Monday, October 5, 2009

Simple Maintenance

I cannot believe how much time I spend on the very simple maintenance of my children's growing protein appendages. That's right, I am talking hair and nails here, People. It is crazy.

I think it is the 20-month old boy that is putting me over the edge. He has to be held down bodily for finger nail cutting and he wigs out every time he hears the sound of our home clippers coming within an inch of his head. Seriously, it is so bad that I actually took him to our Army barbershop a few weeks ago to see if things would be any better there. You must understand what a drastic move this is for us. We have the reputation amongst all of our friends and family of being the most thrifty family around, and I was willing to pay $9.50 for someone else to cut this hair.

Things looked good when we got there, they had little booster seats, Spiderman covers, lollipops. I even went to the effort of going down there with our 2-year-old neighbor boy to show Seth how it is done. Futile, awful, humiliating, ridiculous and totally insane are the words I must use to describe the next 12 minutes in that barbershop. My little man writhed, spit 3 lollipops on the floor and tried to swipe the scissors and clippers out of the barber's hands. When we were done, I paid $20 and told the man to keep the change -- that is how bad it was. Unreal.

So, anyhow, I am not looking for advice here, I am back to home haircuts for the little man, and my near 5-year old daughter has cute curly hair that is much more forgiving with my shears. I just want to say, holy cow. We talk about the importance of how we educate, discipline and love our children, but what about this simple maintenance?! I definitely took something for granted for the first eleven years of my life, holy cow. Maybe I just need to stop feeding them their ubernatural gummy vitamins? Let their little bodies atrophy and then I can avoid the drama of these bi-monthly protein cuts? Hmm..


B-Mama said...

Awol, I hear you on boy maintenance. It is OOC how often I am heading to the barber for my three guys. Which is why I've started taking mental notes during and now have started to clip and cut their hair at home as well. Baby J has never been and I'll keep cutting his hair as long as I can.

Have you thought about trying to do some of the maintenance while he sleeps? Finger and toenail cutting could easily be accomplished if he's a deep enough sleeper or at the right time in his sleep cycle. I've definitely done this for toenails. You could also try some hair cutting during that time if you needed to, but otherwise let it go longer. It will cause your inner military v. hippie to conflict, for sure, but he'll come around as he gets older.

With my former Army captain husband, you know I'm NEVER getting away with adorable long-haired boys. Shux!

Catholic Helpmate said...

Maybe it's a little out of your style, but you could try telling him if he won't sit still for haircuts, he'll have to have long hair and look like a girl. The inverse is the only thing that worked to get Peanut to sit still and let me comb and braid her hair (I told her she'd have to have it cut short like a boy, and there's no worse tragedy imaginable to an aspiring princess). Sure, it's stereotypying and gender-indoctrinating and whatnot and so forth, but it's an idea!

Mary Alice said...

It's funny, because when my mom told me that if I didn't start doing a better job of keeping my hair neat we would have to cut it short I said "please do!" I am just a low maintenance type.

I have heard that nail trimming while asleep in the carseat works well, maybe keep a clipper in the car.

Kat said...

I was just thinking the same thing the other day, especially with regards to my Christopher, who seems to be growing an inch a day! It's so hard to keep up with the nail clipping and hair cutting, especially when kids are resistant. At some point this will surely change - they won't hate haircuts and nail clippings forever!

Jennifer said...

Try cutting his hair in the bathtub. Water running, drain open. It has always worked for our 3 boys at the younger ages. The water dulls the noise of the clippers and keeps them occupied. I just try to catch some of the hair so it doesn't all go down the drain.

Okay, so maybe it doesn't sound the safest. But in the last 8 years... it has worked and we haven't had any issues. We've also done this in the kitchen sink. Good luck!

Juris Mater said...

Great post, AWOL. I have no good advice, only sympathy. Sometimes TV and a lollipop (which are both taken away if there's resistance) work for us.

texas mommy said...

We definitely use bribes...we put a chair in the middle of the yard and "race" to see how fast they can get their hair cut after which they get to pick a popsicle. Being outside helps distract them and makes for no clean-up. And we tell the kids the birds probably used their soft hair in their birdsnests, which they think is really, really cool.

JMB said...

If only our monthly maintenance for our older children was merely a haircut or nail clipping. Now we have two in braces and we don't have dental insurance so it's running us about 400 per month. Be grateful for the little bills! Seriously :) I'd take those days back..they pass so quickly.

Kate E. said...

I will say that our guy had the same issues and finally grew out of it around 2-2.5....but why oh why do the nails grow so fast! I have to clip all the time and he still wiggles.

For nails I sing the "Where is thumbkin" song which he knew from school (maybe sing it a bunch first) and then did it for each nail, he liked being able to make them "run away" back into his fist when I was done trimming.

Toe nails I just let get really long until he finally started being easy about it, I figure they are not as frequently seen...and I say if you can live with slightly shaggier hair for a while go for it!