The Short Cut
For the last week and a half Sophie's been telling us she wants a haircut. I can't express how psyched I was to hear it. Her hair has become this medusa tangle that gets in her mouth and in her eyes and catches on everything (zippers, hats, t-shirts, crowns...most often it's the crowns that are the problem). When she first started growing her hair long, we had an arrangement: I won't cut it, but you'll wear it in pig-tails every day. I know it isn't necessary to point out that neither of us kept up our end of this bargain? Worst still, at some point, against all natural law, it started growing at a rate of no less than half an inch per hour, so that before we knew it Sophie resembled something that belonged in a forest moreso than a child living in a (relatively) clean, human household.
The three parents didn't take long to deliberate before deciding that yes, the hair had to go, so it was a wonderful coincidence that Sophie decided to make her debut as a copy-cat this week and insist we cut her hair just like Jasmine's (a friend at school). Concerned that this was a passing fancy, we didn't act immediately and made sure to explaine that because Jasmine, who is half Asian, has different hair it wouldn't be exactly the same, only similar. Sophie would not be diverted and continued to make valiant efforts to suppress her excitement and act like she was afraid of getting the cut.
We got to Lulu's in Park Slope within 15 minutes of their closing and they were nice enough to accomodate us even though they were clearly setting up for a birthday party. There was already boy in the chair who was clearly not enjoying his experience one bit. It sounded more like they were cutting him to ribbons, than giving him a simple trim. His mother kept trying to draw his attention to the movie they had playing on the little television set in front of him, but he would have none of it. Meanwhile, we followed Sophie around as she used her special radar to find every single elephant shaped object in the store and ooh-ed and ahh-ed and gawped over it in the hope that we would just relent and buy her everything.
When it was her turn, and the wailing boy finally had his mouth glued shut with a lollipop, Sophie climbed into the red sports car chair and stated emphatically that she wanted her short cut like Jazzy's, then proceeded to disappear into an episode of whatever was on the television. I think at some point she started drooling, because I saw the hairdresser give her a tissue to wipe it up.
At the end of the haircut, which included Sophie's first blow dry (during which Sophie's only reaction was to glare at the woman working on her and say I can't hear the movie), the hairdresser remarked that she really liked t.v., didn't she? John and I smiled at each other and I replied that yes, she watches a lot of t.v. and movies. Is that a good thing? Someone asked. I looked at Sophie, who was still engrossed in Sleeping Beauty, crinkling her brow against the itchy bits of hair still stuck there, then glanced covertly at the little boy who was now playing with a die cast car and said: "Actually, sometimes it's the very best thing."