Both of them were born with a thick head of dark hair that never fell out and continued to grow at an alarming rate. Both had first haircuts around the age of 4 months out of necessity, and both of them have had regular - like monthly - haircuts ever since.
Again, this is something that I deem an absolute necessity, unlike say, FOOD or something. It's what our family chooses to use pretty much all it's expendable income on.
So basically, they are no strangers to the barber shop.
Zj has gone to the same barber (almost) exclusively since he was a few months old. He always walks in, sits down, and zones out while either RJ or I (ok, usually RJ) tells the barber "Same as last time. Remember it parts on the right." He leaves with the same cute little boy haircut as last time, neatly trimmed and parted, bangs JUST SO, and we do it again in a month or so and all is right with the world.
And zj could not have cared less. It's hair, he has some, it must be washed and combed, the end.
And that was that... until suddenly it wasn't.
One morning, as I was helping him get ready for school, zj asked me "Mama, do you think my hair could get all, you know, spiky on the top? Like Darryl's? Or Wayne's?" Yes, those are real children. There is also one named Junior in his class. This ain't the city, y'all.
Now, I had met Darryl on a recent school field trip, and he sports a full-blown mohawk that has a somewhat unfortunate rattail on the back. So I said, "Oh honey, you have to have a special haircut for that kind of spike. Sorry. Yours isn't cut right."
Zj took it very well, and didn't mention it again.
Whew, dodged that bullet, didn't I?
A few weeks later, I took him to get a haircut. He hopped up in the chair and promptly announced "I need my hair cut so it's all spiky on top."
I made a lot of large head-shaking and negative hand motions behind his back, and he left looking like this:
None the wiser that he had EXACTLY the same haircut as usual and a little gel thrown in for good measure. The next morning as he was getting ready for school, he asked me to help him spike it. I made some half-hearted attempts, then told him, quite sadly, that it must not be cut right again. So sad, isn't it? Maybe next time. I should have won an Oscar. Or at least a daytime Emmy.
And so it began. The back and forth of trying to appease his wish for spiky hair with my desire to keep him looking like a little boy - MY LITTLE BOY - just a little bit longer.
Until last week when it was time for a haircut yet again. RJ was going to take him, and he asked me before they left what he should have done.
And I caved. I told RJ to let zj decide. It was his hair, after all.
Rj texted me this picture immediately after the haircut, and
after I finished bawling I had to admit it was pretty cute.
So now, zj has a "look" he wants to accomplish every day. Some days he tells me to "just spike it up in the middle" and other days he requests "make the front part stand up" or occasionally he asks for "spiky all over."
The kid has more looks than I do.
As someone who has had basically the same hairstyle for 20 years, ever since getting over that big bang 80's look, anyway, and who gets her hair cut every October whether it needs it or not, this whole concept is foreign to me.
Not to mention the fact that we have to use PRODUCT to get his hair to stand up.
Rj came home with some tub of something or other and I noticed it was Paul Mitchell brand.
"How much did this cost?" I asked sweetly.
"Uh, I think it was $16 or so," RJ answered, carefully not making eye contact.
My KID has a tub of $16 hair product? Really?
At some point, he will be six, then eleven, then a teenager.
What's next? Brow waxing? Hair dye? Piercings?!?!?
Clearly, I'm not qualified to parent this one.
Someone send help. And a manual. And maybe a couple bottles of gin.
It's going to be a long decade or so.