I've been cutting the boys hair ever since they had hair to cut. And by cut I mean cut with clippers. I vary the length according to what they want, but it's always pretty short. And most of the time I do a pretty good job. Sometimes I go a little shorter than what they wanted...
Zach's been wanting to grow his hair out, but after a while, it's clear he is destined to wear his hair shorter. His hair is course and straight and has a growth pattern that makes his hair swirl around the back of his head in one direction if it gets too long. Like his hair is swallowing his head by attacking his face. So we talked about it and decided to go in for the trim.
I was doing really good, clipping up the sides real nice. Like a pro. He had wanted to keep the top long, but after I cut the sides he decided it was too drastic and wanted to me to cut the top too.
I had looked for the longest guide comb to attach, and found an 8 and figured that would be long enough. I put the clippers and guide down on the counter and futzed with his hair in my hands for a minute, then picked up the clippers, turned it on and cut a swath of hair from his forehead towards the back. It felt oddly thick and hard to get through. I snapped my attention to his head and realized that I didn't attach the guide. I just shaved a stripe in his head. Denial. "I put the guide on! DIDN'T I?????" Anger. "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T PUT THE GUIDE ON!" Zach slowly reached his hand up to feel his bald stripe and turned his head to look in the mirror.
"Fuck." was all he said.
I echoed his "Fuck" with an extended vowel version of "Fuuuuuuuuuck!"
Acceptance. It took me about 30 seconds to realize that was no way to fix it, so I finished the job of shaving my 13 year old's head clean bald. Well, to the fuzz. Last year Aric and I both got our heads shaved for St. Baldricks. That bald.
Regret. I tried to make him feel better, we laughed as I shaved his head into skullet and all the variations in between. He never got mad at me or seemed disappointed beyond the initial shock of what had been done to him. He bounced right back with jokes and laughed about it, as did the rest of the family. We laugh our way through trauma in our family. And it worked...at least it seems to be working for him. I'm not so easily rebounding...I know everyone makes mistakes, but dude...ugh. Mama Fail. Now he has *that* story. Remember back in 7th grade when you were trimming my hair and you ended up shaving my head and I never let you touch my hair again??? Yeah...that was funny.
It's a good thing he's a cute kid.