A Close Shave
Because of Erik's anxiety and sensory issues, taking him for a professional haircut has never been an option. Brian purchased an electric hair clipper kit at Costco years ago. I fell in love with the little plastic cape, the cute little mirror, and the collection of clipper guards in various lengths. I cut Brian's hair twice with it but decided doing this was too scary. After all, Brian works in an office setting and needs to look professional. To cut Erik's hair, I have been using a pair of tiny scissors with blunt ends ever since he grew his first strands. He has so much of it now that this has become a ridiculous endeavor. I can get it to look presentable, but when it grows out, it sticks up all over the place. And I have lacerated the loose skin overlying my knuckles more than once when he moves suddenly. I bleed but continue to cut because getting him to sit still is next to impossible.
For the past couple of haircuts, I have taken the silver hair clipper out of its zippered case. I put it on the counter and let Erik touch it. After a while, I turn it on to let it buzz and hum under his fingers. Then I put it away and store it back under the sink before I begin hacking away at his hair with the baby scissors.
Today I got the set out again. I found a guard that looked like it would work, and I snapped it onto the shaver. I took a deep breath and readied myself to try something new. I told Erik he could watch his John Deere DVD after I cut his hair, and he agreed to sit on the counter for me. He very quickly spotted the shaver and allowed me to turn the thing on once again. We talked about it for a minute, and then I ran it across the top of his head a couple of times at warp speed. A couple of alarmingly giant gobs of blond hair fell onto the counter. I winced but continued, hoping my quick shear would not ruin any upcoming Christmas photos. He squinted his eyes shut, still smiling, and let me continue, seemingly enjoying the sensation on his skull.
What used to take me 20 minutes now takes me two. Sure, the guard was a bit on the short side, and he looks like a the youngest jarhead in history, but it's fairly even. He was tickled pink when we were through because he has seen his father use an electric razor and seems to like being a little more grown up these days.