Scissor Cut


A child, a handful of hair, a pair of scissors. This may not be every mother’s nightmare, but it usually doesn’t end up being the highlight of the day.

There was the time my sister “trimmed” my bangs and I ended up with a nice triangle shaped cutout right in front.

There was the other time my other sister, at age 5, took the shears to her own long, flowing pigtails. “You weren’t supposed to laugh!” she cried to my sister when she debuted her new self-styled hair. And while it was no laughing matter, it was one of the funniest hair hack jobs I’ve ever seen. Several hours later she was sporting her first pageboy cut.

I suppose I’m lucky then, that my 5-year-old approached me with his scissors before he took them to his hair. “What if I cut my own hair, Mom?” he asked. I could tell he was itching to see what it was like. “Not a good idea,” I said over my shoulder as I rinsed another dish. He retreated out of the doorway, and I could see that he’d been so excited by the prospect that even my not-so-harsh response had burst his bubble and brought the tears to the surface.

I looked at him and his brother. Shaggy as lions. They needed haircuts anyway. Why not let them get started on it? So I told the boy he could cut just a little bit. He came back a minute later with a handful of hair. He’d chosen a spot on the top of his head, near his cowlick, to experiment on. I could hardly see where it was, but he was happy. Happy, but not satisfied: it was his brother’s turn. Again, he picked a spot that was fairly inconspicuous and when Squish was finally holding still – SNIP! – off came a few inches. The thrill! It was awesome! He needed just one more chance to feel the power of the scissors. His eyes were on me. And since I’m getting my hair cut next week anyway, I found a spot in back that I was sure would not be noticed for him to get started on. Off came about half an inch. The boy was bouncing with joy.

And then it was done. He was finished. He put the scissors down and they haven’t been mentioned since.

I hope it stays that way. But even if it doesn’t . . . hair grows and kids learn and the pictures will be awesome.

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  1. This is great! I love that you realized what’s super important and what’s not.
    I cut my own hair a few times. My mom used to cut hair professionally so, she had no problem cutting it into a style that fixed the situation. I do wonder when my kids will do this. It’s only a matter of time.


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