Not too long ago I was dubbing around on Facebook and I took the quiz “Which Tim Burton Character Are You?” So many wonderful and unique characters to choose from. Would I be Edward Scissorhands, lonely and misunderstood? Or Jack Skelington, misguided, but forging ahead with childlike good intentions? Or dark and brooding Lydia? Nope. I’m Sweeney Todd, Demon-Barber of Fleet Street.
Oh, would that I’d remembered that before the evening’s start.
My two-year-old, with his angel’s face and matching curls has needed a haircut for weeks, but with extra work and sick days, my plate was full, even before the holiday cheer put a stranglehold on us.
So tonight, with Daddy making a brief appearance at a party we’d both forgotten about until just before it started, I thought, ‘Hey, how hard can it be? I have scissors.’
He’s always so good in the barber’s chair. I thought I’d simply plop him in the high-chair, entertain him with his favorite music DVD and give him a handful of M&Ms to replace the novelty of the surround mirrors.
Somehow the fact that he hates having his hair combed failed to come up until he had his face planted in the center of the tray, hands over his head (since when does he have six of those?), screaming “mamanomamano!”
What, does the barber not comb his hair before she starts? Stupid me for not paying attention.
Okay, so we could have gotten off to a more auspicious start, but after draping a warm damp towel over his head, we got down to business, since he was too busy trying to get the wet towel off to cover his hair, so we were good.
So we began. Snip snip. Not so bad. Snip snip snip. “Quinn, stop trying to see what I’m doing. (I now understand the usefulness of the big mirrors) Quinn, please.”
Snip snip SHIT. The scissors broke. Seriously? We’ve used them all of three times. Thanks a lot Vidal Sassoon. Way to make a quality product. Oh crap. When they broke the blades shifted. Up. A lot of ‘up.’
So the bangs have a super deep chop out of the front, and I have broken scissors. Now what? More scissors.
Kitchen shears, out. Since they can hack through bone without any effort I’m not risking that. Sure I’m only cutting his hair and he’s fairly restrained, but I didn’t grow up being called “Grace” for nothing.
Moving on. Desk. No scissors. Where are the orange ones? Whatever. Basement. The blue ones are gone too? Computer table. Oh come on! I just wrapped a present there this morning. Where did those ones go???
Sewing machine cabinet. Nothing. I eye the seam ripper with deep contemplation, and disturbingly enough, I cram it in my back pocket, just in case.
Last chance. The tiny, obscenely uncomfortable sewing chair with the storage seat. Finally. They’re tiny, but they’ll work.
So back I go to the living room where the DVD is over and the M&Ms are gone. “Mama down.”
“Just a minute, Sweetpea.” Restart the DVD, more M&Ms (I should probably mention here that my son pretty much never gets sugar. Not a weird militant stance against it, we just don’t have it in the house.)
Bangs first. Got to fix that before his father sees it. Snip snip. Snip snip snip. And a few more snips. Christ, that still isn’t even? Maybe if I angle it a little bit. . .
Nope! Wow. Let’s not do that.
How about we move to the back now, before I get there from the front. Snip snip. Snip snip. Didn’t I just cut that spot? No? Oh well, snip snip snip.
Snip. Snip. How does she get around his ears without getting his ear? How about doing it this way. . . snip snip OW! Snipped right through my own damn finger, a perfect little bloody “V” in the fatty part of the index finger.
Snip snip. Okay, maybe this needs a Band-aid.
Five minutes later, freshly bandaged, I’m back. “More nemanems.”
Crap. Well, a few more can’t hurt, so I slap them on the tray.
Snip snip snip. “Mama, down!” A little squirming, but I can manage. Snip. SHIT! That one was entirely my fault, stupid gimpy finger obstructing my view.
We’ll leave that alone for now. Move on to the sides. . .maybe I can blend the curls in some to cover that up a bit. Blending apparently equals short, shorter and oh hell, my husband’s going to kill me.
“Nomamanomamanomama!” Squirming is now a crazy sugar high rattling of the chair so that it lurches across the floor with each lunge.
So where are we? It’s still pretty long on top, except that kind of short piece sticking straight up. In my defense, I cut that first, since it was way longer than the rest and I figured it would all get evened out.
But now, now I am afraid to cut even one more little snip. He’s thrashing around like a landed Great White, I’m already bleeding and he has hair in his mouth. It’s too short in the front. No more precious curls in the back. Sides are WAY up there. I’m just going to quit while I’m ahead, and while there might be enough for the barber to salvage next week.
Dust off the tray, clean up the curls from the floor and go around to the front to get a look at the finished product. “Quinn, look at Mama.”
He grabs the tray and squeezes until his hands turn white, then slowly lifts his head like a thing from a horror movie, grinding out “Dooooooooooown” between his clenched teeth. And then I know. The Demon Barber was in. I never, ever should have started this. His age, the curls, the M&Ms.
He looks just like James Trafficant.
I’m a dead woman.