Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who Is This Child???

Two weeks ago S and I took Z to get his haircut. My policy is to never go to the same place twice...this is due to the fact that I am usually so embarrassed and horrified by Z's behavior that I don't feel that I can show my face again. This time I decided to wait until the weekend and let S see how truly wonderful it is to go and get Z's haircut.

We walked into one of the many local Supercuts and all of the hairdressers smiled as we came in. They looked at Z all cute and sweet and thought...."oh, I'd like to cut that little cutie's hair". Little did they know what was about to happen!

This blonde lady called us over and S grabbed Z's hand. He immediately started crying, shouting "NO" and tried pulling S out the door. S was firm, picked him up, sat down in the chair and placed Z in his lap (per my instructions). I told the woman that Z would not like capes (for S or himself) and to please cut it as short as possible so that we didn't have to come back for another 3 months. I warned her that he was tough (she could already see this) and to do it as quickly as possible. I then told S to hold down his arms while I tried to talk sweetly to Z and calm him down.

Z screamed, sobbed, flailed, cried and reached out for was awful. The hairdresser was very timid and you could tell that she regretted calling Z's name. My advice....never have two parents bring a child to get their haircut. Having another parent as an option to cry and reach for, made this haircut even more difficult than the rest! The woman was weak, she struggled and S was not firm enough with was a disaster! I finally grabbed Z, sat down in the chair and firmly held him in place so she could get the job done. This lasted until I had to turn him and he started squirming so much that S had to take him back.

About 15 minutes later....we were done. Z's hair was AWFUL!!! We had already told him it was over and I didn't have the heart to ask her to fix the many things that needed fixing. His bangs were uneven, he had hair hanging over his ears, she had barely touched the top and the back was a mess! We paid the lady, didn't tip her much and left the store. I was almost in looked horrible. S told me we could fix it when we got home with his clippers. We tried but Z cried for us as well and we really couldn't do very much (we are not experts).

It is now two weeks later and Z's hair was so shaggy long again! We leave for our trip in a few days and I need him to look presentable. I asked a few friends where they take their children and I was given the name of two deals with children with sensory issues and Autism and so that sounded like the place for me.

I mentioned to Z that we would be going to get his haircut and told him that there would be a treat afterward :) We entered the barber shop and Z clung to my body. We sat down to wait and Z curled up as closely as he could, watching the women work. I pointed out the toy room (they have a TOY ROOM!!) and when he finally felt safe, he ran over and started playing with this helicopter. One woman finished up and came over to me. I explained how Z has a hard time getting his haircut and told her about our past experiences. She suggested I try putting a cape on now, go and pick him up and let him hold the helicopter. As I sat Z down in my lap, he did not tell me to take the cape off! He was fighting back tears but he clutched the helicopter and kept checking the hairdresser out in the mirror. She introduced herself, asked for a high five and called him "buddy". She joked with him, introduced him to "Mr. Tickle" (the clippers) and put them on his leg so he could feel the vibration....she was great! Z sat still, fighting back tears, but never screamed, kicked or sobbed! It was AMAZING! Eventually he got more comfortable and started chatting with her. They talked about Lightning McQueen, the trip to Aruba and the helicopter. It was soooo cute!

I have never been more proud of Z, he was wonderful! This was a big step in bravery for him and I am so appreciative for our new hairdresser! She was playful, kind, patient and very good at letting Z know what was going to happen next. She got a very big tip and I told her we would be back!

I hope we are turning a new leaf....he was pretty good during our last dentist and doctor visit and today was like a dream! My little boy is growing up and I am beaming from ear to ear!


Christina said...

They really are magical moments when they happen..

Anonymous said...

I can SOOOOO relate to this! My 2 1/2 year old did GREAT getting his haircut -- everytime, no matter where we went -- until 2 haircuts ago when the lady did a "split time" hair cut with an older lady getting a perm. She expected a TWO YEAR OLD to sit in the chair while she took the perm rods out of the ladies hair. Lesson learned: ask hair dresser if this is a split-time appointment or if child will have undivided attention. It ended in a HORRIFIC haircut! We went to a different place this last time and he screamed the entire time resulting in yet another HORRIFIC haircut! We have been to the "city" (about a 1 1/2 hour drive) to a CHILDREN'S hair salon and it's been great, but driving the distance is not always feasable. We have a wedding coming up in May where I think the drive might just be a need! :)

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