This is a message for every man in the world. If you are a man reading this and you know other men… pass it on. If you are a woman reading this, tell your man.
Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, NEVER…
Cut your own child’s hair.
Especially if you haven’t been given permission from the child’s mother.
If that hasn’t fully sunk in yet, then read it again.
I pass this information on to you as a man who failed to follow this very simple instruction. A man who thought better of the traditional protocol. A man who diced with danger and subsequently paid the price.
A few months ago my wife first raised the topic of Seth’s hair.
Is it too long? Should we get rid of the curls? What would be the cutest way to cut it? Will he freak out if we take him to the hairdresser? What should we do?
The subject popped up around once a week for quite some time but no decision had been made. Then, one Thursday lunchtime in June, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Quite literally.
My wife was at work and I was giving Seth his lunch. As he sat in his highchair devouring his favourite dish of fish pieces, chips and peas I suddenly had a brainwave. A moment of inspiration.
Whilst he’s sat so happily why don’t I just grab the kitchen scissors and sort his hair out myself?!
And so I did.
I leant back to admire my handiwork and I was pretty delighted with my first-timer attempt at cutting hair. It was more Shot In The Dark than Nicky Clarke but in my mind, I’d done a nice job of tidying up the mop.
I then sent a WhatsApp message to my wife to break the fantastic news of her husband’s proactive endeavours. Unfortunately, this is where things began to unravel:
The full name.
Never a good sign when your wife uses your full name when telling you off.
She came home. There was crying. I apologised.
But the damage had been done.
“I trust that you’ve kept one of the curls?” she asked.
Of course I hadn’t. Until that moment I’d never realised that keeping the first bit of hair was a ‘thing’ that you were supposed to do. She wasn’t best impressed.
Another glaring error was my response to this question;
“What did you cut his hair with?”
I responded with the truth. The kitchen scissors.
“Let me get this right. You cut Seth’s hair with the scissors that we use to trim flowers before putting them in a vase?!”
I understand why my wife was a bit upset. I didn’t realise that this haircut malarkey was such a big milestone.
Desperate to make amends I promised to make a proper hair appointment for Seth, take him myself and have him looking super cute.
I wasn’t going to cock this up.
Instructions were clear; plenty off the back, some off the sides and a bit off the top whilst maintaining the messy look, albeit in a more structured style. I would keep a lock of hair for posterity and take plenty of photos.
Armed with an iPad, books, raisins, breadsticks and Seth’s favourite teddy, we embarked on this man-only mission in high spirits. I executed the plan to perfection. Upon the completion of my task I sent a picture to my wife:
She rang me, crying.
My stomach turned. My heart raced.
What had I done now to make my wife cry?!
“I’m not sad” she said. I’m crying because he looks so grown up. My baby’s turned into a little boy”.
I think I’ll leave the next haircut to her.
#lad2dad lesson The first haircut might go well. It might go badly. But it WILL end in tears.