My first haircut

Sunday Scribblers are letting down their hair this week and this provoked the following chidlhood memory.

I often wondered what he must have looked like. And since that day I've never experienced the desire to become a hairdresser. But for a few brief minutes the bug hit me and I couldn't resist it, especially once my tools actually started working.

I was just five at the time, so this really does go back very many years. My mother needed to go shopping and my brother and myself were playing happily with each other, so she didn't want to take us along. She would only be out of the house some 15 minutes anyway. The game that absorbed us so long was that of haircutting. We had been given a toy barber's set to play with. I think it must have been one of our favourite toys because I remember playing with it quite often. It was all plastic and consisted of two combs, a pair of scissors and a small hand mirror. I was in the chair and my three year old brother was deftly finishing off his handiwork before letting me take over the reins. Well, when I did, I soon grew quite restless. The scissors weren't cutting as they should. I don't know why that should bother me on that particular day as it had never bothered me before, but it did. So I went off in search of a remedy to the problem. I'm sure you can imagine the consequences, as indeed I have to do because I honestly can't remember what happened next.

What I do remember is my pride at my handiwork. And then that look on my mother's face. I had bounded up to her the moment she came through the door, so full of myself. I wanted her to know what I had succeeded in doing. It was, after all, the first time that our barber's set had actually managed to give someone a proper haircut. I don't know what made my mother suspect something was not quite as it should be. Maybe I sported some tell tale hairs on my shirt. But the surprise and horror of that look she gave me sent me racing to my favourite hideaway where I stayed for a good long time.

Postscript: What had made matters worse, was that my brother was starting school for the first time just a few days later. And, apparantly, he did look quite a sight. My mother yanked him down to the local barber's - the proper one with real tools and hopefully a little more skill than I had - to try and get his hair tidied up a bit. I just wish I had a photo of him to share.


great piece, paul. I remember our eldest daughter cutting her little sister's fringe off - we kept it in a small envelope labelled 'her first haircut'. It's probably why they tell you never to let kids have scissors.

13 July 2007 at 14:48  

excellent piece! it's always fun to cut hair... but parents don't seem to see it that way :)

13 July 2007 at 17:45  

I don't have the same recollection but I have a kindergarten picture to show my handiwork with the scissors. Who can fault a young man with looking his best (or helping his brother do the same)?

13 July 2007 at 19:06  

What a great story, that picture would be a great treasure to have. We should really document those naughty times in our lives because they end of being the most precious memories.

13 July 2007 at 20:13  

Ha..I wish one of my older brothers had cut of my hair when I was a kid..

Alas..none did that!

14 July 2007 at 04:35  

What a terrific story! My then-two-year-old daughter once hid under the bed and cut her fringe (bangs to us Americans) very short. I was just relieved she hadn't poked her eyes out! Then she started cutting her Barbies' hair with scissors like those that must have been in your barber kit.

14 July 2007 at 13:49  

What a hoot! Thanks for sharing...

14 July 2007 at 14:19  

I'm sure your poor brother is happy there is no photo. lol Delightful story Paul!

14 July 2007 at 18:14  

I guess I'm thankful the most my kids have done is cut the hair of my daughter's My Little Pony. There were enough tears then!

15 July 2007 at 18:21  

My oldest daughter had very long hair when she was 4 and she was in her room playing. When I went up to check on her, she had decided she wanted to look like Cindy Lauper. One side of her hair was just above her chin the other side was almost to her waist. One side was pink and purple (with markers) and the other was green and blue. I was in too much shock to take a picture, now almost 20 years later I really wish I had. btw she was so determined to cut it, that she made it work with plastic kindergarden sissors!

15 July 2007 at 19:30  

Ah, yes. My eldest did the job on her own hair, cutting the bangs down to the scalp, a week before the big family reunion, complete with portraits. When I high-tailed it with her to the hair salon, they laughed at the idea that they could "fix it."

15 July 2007 at 22:05  

I wish you had pictures too! Great story!

16 July 2007 at 08:04  

Oh, my goodness. So funny, especially the kicker at the end about him starting school. I bet your mother regrets not snapping a picture. It would be priceless. Thanks for the laugh.

16 July 2007 at 12:53  

ROFL...I've worked with children my whole life and I can attest to the temptation of cutting someone's own hair is there. But for you to do someone else's and for your brother to sit for it at 3 yrs of age! LOL
I remember those barber shop sets!

16 July 2007 at 17:06  

I used to have a "Girl's World" which was basically a plastic head with various haircutting and make up tools. You could cut the hair press a button and make it grow back again. Sounds like you could've done with one rather than experimenting on your brother!

16 July 2007 at 19:45  

oh....I like the way you tell so touching...I remember now when I cut a very special doll`s hair when I was a child.... it was a very delicate doll almost an ornament...and I was allowed to play with her only in some special moments ..maybe I took revenge about that...

19 July 2007 at 18:00  

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