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Sorry Forever About That Haircut

October, 2013

These are the undeniable facts: I have been giving my two boys haircuts without causing bodily harm since 2004. So the unfortunate incident last week where I nearly cut off the ear of the youngest boy is atypical.

I will not be remembered as the mom who nearly cuts off ears! This is my side of the story:

The Spirit of the Game

The first haircut I gave was to the oldest. He was a toddler. I used a pair of oversized orange kitchen shears. He held an orange popsicle, and all the hair I cut from his head ended up first on the popsicle and then into his mouth. He has not touched a popsicle since.

But it was a pretty good cut for a novice. Even my mother, who could cut a kid's hair with two butter knives tied together by a shoelace, said so.

The kitchen shears only got me so far, though, so I soon invested in an electric dog grooming clippers. The apparatus cost $22, which was $10 cheaper than the version for humans. There weren't any of those slick click-on attachments that blend and feather and whatnot, but I could buzz a boy's head clean in about six minutes, which was about how long they would sit still.

Then, a few years ago, the boys noticed that most kids did not show up for the first day of school looking like Marine recruits. I retired the dog clippers and bought some real haircutting scissors, the kind actually intended for human hair.

Small and light, ergonomically functional, with a smooth clip and a clean point that delivers precision straightness to bangs and navigates ears the way a sports car navigates hairpin turns.

Or so I thought.

It was an everyday haircut, but somehow—maybe I was distracted by the boy's suddenly monstrous feet, maybe I was simply careless …

As soon as he screamed, I knew what had happened.


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