From The Mud Puddle

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sunday afternoon, I opened up my "barber shop" by pulling down an old sheet and pulling out the clippers. I really dont know what I am doing, but how can you really go wrong with a set of sheers? (Don't answer that, I may not really want to know) I remember when we bought this pair of sheers we have now that we have used for many years. They came with a VHS tape about how to cut hair. I never watched much of it, but it provided a half hour enjoyment for my kids on how to cut hair with the sheers. They especially enjoyed the segment about how to give a "mushroom cut". I dont know that it is a good idea to let your five and seven year old watch this kind of video as it might plant ideas into their minds for later, but we never had an incident because of this stored up information. I knew to keep the sheers on very high shelf in my kitchen.

I am sort of getting ahead of myself though in this story. I really should start at the very beginning because as Julie Andrew sings in the Sound of Music, It's a very good place to start. ;)

My husband and I had been married one month. This also coincided with my parent's 30th wedding anniversary. We went out to eat with my parents and then came back to our house to share the top part of our wedding cake. We had heard from various people that the cake really isnt good if you wait a year to eat your top part, and so throwing tradition out the window in favor of our own, we thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate our first month as well as my parent's 30 years. It was a nice evening.

After my parents went home, Jay and I were just talking and not doing a lot of anything. Jay needed a haircut, but really hated going to get it cut. No one would really cut it the way he wanted it cut (off, sheered totally-very short). They always told him that it would stick out if he cut it too short. (forgetting the fact that right now with it getting so long it wasnt exactly bouncing and behaving the way he would like it to do either. I offered to cut it. I didn't know what I was really doing, or the commitment I was making by showing that I was willing. We didn't have sheers (yet), but a nice pair of scissors. I started snipping here and there and it really didn't look that bad. My husband has what I call affectionately "straw hair". It is very dry and wavy. I was able to cut it and it would blend in so well, hiding any imperfections that were sure to be happening as I cut. He was happy. Not only was I now his wife, I was now apparently his barber.

Important (though you might wonder how), but it snowed that night, several inches. We didn't go anywhere for a day or two as North Carolina dug out from it's wonderful fluffy snow.

Throughout those first years of marriage, I really can only remember Jay going somewhere to get his hair cut just a time or two. He really wanted me to do it. He would beg and plead for me to cut his hair. I would eventually give in and do it. I was really scared to sheer him though. What if he hated it and then that was it? Marriage over, love gone. Sniff. But no, He loved it. He loved that I would cut his hair. I would get covered by his hair and it was a big clean up ordeal, but it made him happy and saved us a few dollars here and there. Our marriage was stronger than a couple of weird wife done haircuts apparently.

Eventually somewhere along the line I borrowed my mom's sheers and began using them. Jay loved it even more.

Then we got a dog. His name was Scotty. I started cutting his fur as it would grow out. He was pretty compliant in the process. So I would cut Jay's hair and then Scotty's fur. It was messy, but needed.

Somewhere in there, We had a daughter. I tried cutting her hair. After a bad experience right before Christmas when she was two, I gave up doing more for her than bangs. She and I would just have to pay for our haircuts. I also had a son born about this time. When he needed his first haircut beyond bangs, I tried. He didn't like it. I tried taking him to the mall. The woman refused to cut his hair because he was crying so hard. I really just wanted him to have a cut. I took him to Jimmy. Jimmy cut hair on Main St. Jimmy somehow found a way to cut this little boy's hair the rest of the way. In Hannah's third birthday party video, you can see the haircut, mess ups and all. He would have to wait a while to let his hair grow out those three attempts. This was the one and only time Christopher ever cried over a haircut. He loved the attention from this point on, and really liked going to see Jimmy. (I even let Jimmy cut my hair a few times here and there. He did a great job)

Eventually we got back on track with home haircuts. I bought a new set of sheers. You know, the set mentioned at the start of this post that came with the video. I started cutting both Christopher's and Jay's hair regularly. It was messy, but somehow became a bonding time. For a while I would just sheer shave Jay's hair and cut Christopher's hair around the edges, just shaving the back of the neck part. It was somewhat a hip hairstyle at the time for the toddler crowd. Eventually even he wanted to be shaved, "like daddy". Ever since, all I need is a good ten minutes spent on both of them and they are good to go for a month or so.

A few years later, we got Bayley. I started cutting Bayley's fur as soon as he needed a trim. He was compliant for about two years. After that, it became a challenge. Bayley would fight, wiggle, run away thinking we might give up and just let it all go. Sometime in there, he started growling at us and snapping at us as we tried to give him a haircut. I also remember him getting away from us midway through a cut and instantly going over to the other side of the room and pooping on my floor. It was not an accident. This dog is meticulous about making sure he makes it outside and not messing in the floor. He was mad and insulting us for even thinking we could cut his hair.

Funny side note: We fell into a pattern where I would take the sheers and the old sheet and would cut my husband's hair, my son's hair and then Bayley's. It would take about two hours start to finish. Then, we started noticing that often after one of these hair cut days in the winter, it would snow, a lot. We thought it was funny and the joke became..."Maybe if we would just shave Jay, Christopher and Bayley, we'll for sure get snow". Somehow about the time we became aware of the coincidence, it stopped snowing when we would shave them.

Meanwhile, because of Bayley's increasing bad behavior during bath and haircut, (and prior to our Cesar Millan awareness) we finally gave in and decided to take Bayley for a good grooming at the vet. They were to wash him and shave him and only if needed, sedate him. Yes, if needed they would sedate our dog so that they could give him a good bath and shave. Amazing. Yes, in the end, he had to be sedated. How sad. When talking to the vet about this, he said it was very common to need to sedate the dog and really shouldn't cause any alarm since it was better than the dog becoming as stressed out as Bayley was becoming. A hundred dollars later, Bayley was shaved, clean and a bit sleepy. It also snowed.

I finally had enough. I bought a muzzle. It took a few tries to find the perfect one. The next time Bayley needed a haircut, I was going to do it. He fought the idea at first. There were a few times when he would get loose from our grasp and get the muzzle off before we were done. We learned what it took to keep him there with us so I could work.

Then we learned about Cesar Millan. That also helped with both the bath and haircutting duties. Somewhere in there too, Bayley mellowed. He seems to be resigned to having a haircut on MY terms. He still will give a small fight, but mostly we just hear him complain about the injustices of his life and world. He comes to me when I call him over to the sheet knowing (sort of like with his bath) what is to come. His head drops, his tail tucks under as he marches slowly over to the fluffy overgrown paw after another. It is quite comical to watch. You really would think the world is coming to an end the way he acts. He is all about the drama! He wears his heart on his sleeve and wants everyone to know of his terrible misfortune that has come upon him in way of "the haircut".

Today, as I said, was haircut day. Both my husband and son have shaved heads and Bayley sports a nice shave as well. I didn't shave his head though, so he still has his teddy bear face. I doubt it will snow today though as the high is suppose to reach the upper 60's. So as I put away my barber gear for another day, I find myself thankful. Thankful that it will be another month or two before I have to


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