The First Haircut {Should We Do It?}

My almost 10 month old has crazy hair. Crazy adorable hair. Crazy long, gets-stuck-in-the-bib-velcro hair. It curls just a bit in the back, and sometimes sticks out on either side of his head. And most strangers think he is a girl. They swing by with their grocery carts, stop, and say, “What a happy baby! How old is she?” Sometimes I don’t even bother correcting them. When I do correct them, they apologize profusely and say, “He is a pretty boy! He’s going to break some hearts one day!”

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Honestly, it doesn’t bother me that people think he’s a girl. You can’t really tell at this age. Babies look like babies. But, it has started to annoy my husband. (I have also accidentally bought Sam three pieces of girls clothes. Which has not helped the situation. Two of my friends’ baby girls have now received hand-me-downs from Sam.)

My husband keeps broaching a topic that I have not decided if I’m ready for: the first haircut.

I’m so torn. Part of me thinks it’s no big deal. It’s just hair. Adorable, silky, wispy, baby hair. It’ll grow back. But will the adorable baby curls grow back? People will stop thinking he’s a girl. But who cares if people think he’s a girl. It’s kind of funny, right? He will look more like a boy and less like a baby. Time cannot pass this quickly?!

And part of me thinks: Never. Let’s never cut his hair. Let’s embrace the adorableness. The messiness. The bit and pieces of food that gets stuck in his hair, which leads to more baths. Adorable play-time baths. The crazy everywhere hair after nap time. With his groggy eyes and bed head hair. He simply can’t grow up.

And, when else is crazy hair more acceptable? And what great stories we can tell about his hair. Everyone comments on his hair. Everyone. Since the moment he came out. His name in sign language (my brother is deaf) is related to his hair and how it stuck straight up when he was born.

So, we are at a crossroads. Go for it and snip away? Or wait until after his first birthday? Or until it’s so long it gets in his eyes?

The decision to either cut or not cut Sam’s hair illustrates the beautiful tension of being a parent.  We want to preserve the moment for as along as we can. We don’t want them to get bigger. We don’t want them to be more independent. Yet, we can’t wait until they are bigger. Until they are talking or walking or riding a bike or driving (okay, we can hold off on the driving part). We can’t wait to see the people they are becoming.

So much of me wants to tighten my grip on time and keep him like this forever. But I am so excited to hear him attempt to say words. To have a conversation with him.  I can’t wait to see what activities he is drawn to.  And, the utterly exhausted part of me can.not.wait until he sleeps longer. Until I don’t have to watch him like a hawk. Until I can go to the bathroom by myself.  But then I think, its not that bad. I can deal with waking up at night. I like watching him nonstop and spending so much time with him. Let’s just stay like this a little longer.

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So really, the first haircut isn’t really just a haircut. It’s a tangible reminder that time is quickly and endlessly ticking away. That my baby is a boy. Soon he will be taller than me. Soon he will be independent and won’t need his mama so much.

What do you think? Cut or don’t cut? When did you do the first haircut?

Kristen and her husband, Gabe, married young, halfway through their college careers at LSU, figuring it would be more fun to be poor together than alone. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 2007, they trekked all the way to Delaware, where she earned a Master’s degree in English Literature and can tell you more about Nineteenth-century England than you’d probably like to know. Afterwards, they spent a carefree year living in Philadelphia, enjoying city life, before moving back home to Central and settling in. The start of 2014 brought their son, Sam, into the world—their greatest adventure to date. She works full-time, tries to cook most nights even though she’s exhausted, and is trying to see the beauty in the mundane. Kristen is passionate about eating together around the table, teaching our kids to be independent and creative, and empowering dads (rather than telling them they’re doing it wrong). In her “free time,” she enjoys reading in the bath, watching Doctor Who, intending to do DIY projects, and occasionally making cameo appearances in her husband’s music videos.

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