Another milestone was reached this week when Mr. L actually told me how short he wanted his hair cut. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal to some, but to us it was a big first.
Haircuts have had a tricky history for us, as it does for many people on the autism spectrum. We have lived through taking him to a manly barber shop and popped m&m’s in his mouth the whole time. We have taken Mr. L to hair salons and asked women to help us out- that was a terrible experience. We’ve gone to the kiddy hair cuts with the cute car chairs, balloons and suckers, and to be honest that sucked too.
In between these more traditional attempts I have been known to follow Mr. L around my home with hair scissors and a small trash can and every time he stopped I would take a snip, and after a day he ended up looking pretty good (We must have had a hair angel that watched over us on those days 😉).
But after watching a bunch of YouTube videos and setting up a chair and step stool in front of a Disney movie or two, I’ve got a pretty good handle on just cutting my kid’s hair myself. I mean I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair since we were dating, it’s just, my husband’s hair style isn’t as high maintenance as my kids and clippers can get most of the job done. My kids need scissors, spray bottles, and combs though.
But back to the point! A few weeks before I decided it was time to wrangle in my boy’s hair styles, Mr. L had snipped a bit of his hair (which was a first for him). I didn’t make a big deal about it, just asked him not to do it again without my help. I figured, all kids cut their hair at some point and after a few hair cuts, it would work itself back out.
What I didn’t realize was that, my kiddo wanted all of his hair THAT short 😬. I love my kid’s hair, the curls, the sweeping bangs, the mop cut, the surfer hair… Whatever you want to call it, I like it a little longer. Not a ponytail, or bun- which I have no problem with, I just have a preference when styling my offspring’s mop heads.
I thought Mr. L was just experimenting with scissors and hair. I didn’t know he was sick of it being in his face. I didn’t know he was done with the daily brushing. I didn’t know he wanted it gone, or I would have evened it up that day for him.
But, a few weeks later, he was sitting in the laundry room, and while I was going about trimming his waves he grabbed that short chunk of hair of his and said, “I want this short” I asked, “Are you sure? You want it that short everywhere?” And he responded clearly, “Yes, out of my eyes!”.
I was sad.
I was sad and disappointed to see his blond waves go. I was sad because he was getting a little older, he was making decisions for himself. But I was proud and amongst the feelings of a mother who has been diligently caring for her first born since before she met him, when he was only kicks and flutters, and rib punches I knew this was a big moment for him.
So when he told me what he wanted, I put on a big grin and happily said, “Ok! Let’s do this!” And I fumbled through a new hair cut with a new YouTube video leading the way. I was worried a few times I was going to royally mess it up, but I gotta say, it doesn’t look bad.
And the important thing is, is that Mr. L loves it. It’s been a few days and he still loves it. My first born, my child who used to be non-verbal, my child who is moderate to severely autistic figured out how to tell me that he didn’t want his bangs pushed to the side anymore. That he wanted his hair out of his face, and that he did it in a calm, typical, positive way. I couldn’t be more grateful to see another milestone picked up and tossed aside like it was nothing.