“If I could turn back taaaayyyyyme!
If I could find a waaaaaaaaaay!”
Powerful words once thunderingly neighed out by rock goddess Cher. Herself a true hair bear, sporting many a hair do of epic proportions. Yes, this song of hers must surely be about having just had a bad hair cut.
People go to college for years to learn how to cut hair properly. Me? Meh. There is something quite magical about hair you see. It grows back. I know about this, because I am a repeat offender who happily hacks away at my kids’ hair like they are those Grass Head things.
I cut it. It grows. I cut it again. It grows again. I am stuck in my own hair obsessed time loop. Essentially like late-80’s, early-90’s TV scientist Dr Samuel Becket, himself a connoisseur of a big hairy mullet. I keep doing it again and again and again. Some may say I am addicted to it. Do I believe I’m addicted to it? No. I believe I’m an idiot hell bent on saving £15.
“£15?!!” said my mum, when I told her the reason why I was stood over Alex holding a pair of scissors “I could get mine done for £15! With highlights!”
She’s right. And that is why I completely refuse to pay the bum-squeezingly extortionate price of a child’s haircut. They told me things got more expensive the nearer you get to London. I was expecting house prices and cinema costs. Perhaps the odd extra 2p attached to a crème egg. But no one, NO ONE warned me about procreating with someone who had the follicles of Zeus (someone who was so hairy when he was born that his own mother said she thought he looked like a monkey) and then moving to just 30 miles outside London.
“Look” sighed Smudge, running his hand through his Elvis style hair-helmet “Let’s just pay the money and be done with it.”
“You mean just give in to them, Smudge?” I hissed “Pay their ransom and then walk away with our perfectly coiffed hair between our legs?” (I think about what I just said) “I mean head. Our perfectly coiffed heads betwee- Oh never mind! It’s not happening. Not a chance!”
Do I pay ridiculous amount of money for my hair to be cut? Of course. Do I pay extortionate costs to get Ed’s hair cut? Of course! (He starts school soon, wears glasses, has the occasional bad burst of facial eczema and runs with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. Of course I’m going to throw the kid a bone and get him a decent haircut). Does Smudge? Of course! I tried to cut his once, at his request, but I was tired and cranky (hung over) and he ended up walking in to a salon 2 hours later to get it corrected, looking like an alopecia sufferer with a bad case of scurvy. He hasn’t asked me to cut it since. Funny that.
“You could use clippers” said a friend in the queue at playschool.
“NO!” said another “Please don’t cut all of his hair off. He is so cute with longer hair”.
And he is. He can get away with long hair. And I sort of like it. I put it in a pony tail and call him Baby Rachel. But I lovingly scruffed his hair yesterday and got my fingers stuck in something sticky. And with Alex that could be anything. It could even be juice from something dead.
So I gather my tools (kitchen scissors and a comb). I strip to my underpants. I strip him to his. I give him a squishy hair washing jug to use to cover his eyes then I begin to jab in the direction of his hair with scissors whilst he spins his head from side to side saying
“NO! IT HURTS MY HAIR! MY HAIR HURTS!”
and I shout
“PUT YOUR FACE IN THE JUG!”
And then, we are done.
We spend 5 minutes using a tea towel to get the hair from his tongue, rubbing away at it. Just like at a normal hairdressers.
And it always looks a bit shit on day one. Very rarely does Smudge walk in from work, look at Alex and raise an impressed eyebrow, as I, in return pop my tongue in the corner of my cheek, raise my own mock-surprised eyebrow and say
“What? Didn’t think I had it in me?”
before turning on my heel and sashaying away…
Mostly what happens is Smudge walks in through the door and says something like
“What the hell is THAT” *points at Alex* “And did it eat Alex?”
“Hey Alex! Fall off the jetway again?”
Because indeed, often Alex does look a bit like this.
As I stare at the momuntenal fuck up I have made, the phone rings. Alex scurries over to answer it, bare bottomed still, with a wonky bowl head and wearing a pair of sunglasses he has found somewhere. Like a naked Roy Orbison.
The phone stops ringing and Alex stares at it. Then starts typing something in to it. Then he hands it to me. No word of a lie he has typed;
This week he has been hideously behaved so this “message” about any direct line to a certain someone he has shouldn’t really come as a shock. Or wait, hang on, is this way of warning me to never ever come near him with a pair of scissors again? He stops short of pointing 2 fingers at his eyes and then narrowing them in to one, to point at me in an “I’m watching you” motion. Either way, it’s terrifying.
The following morning comes and as normal, I pretend to sleep as I hear little pitter patter footsteps padding along behind Smudge as they go downstairs for breakfast. Result.
Finally, I get up, trudge downstairs, open the kitchen door, look up from tying my dressing gown and go
“OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE TO HIM?!”
“You did it!” said Smudge.
“He’s going to playschool today!” I panic “People in authority with a direct line to Social Services will see him!”
“It’s ok” said Smudge “Just put some gel in it”
He looks at Alex
“Put a lot of gel in it”.
I make a plan. I will just need to implement stage two. Stage two is standing still and staring at him whilst he eats, plays or watches TV before POUNCING on him and snagging those wonky stray stragglers.
Today is day 4. I have been implementing Stage 2 for 3 days now. And this is where we are at.
I don’t know what he is smiling about. I guess he hasn’t caught sight of his reflection today.
My parting shout to Smudge as he drops Ed and I off at football lessons, with Alex in the back of the car was
“Put more gel on him! Or spit on your hand and rub it through his hair!”.
Back to sticky Alex hair then. Our own fault this time. Poor Alex. Maybe next time I will take him to the barber’s. And spend the £15. Maybe, in the great words utter by many a celeb with fabulous hair, he’s worth it.