Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hippie Gets a Haircut

Most may have noticed Matthew’s hair was getting a little shaggy on the ends, and you may have asked yourself what kind of look we were going for with our son. I, myself, have been making “long haired freaky people need not apply” Five Man Electrical Band references for weeks, calling him a hippie at most every chance I got; you know that endearing way a father ridicules his son to show him that he cares enough about him to make creative comments? That was me. I went through a phase where I called him Ringo, saying, in my best British accent, “There goes Stu Sutcliff, he could’a been a Beatle,” but frankly his hair grew too long to be a Beatle, so I just settled on calling him a hippie. If you think about it, it fits: He doesn’t talk to the Man or do as he asks; he’s naked quite a bit; he dances in a strange manner to most any music; he stumbles around aimlessly without a care in the world; and he’s always pointing at things, the sky, clouds, balloons, as if they are the most wonderous things he’s ever seen and we, too, should all gawk in amazement. I think the other day I heard him call me a narc, as for weeks I was yelling at him to “get a job, you hippie!” and all the while Kara was fretting over getting it cut, wanting to wait until after his first birthday (for some reason but for which there was no explanation). I think, however, she didn't want him to pass his first “growing up to be a little man” milestone... you know, the milestones that line that road that leads out the front door in 20 years.

All this didn’t change the fact that when we went out in public, we’d get scornful looks from people, insisting that we shouldn’t have used hair-growth tonic on an infant. It's hard to explain to someone that the kid's hair is like a weed; it just won't stop growing no matter how many cigarettes we give him. One even threatened to call Tom Bosley to sort it all out. And I always found myself making excuses for his hair, as if I needed to explain to people that we know he needs a haircut but we just haven’t gone yet. Do you know how crazy our lives are? Well, do you!?!

Of course, Kara, being his mother and seeing no wrong, just loves his curls in the back and hates to see them hacked off. She didn't use the term "mullet" but she tried to explain to me a way that we could cut his hair short in the front and leave it long and curly in the back. I told her that was most definately a mullet, but she was in denile, so bad that she refused to even use the term, instead thinking of a different plan that involved a similar combination of long hair in the back and short hair in the front. I looked up "mullet" in the dictionary, and it that's what it pretty much says a mullet is, adding that all mothers go into denile when their sons come home with mullets, fooling themselves into believing that it is merely long hair in the back and short hair in the front.

I think the curls are fairly dashing for the young man too, but I didn’t want to keep them at the cost of the contempt of society, not to mention the rest of his head. I forgot he had ears, for one, as I haven’t seen them in so long it was starting to make sense that he doesn’t listen to me. In another couple of weeks, I’m sure his eyes would have disappeared behind the thick locks of hair dangling down his forehead. Speaking of which, all of that mass of messy hair made his head look small, making him look like quite the little baby… that is, when it was straight. But, up the humidity even a couple of percentage points and he magically turned into the Flying Nun. Wisps of hair darted out from either side of his head above his ears in long swooping upward curls that gave his head wings like a Red Bull commercial.

Time came, and it took us a couple of weeks to even find a place that we wanted to take Matthew for his first hair cut, but we settled on a place called Monkey Dooz a couple of towns over. They came highly recommended from Rico and LeAnne, as that is where they take Nathan. Kara made an appointment, finally, and off we went for his first haircut.

We got lost. Kara wrote down some weird directions. I wasn’t paying attention. Something like that. We ended up miles from where we wanted to be, and it took 20 minutes to find the place after that… so we were late, one of my largest anxieties come true.

Natalie, for one, didn’t want any part of the whole thing. She kept insisting that she wasn’t getting her hair cut, and she didn’t even want to come to the chair and watch the process (though I did see her keenly interested from a far). She actually sat in a round cushion chair and colored and read, very patient all the while.

So, Matty got his first haircut. He got to sit in an Army Jeep, a war command car. He got a balloon, a sucker… the whole nine yards. But I really don’t think he had too much of an idea as to what was going on. The hair tickled his face as it fell, I'm sure, and he wanted to play with his balloon. He tried to stand up a lot and Kara had to hold him in place, and he was very curious as to what all the fuss was about in the room. They have kids' parties there, and one particular girl was understatedly overjoyed about the arrival of all of her friends; there was another dad there, one of the girl's friends, and he looked numb. I pictured myself in his shoes in a few years. Deaf to the screams of delight, blind to the fact that my daughter is wearing a tiny skirt or that she has pierced ears... and dumb to any ideas of how to make it better. Just sit there old man, it'll be over soon.

The end result is that Matthew falls down a lot more often than before. I think it's because his head is lighter without all that hair up there, and he has to get use to balancing it again. All in all, he looks older, wiser, more of a little boy rather than a little baby, and when you look at him now, you’re not seeing a Flock of Seagulls hairdo, instead, you’re seeing Matthew, his smile, his eyes, the tops of his ears… the big boy after his first haircut.

Milestone One Towards Manhood: Check.


Anonymous said...

What a cute kid. LOVE the new look Matt! You look so dashing.
LOL Rico, Le Anne, Nate and Sarah

Kara said...

He looks cute no matter what, but I loved his curls. Next time I am taking him by myself!

Grant's Mom said...

Very handsome young hippie...I mean man! :)


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