As the kids get older, we are less often the family causing the scene with screaming tantrums and scolding parents and more often the family sitting smug, watching some other family fall to pieces.
Sadly, that was not the case today. Today was our turn and it was totally embarrassing.
I should have suspected that the haircuts were not going to go well when my usually compliant 8-year-old son told me that he was not getting his hair cut. I kind of ignored his statement as he's always enjoyed getting his hair cut, which is in stark contrast to my eldest son who has always had issues with anyone touching his Samson-like locks.
But my eldest son wanted his hair cut for the first time ever. It had been two months for my middle child and my youngest needed a trim of her split ends so I booked them all in. I didn't just book them, I got the trifecta of appointments -- all of the kids at the same time. Any mother of three knows that this only happens once in a blue moon.
The whole ride there, my 8-year-old was stating very sullenly that he was not getting his hair cut saying that getting a haircut in winter was stupid because you don't want to get cold. Then I noticed that my daughter was starting to get dragged down to his bad mood.
We walked into the salon, and soon the crying and the cross-armed stand-off began. I cajoled, I carried and I bribed, but nothing. The two younger kids refuse to budge out of the fake Eames chairs. The hipster stylists were standing behind the counter staring as if Medusa herself had walked in demanding a trim. And then they wandered off to the back to sip their espressos while I tried and talk two of my kids into getting their haircuts.
At this point, I know I am going to pay for the cuts whether or not they have them and I would prefer that the whole situation doesn't become a 30 dollar sink hole as well as an embarrassing moment. My daughter finally decides that a millimetre of hair can be snipped from the bottom as long as there is no hair wash.
My son is still crying while sitting in the fake mid-century modern furniture. Finally, he agrees to sit in the chair and have a cut, but now his stylist is nowhere to be found. The receptionist also coldly tells me that since my daughter is using the booster, they cannot accommodate my son. This statement is the one that brings me to the edge.
I have now stopped two tantrums, convinced two kids to get haircuts without yelling, screaming, or using the Daddy threat, with very minimal bribing. And he tells me that they are short of a booster? They could have told me that to begin with!
I am sure that for the twenty-somethings watching, the whole circus looked like a parenting fail. But I am quite pleased with myself for not getting angry, or losing my cool. It was an awful mess but I kept it together. It's wasn't a win, but it also wasn't a complete loss.
At this point, my son can't even get a haircut so he is crying again because this means the small bribe that I offered him cannot be collected. And I am back to tantrum-taming 101.
Then I remember my eldest son stopped getting haircuts at the age of eight and so did my nephew. So maybe it's a genetic thing. Maybe Grade Three boys are just programmed to hate haircuts. That is my theory and I am sticking to it.
Make me feel better. What was your last public parenting fail moment? Did it have anything to do with haircuts?
Want more chaos? I can't believe it, but last year I wrote about being stuck in the middle of the Silly Bandz craze. A year later and we haven't seen or heard about them for months...