpa's) and then went into the kitchen to cut my hair. 

About halfway through the haircut, Phoebe decided she should probably check on her mother, so she started crawling down the hallway singing, "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom..."

She's pretty transparent about her desires.

"Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom..."

No question about what she's looking for.

"Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom..."

She even cruised right past the cat food without stopping to sample it, so you know she was a baby on a mission.

"Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom..."

Her little head popped around the corner of the doorway.

"Mom, mom, mom..."

She stopped calling for me and froze, her mouth hanging wide open, her eyes popping.

Evidently it's been awhile since she witnessed a haircut, which makes sense. No one wants a baby underfoot while they're giving a haircut. Babies are experts at getting underfoot and mixing a baby with a pile of discarded hair sounds...horrible. So we keep her away while haircuts are bing given. 

The scene was horrifying to her. Her mother, draped in a terrifying black cape. Her father, snipping away at her mother's head with what seemed to be numerous knives! 

It was all too much!!!

So she stayed, frozen in the doorway. 

Her mouth started functioning again before the rest of her body and she started mouthing the words "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom..." again. Not saying the words. Mouthing them. With her eyes still popping out of her head. She looked terrified.

"It's okay, Phoebe," I said. "Come here, baby!"

So she crawled over to me and I picked her up. 

She promptly yanked that horrible cape from around my neck. 

"It's okay, Phoebe," Andrew assured her. 

By this time Zoë had wandered into the kitchen to see where Phoebe had gotten off to. So Andrew squirted Zoë with the water bottle he'd been using on my hair. Zoë shrieked and ran off and...that was it for Phoebe, who started screaming down the moon.

She knew this had been a dangerous undertaking! It must have been worse than she thought if Zoë was screaming about it. Clearly everyone within a two-mile radius should be alerted of the atrocities taking place in the kitchen. 

And Phoebe was just the baby for the job. 

Oh, how she howled. 

Andrew offered her a comb. 

"Uh-UH!" she grunted, pushing the offending item away. 

She screamed some more. 

Andrew offered her the comb again.

"Uh-UH!" she grunted again, pushing his hand away once more. 

She was not going to participate in this dark and loathsome ceremony!

We finished up the haircut without the cape, with Phoebe sitting on my lap patting my neck, kissing my face, and overall just making sure that I was alright.

So, if my haircut is crooked...this is why.


  1. Haha...when I read the title of this post, I thought, "Does Phoebe have enough hair to cut already?" Tricky. And this post needs a picture of you.

  2. I like the term respectful parenting more than gentle parenting. Are you respectful of your children and their feelings and needs? I’d say yes. And sometimes that comes out in a serious and less “gentle” tone. I love the way the instagrammer “mommacusses” frames it in her videos of the expectations v. the reality of gentle parenting. You can “gentle” parent and redirect sweetly all you like and still put away the knives, cover the outlets, stop wearing the dangly earrings, and cut the hair. Then sympathize and hold space for your kids’ feelings when they are mad about it. You’re doing great.

    Also, Prima is finally starting to sleep through the night on occasion and usually only briefly wake me the other nights. Just in time for her younger sibling to change how long my bladder can contain itself in the night and remind me of all the fun I have coming again in a few months. :) But that’s what babies do and I’m here for it and here for them. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. ;)

  3. To me babies are like how your PhD program goes: no comparison. Would like to see how the new haircut looks :) (Giving Erica some cartoon and cutting my husband's hair now.)