When Benjamin was born, he didn’t have much in the way of hair, just a tiny layer of fuzz on his head. Throughout his first year, we anxiously waited for his hair to grow in, which it did, but slowly. (For some reason, even with just peach fuzz hair, people always assumed he was a girl. Even when he was wearing blue or brown or gray.) By his first birthday, he had a respectable, boyish hairdo, but I was so happy to see his hair finally growing that I delayed cutting it until he was nearly 18 months old.
Liam has not had this problem. Liam was born with hair — moderately thick, dark hair. I have no idea what happened to all that hair — I guess it either fell out or magically transformed, but somewhere along the way he grew a head full of golden curls. And again, here I am, with an 18 month old who has never had a hair cut, but for different reasons. (And most people also assume he’s a girl, but they attribute it to his long hair — from what I’ve seen it seems particularly long by Austrian standards.)
I’ve needed to cut Liam’s hair for a while. It gets in his eyes, for one thing. But one nice thing about curly hair is that it doesn’t look as long as it is. When his hair is wet, in the bath, it’s quite long, but as soon as he gets out and it dries, it coils up into springy curls and ends up about half the length. There is also a practical consideration: Liam is an enthusiastic eater. His hair does not escape the side effects of his energetic eating, and that can get really gross. However, that’s also prevented me, in large part, from cutting his hair sooner. I wanted to preserve a lock of hair from his first cut, but I didn’t want to keep one coated (however lightly) it whatever he’d recently eaten. And, since neither just before bed or 6:00 in the morning has never seemed like an attractive time to cut his hair, it just hasn’t gotten done.
Plus, I’ve been terrified of cutting his hair. With Benjamin, his hair was all different lengths already, and I was just keeping it out of his eyes. With Liam, I’m intimidated by the curls. It, too, is all different lengths, but I just don’t know anything about cutting curly hair. I’ve been afraid to try. And, to be honest, I know absolutely nothing about any of this anyway, seeing as I’ve never had any training AND I’ve only had my own hair cut about a dozen times ever. (My poor kids. I know at least one thing they’ll be discussing with their therapist when they’re older.)
But, it had to be done, so today, Liam got his first hair cut, courtesy of me.
It’s really not too bad. It turns out that cutting curly hair is kind of easy (comparatively). Exactly because it’s curly, no one is going to be able to see how horribly unevenly I cut it, and curly hair is different all the time — his hair can go from tight curls to loose waves throughout the day, so however it looks one minute, it’ll look different soon. I really do think it turned out ok. There is one piece (in the front, of course) that I definitely cut too short. And there are a few pieces that I didn’t realize were long enough to reach his eyes (nothing like cutting your baby’s hair and finding that he still has hair in his eyes) which I neglected to trim. And at some point, I’m going to have to work on the back, before it turns into a mullet (a definite concern).
But, as with Benjamin, we both survived the first haircut. I can see a little more of his face, he has a little less hair in his eyes, and neither one of us got wounded. I still think most people are going to be surprised to hear he’s a boy, but for now, I’ll count it as a win.