He was only mistaken for a girl once, even though he was wearing overalls with a football on the bib, which is downright iconically boyish, if you ask me, so it must have been the hair.
|The mullet is also worn by|
spiders from Mars.
On Monday, Memorial Day, we opted for an official haircut. I thought I might just get out the clippers and buzz it down, but I know my wife well enough not to mention it. Our brother-in-law said we should go see The Russian, an old barber who's been at this little strip mall shop for decades, I guess. This appealed to my wife because of the spinning red, white, and blue barber pole in the window.
I'm not sure where she got it, but May was clinging to this Norman Rockwellian notion of a boy's first hair cut, complete with--I'm not exaggerating here--a rocket ship chair. I suppose I can understand this. I remember fondly the barber shop where my dad used to take my brothers and me back in the early seventies. Men with mustaches reading the paper and shooting the breeze, letting us kids sit in the tall barber chairs while we waited. To this day, the smell of that place--the wet hair and gel and cream--is what I imagine real men should always smell like. Still, I thought we could just go to Sport Clips where I get my regular hair cut, and even though it's a rather manly salon with a thorough sports motif, since there was no rocket ship chair, the wife wanted to try The Russian.
Unfortunately, when we pulled up, the lights were off and the "Open" sign was dark. Worse, the barber pole was not spinning. Close inspection of the window indicated they were closed Sundays and Mondays. What luck. May agreed that we should go ahead and try Sport Clips. She didn't like that there would be no rocket ship, but it was that or no haircut. Naturally, Sport Clips was closed for Memorial Day.
We tried again the next day. By then, May had abandoned her dreams of yesteryear and rocket ship chairs and said she didn't care where we went. Sport Clips it was, then. When I went in to check wait times, the stylist (I don't think I can call her a barber, can I?) assured me she could take care of an 18-month-old and said it would be about a twenty minute wait. We began to get concerned about the boy, when after fifteen minutes he was running the length of the lobby, exploring behind the register counter, and climbing and falling off of several chairs and benches. Was he going to sit still long enough for a haircut?
Our stylist finally called us back and immediately took control by offering a Dum Dum sucker. Xander popped that in like it was the greatest thing he'd ever put into his mouth. He sat holding the stick, the candy firmly in place, staring at himself in the mirror while the stylist sprayed his hair wet and began cutting. The boy didn't move until she needed him to look down. Mom distracted him then with one of many iPhone apps, and he hardly moved and didn't make a sound. I had to hold his head in place in order for her to use the clippers around his ears, but again, he hardly seemed to notice. Even when the lollipop was down to a nub and getting fly-away hair stuck to it, he sat still and just watched the mirror. What an awesome kid.
The stylist kept as much hair clippings as she could for posterity. We now have an envelope of hair in his remembrances treasure chest. Not to mention all the pictures.
It's not as short as it could have been, but I still was concerned that like Sampson he would lose his mojo without his beautiful, flowy hair. I had nothing to worry about.