The other day I took Ben to the hairdressers with me. This wasn’t the first time for him.
His first trip to the hairdressers was unexpected; I announced one day that I was going to the hairdressers and he insisted on coming with me, when we parked I told him he had to sit still while I had my haircut and he replied that he would have his hair cut first – and so he did.
Getting a toddler to go to a hairdressers when you don’t care much either way is easy – they call the shots so how the heck do you get them to willingly come with you?
Having booked us both in for a pre-holiday and pre new job cut I decided to broach the subject by reminiscing on how much fun it had been – bad idea. He picked up on my desperation and when I asked if he would like to see the nice hairdresser again he was very clear about not wanting to go to the hairdresser again – to be fair he tried to compromise and suggested I take Ciaran who still has very little hair to cut.
I decided to ignore the problem in the hope that it would go away until the night before we went – again I talked about how nice it had been – how he had been given a lolly and what a good boy he had been – no thanks Mummy.
At this point I was grinding my teeth at the thought of pinning a thrashing and screaming toddler into a chair while a hairdresser tried to trim his curls and the other customers glared at me (this grinding and gnashing may explain why a chunk of tooth broke away yesterday).
Finally inspiration came: Ben is a toddler; toddlers do what you tell them not to do.
Now admittedly trying to casually work a request not to accompany me to the hairdressers was going to be a challenge but in the two hours between breakfast and leaving the house I managed it. I boasted about going to the hairdressers without any children – I told him that he was too young and too much of a baby to sit still for a hairdresser and that only big boys could go.
Result: One toddler who insisted on having his hair cut first (I told him in the car I wanted to go first) sat beautifully in the chair (aside from occasionally spinning 180 degrees to look at the ladies having their hair washed or to watch MTV – the hairdresser kept pace brilliantly) and then sat on my lap dribbling lurid yellow lollipop onto my bright blue dress before helping the junior sweep the floor of all my excess curls.
The end result was much shorter hair for both of us with minimal stress. Now I just have to repeat this trick over and over again for a few years without the novelty wearing off.
PS. The strange noise you can hear is me grinding my teeth and wondering how am I going to repeat this trick for years!