Mom’s Voice: Shear Madness

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Just before Wyatt came out of the bathroom at Great Clips I quickly whispered to the woman about to cut his hair, “He’s phobic of haircuts.”


I tried to give her the eight year history in three seconds: He’s extremely ticklish and can’t sit still, one time at the children’s salon I tried to hold his head in my lap sitting on the bench as the stylist attempted finishing up the jagged places around the ear. He believes I tried to suffocate him and brings it up every time he gets his hair cut.

It’s shear madness, trying to cut hair on a perpetually moving head.  Shoulders rising into a hunch, head cocking right or left, depending on the location of the scissors. And don’t even get me started on the clippers.  He has managed to work himself up over the years to the point that yes; a phobia of haircuts has developed.

This year, even with the usual cajoling, I just didn’t get Wyatt’s back to school haircut in time.  But now he knew he couldn’t put it off any longer. Especially after a kid at school the first week told him that he should “lose the hobo hair.”

Hearing it from a peer was just the thing Wyatt needed to park his tush in the chair and the don cape once again.

The last haircut he had was at Fantastic Sam’s and was anything but fantastic.  I can think of a different word beginning with the letter F to describe the experience. Wyatt was getting bigger now, I told myself that day. Rather than stand with the woman about to cut his hair, coaching the two of them through it, I let my mamma bear guard down a bit and busied my paws checking emails on my phone.  From where I was sitting, I couldn’t actually see that my son was apparently having his hair cut by Satan.

My baby bear came around the corner of the front counter with a tweaked look on his face, mouthing something while fighting the tears.  I tried to appease him by complimenting his new do, but it was no use.  This was a major setback.

I said loudly, “Was that lady mean to you?”  I was just revving up when he begged me not to say anything.  The woman knew I was not happy, as did everyone in the waiting area pretending to read People Magazine and play Candy Crush.  But this mother bear was ready to growl.

Even after I gave her the nutshell haircut phobia story, Lucifer had threatened Wyatt throughout the process. She even told him that if he moved she would cut his ear off. Wyatt figured it was best to not test the devil holding a sharp object near his head.

I know what you are thinking. Why does this special needs hair cut customer not have a regular person who can effectively deal with his issues.? The truth is, we have never found our Patron Saint of Haircuts.

Until yesterday.  When at Great Clips, the heavens opened and an angel named Sheri took him back. She had a naturalness about her that put Wyatt at ease. They chatted about pets, and movies. I heard him laugh. And to my astonishment, his enormous tics were reduced to slight winces.

In fact, from far away, the experience looked normal. I thanked her profusely, tipped her six dollars on a twelve-dollar haircut. It was all I had in my wallet.  Wyatt’s hair was cut, but his confidence grew.  I put her card in my wallet, knowing where to go from now on when the locks get too long.  Wyatt left with his lollipop, both of us in shear heaven.


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