Yesterday was baby’s first haircut. Which sounds a little odd to say, since “baby” is four.
She was bald for the longest time, and then when her hair came in, it formed beautiful blond curls that family, friends and strangers alike begged us not to cut. Not that we wanted to.
But lately, it had started to tangle. I don’t mean little snags. I mean big knots that threatened to break combs and wore out our arms when it was time to brush Nora’s hair out in the bathtub at night. I had an appointment coming up with my stylist, Joy, and so I made one for Nora, too.
She was pretty excited about the idea of a haircut at first. I described the pretty salon, and how someone would wash her hair in a big sink and then make it look extra pretty while she sat in a chair that could spin and go up and down. That’s all preschooler gold. But when Nora realized that scissors were involved, she started to worry a bit.
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“Will it hurt?” she asked a million times in the days before the appointment. I assured her no, and we even had pretend haircuts at home with my fingers standing in as scissors to demonstrate the non-hurtiness of the process. But we could tell she wasn’t all-the-way convinced.
But when we got to the salon, I could tell she was impressed with the cool decor. She sat and watched while Joy washed, then cut my hair — no blood or screaming involved. Then, when it was Nora’s turn, Joy began the process by giving her candy. That woman’s a genius.
Nora was a little tense during the shampoo, but she allowed it. She loved climbing into Joy’s big chair and thought the cloth draped over her was pretty hilarious. And then, of course, she spotted the mirror in front of her, and it was smooth sailing from there. Joy snipped away the dry, tangly ends of Nora’s hair, then treated her to a straight blow-dry.
And just like that, my baby looked — not anything like a baby. It was amazing and heartbreaking and joyful all at the same time. One of those reminders that time flies right by, and a baby who’s no longer a baby will one day no longer be a toddler, preschooler, little kid or teenager either. Whoa.