Hey There, Delilah

July 16, 2009

This is Jasper:

jibby-needs-a-trim

Jasper needs a haircut, or so I’m told. I don’t want to cut his hair. I firmly, emphatically, passionately do not want to cut his hair. Because the moment that I cut his hair, he will turn into a little boy. I know this. The moment that his floppy, fluffy, messy baby locks are shorn, he will lose all of his babyness and turn immediately into the toddler that I know he is but am resisting acknowledging. My heart plummets, plummets, into my heels when I think of this. I cannot stand it. I want him – need him – to be a baby for just a little while longer.

Which, I suppose, is a kind of Delilah-complex in reverse. I want to keep him small and needy and dependent by not cutting his hair. Cutting his hair will effect a transformation – and a kind of empowerment, if we consider the advancing development of small children as empowering to children, which, as any parent who has found him or herself collapsed on the living room floor while their child runs circles around them knows is absolutely the case – that I cannot bear – cannot yet bear – to witness. And this, I know, is cowardly, and unfair to Jasper, who is rattling the chains of his footie jammies and his binky and his mop of hair and demanding, demanding, to be BIG. To be BOY.

I need to let him, don’t I?

So do I cut his hair, or hang on a little longer? I so want to hang on a little longer. But… I should cut it, right?

Right?

This shit is hard.

(Props to Katie for the beautiful pic, shot on our road-trip at the Hat Creek Ranch in BC.)

(I still need help explaining death to the girl. And dinosaurs. And the relationship of dinosaurs to God. HALP.)

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    { 102 comments }

    marymac July 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

    I feel your pain, dude. Satin car and cried when I brought my three year old son to preschool last Sept. Keep trying to force-feed him the boob til he almost bit it off when he was practically two and said “Dude, can I just get some Captain Crunch?”
    On the haircut thing tough (and I still cry every time he gets the little buzzy clippers)they look soooooo cute with it short because you can really see their whole little faces, plus patting the buzzy hair is like a teddy bear.
    Your son’s hair is maddeningly cute as is, so either way it’s cool! :)
    .-= marymac´s last blog ..Not By The Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin =-.

    marymac July 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

    that would be sat. in. car not satin car. d’oh!
    .-= marymac´s last blog ..Not By The Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin =-.

    solemom July 17, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Like mona, daysgoby and a few others have said: there is always the option of just a little trim – especially of the bangs. Though you do run the risk of winding up with a mulletted child that way, which for me was not worth the risk.

    I’ve cut my 13 month old’s hair a few times now, but then – it is bone-straight and when it was longer it really just looked like a brutally bad comb-over, unlike Jasper’s gorgeous locks.

    But hair grows, and so do babies. Cutting his hair won’t make him any less who he is right now – he might just be able to see a little better. ;)

    Christine July 17, 2009 at 9:58 am

    He’s little….it’s hair….if you love it and he is happy just the way he is, why cut it? My son is 9 and has shoulder length hair. He loves it….so I love it.

    Do what works for you. Don’t let others make you feel like you have to do something based on society! Believe me, we get our grief about my son’s hair…all the time. But it’s still long, and now he’s going to grow it out to give to Angel Hair….my daughter just donated hers!

    Enjoy!

    kgirl July 17, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I don’t cut the kids’ hair until 2. Not one day before. I can claim it’s for reliious reasons, but it’s because I NEED my babies to remain babies that long. You’re a radical mom – put a clip in his hair.
    .-= kgirl´s last blog ..Kgirl’s Book Club – Six Months in Sudan =-.

    annettek July 17, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I must be harsh because I would just do it and get it over with. I think baby boys look adorable with short hair. When it’s short and fuzzy it’s so nice to rub their little heads! I always kept my boy’s hair short and I thought he was super cute with a fresh clean cut.

    What freaks me out is that when I met you at BlogHer Boston he was so LITTLE! So yeah, he’ll look a little older with a short cut, but well, I’m sorry to say, he is. Is it possible you’re sort of hanging on to his babyhood because you haven’t decided if there will be another?
    .-= annettek´s last blog ..If you aren’t going to BlogHer, well, I’m sorry for this =-.

    Her Bad Mother July 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    BINGO.

    kblogger July 17, 2009 at 10:09 am

    My 2 yo (baby) boy has beautiful springy blond curls. We trim it when it gets in his eyes, or gets too frizzy to tame in the morning, but don’t cut it all the way back. A trim does wonders: makes the hair more manageable, while still keeping the glorious baby-ishness of his curls.

    It doesn’t need to be all or nothing!

    Jamie July 17, 2009 at 10:10 am

    My Littlebit (admittedly a girl) has needed a haircut for a full year. We refuse to cut it. Her crazy wild messy hair is as much a part of her personality as the way she says “bye” or climbs into your face to give you a cheesy smile.

    I would consider, in Jasper’s case, a trim and then let it grow if you love it.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..The Return of the Link Love =-.

    Erin July 17, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Motherhood is so bittersweet. Every moment is beautiful (Ok not every moment, but every developmental moment.) The other night I started crying thinking about my little boy (just a tiny bit older than Jasper) growing up. I rejoice in every new stage, but part of me is also aware of how quickly he moves away from me. I cannot bear to give up nursing, for this reason. But this is motherhood – we grow them and birth them and love them and even in bad moments do NOT sell them on ebay for purpose of creating independent creatures who will by turns shrink and run away from us, hide from us, and refuse to return our phone calls. And then they come back to us, in a different form. It is beautiful, and heartbreaking.

    No opinion on the hair cut though.

    ali July 17, 2009 at 10:46 am

    i type this as i pet my sons head of long wispy messy baby hair. the thing is he is 22 months! I am being pushed by half of the family to cut it, and to be honest i dont when i will, cause i adore those red baby curls, and i never want them to be gone!

    Rory's mom July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am

    DO NOT CUT HIS HAIR! You will regret it immediately. I speak from experience on this. I made that dreaded mistake and I regret it. Sure it grew back, but never the same as it was then. My boy was about Jaspers age at the time of the cut. He was instantly transformed into a grown up big boy that I was not ready for.

    Heide July 17, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    If his hair isn’t bothering him, then let it flow!!!
    .-= Heide´s last blog ..CEiMB: Aromatic Noodles with Lime-Peanut Sauce =-.

    Bec July 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I actually think he’ll look younger if you cut it. My son is a few months older than Jasper and doesn’t have nearly that much hair. I think the long hair makes Jasper look much older than he really is.

    kittenpie July 17, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I say get it over with – he’ll be adorable and swell your heart in a whole nother way. And fwiw, I’ve cut the Bun’s a few times now, and he’s still sweet!
    .-= kittenpie´s last blog ..Lost Boy =-.

    Erica July 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    OMG, so true! We cut our son’s hair a little while ago, and I keep wondering where this little boy in our house came from. Your Jasper reminds me so much of our Zack, too. Z’s hair would totally look like Jasper’s if we hadn’t buzzed it.

    But they don’t lose any cuteness or adorableness once their hair is cut. I’m more in love now than ever.

    Alexicographer July 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I’m no help but am going to post my own trauma.

    My (adult) stepdaughter took my son to a hair place and got his hair cut. Without telling me she was going to do it (or, ahem, asking).

    Now I had once allowed her to cut his hair and had asked her to help me with it again.

    And actually I am not deeply traumatized by what happened. Really, I’m not. My son is phenomenally lucky to have a lovely, loving older sister who lives in our town and who picks him up and takes him out to do stuff and it was, in fact, a great haircut.

    Still, I’m glad it’s growing back to its earlier, disheveled curly toddler-like state.

    Her Bad Mother July 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Anybody cuts this kid’s hair without my permission (cough*HERBADFATHER*cough) they are going to SUFFER.

    Headless Mom July 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Do not cut it!!!

    You know that they grow up faster than you can say “slow down”.

    Relish the babyness and ignore the toddler as looooong as you can! He’s delish!

    amy July 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I would cut it. I don’t think you’re EVER going to feel ready to it might be a relief to finally stop dreading losing the baby-ness and embrace the toddler-ness. That’s my 2 cents.
    .-= amy´s last blog ..Imagine a Thosand Miles of This =-.

    Amber July 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    It took me forever to cut my son’s hair. I didn’t want to give up the curls.

    My daughter is 2 and I can’t bring myself to get it cut either. I know I’ll lose the curls again.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Thanks For Nothing, Dave Hepburn.. =-.

    katie July 17, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Don’t do it yet. Please.
    .-= katie´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Fulfilling a Dream Edition =-.

    pedalprincess July 17, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    great post and precious pic. who’d think something so simple could be the debate of everyone we know? (or at least all our relative who aren’t shy about sharing their opinion.)

    i am in exactly the same boat as you are right now. everyone (husband included) is probing me to cut my son’s hair. meanwhile, he’s not yet two and his hair is thin – much like your son’s.

    so i keep putting it off…not wanting to turn my baby into a boy too quickly. there will be plenty of hair cuts. so what’s the rush, i argue? plus, my son has my curls and a cut would distance his (little) resemblance to me that much more.

    then I read sarah’s comment:
    “Once you cut him you will fall in love all over again with the next stage of Jasper.”

    true. and for a moment, i thought i might change my stance. but our babies are growing and changing with so many other ways to celebrate. let us embrace that innocence that is often to quick to escape.

    Stone Fox July 18, 2009 at 12:10 am

    it’s just hair. sorry, but it’s just hair. it’s not the loss of babyhood, because it wouldn’t matter if he was bald or Cousin It, he’s just a baby and therefore is still in his babyhood. and because it is just hair, it will always grow back.

    so, having said that, cut it if you want, don’t cut it if you don’t want to. if he is tripping and falling lots because he can’t see through the (very freakin cute makin me laugh) Flock of Seagulls, i’d maybe lean towards getting it cut.
    .-= Stone Fox´s last blog ..The End is Near =-.

    Her Bad Mother July 19, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Laughing out loud at Flock Of Seagulls. TOTALLY.

    Amber July 18, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Don’t “cut” it if you’re not ready. I have a 3 1/2 year old little boy and I didn’t let him have a “cut” until he was 2. I just trimmed it out of his eyes a little. My husband’s only requirement was that I didn’t let the back get long enough to put into a ponytail. They do look so much more like little boys than baby boys as soon as it’s cut. Hold onto the babyhood just a bit longer….it’s so precious.

    Clare July 18, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Mullet – all business in the front and party in the rear.

    The wonderful thing about hair is that is grows, that is what I told myself when our son – who is the same age as Jasper save three days, got his cut on this first birthday. It has now been 2 months and he is back to the shaggy little boy he was prior to chop. We never did have curls, poor guy got my straight thin hair. I agree that I would have mourned the loss of curls.

    Her Bad Mother July 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Jasper’s kind of got a reverse mullet – it’s much longer at the front and sides than it is at the back. SO – party in the front, business in the rear?

    Heidi July 18, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    DONT CUT IT!!! You will regret it later, besides, who doesnt like looking at a little cutie like him. I can only imagin what its like with him falling asleep on your lap, you playing with his hair. Keep it, it isnt killing anybody. He looks boy enough to me, no girlyness there. Just trim up the bangs a little. He is totally rocking the long locks!
    As for the life/death/extinction thing, I have no freaking clue what to tell ya. I am still trying to figure out what to say when I have kids and they ask me that.
    Heidi
    .-= Heidi´s last blog ..So I am accident prone =-.

    V. July 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I would like to say you’re observing the Jewish tradition of never cutting a child’s hair until they’re the age of 3. That’s what I’m saying with my girl.

    Tina C. July 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    so timely as my 15 month old guy also has much hair in his face! he has more hair than his older bro had at this age, however i will not deviate from my rule which i established with the 1st one: no haircuts until 2 years old. he may eventually have to use some of my hair-bands though. oh well. this way i just stick to the rule and don’t have to dwell on it.

    JennyMac July 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    My side of the family has a lot of hair and I child got it. He is only 2 and goes to the barber (out of necessity) every 6 or 7 weeks.

    Cute pic.
    .-= JennyMac´s last blog ..Take A Bite Of: Raspberry Cream (Birthday) Cupcakes =-.

    Andrea July 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I am in a state because my son just returned from a trip to Grandma’s with a haircut that has butchered the beautiful mop of hair I had been painstakingly growing out since his last and only other haircut. I *know* it is only hair and I *know* it will grow back but it is symbolic of so much more and I just need a moment to gather myself and accept the fact that I can either surrender to the outside world who keeps insisting and somehow managing to keep his hair looking like he’s a “big boy” or try one more time to let it grow and have him look more on his outside the way I feel about him on my inside. And the whole world can tell me I’m crazy but there’s something about this, his hair or now lack thereof, that is cutting me to the quick. I should let go, there will be so many more expressions of his independence that I can’t control (and maybe since I theoretically should be able to control this is why it is so frustrating) that I should just take this as a stepping stone but for now I’m just wallowing in my sadness and pain.
    Don’t cut it HBM. Don’t cut it until he asks you to cut it.

    Mrs Imelda (friend of MB) July 19, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Keep the hair longer a little while. Kids grow up waay too fast. Just don’t wait until he’s 8 like Celine Dion’s kid!

    highlyirritable July 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Two words: baby dreads.

    The ultimate in low-maintenance and there ain’t nothin’ sweeter.
    .-= highlyirritable´s last blog ..Mean Boys =-.

    Mad Woman July 19, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    If there is one thing that I regret with my son, it would be cutting his hair. He had a mop of hair that was soooo adorable and lovely and I cut it. And now he looks like a boy. He’s almost 5 and has looked like a real boy boy since he was 3. It was a sad day. Hold out as long as you can…maybe til HE asks for a hair cut!
    .-= Mad Woman´s last blog ..Six =-.

    ZDub July 20, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Baby T has his sweet little baby curls and everyone keeps telling me to cut his hair.

    I feel the exact same way you do.

    I can’t stand the thought of cutting it.

    Kills me.

    Jasper is wicked adorable.
    .-= ZDub´s last blog ..Don’t Cry For Me Argentina =-.

    Leslie July 20, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Aw, give the kid a break and cut that mop!

    Not that I don’t sympathize with you, I carried my youngest brother around the house (to my parents’ dismay) well past his fifth birthday, pretending he was still a baby.

    It’s tought to let go. But my youngest sibling is still “the baby of the family” to me.
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Too Much Hiney =-.

    LaTina July 20, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Ok, cutting toddler boy hair SUCKS. Especially the front part. And then realizing that once you do it, you must repeat this action every few months. Gah! Also, my soon to be 18 month old boy’s hair still grows back exactly like Jasper’s (after exactly two haircuts). So if you decide you never want to cut his hair again, you might get that baby-locks look back.

    My Max is perfectly fine with getting the back and sides of his hair trimmed but all hell breaks loose when you try to trim the front so it’s not in his eyes anymore. I sweep it to the side so no one can tell how horribly uneven the front is.
    .-= LaTina´s last blog ..Things Max Did NOT Eat Today =-.

    crazylovescomapny July 20, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    My husband asked when we should cut our 7 month old son’s hair. Is he crazy?!? He doesn’t even have much yet so I can’t think of cutting it ever.
    .-= crazylovescomapny´s last blog ..I remember the hat, the pool, and the frogs =-.

    Mama in the City July 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    He is such a cutie. Good post. I think if you do cut his hair he will still look like a baby boy….just look at that face! I still seem a bit of baby chub.
    .-= Mama in the City´s last blog ..The Great Big Hospital Bag: What to Pack for Your Labor =-.

    MommaSunshine July 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Keep him a baby for as long as possible. It’s all too fleeting as it is.
    .-= MommaSunshine´s last blog ..Love Is … Standing In the Rain for Six Hours =-.

    Scott July 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve never understood the “long hair/short hair” debate with males. Then again, I’ve had long hair exclusively since I’m 14, so there’s that…

    My BMF kept his 2nd son’s hair long until he was 3, and of course everyone in the world mistook him for a girl. (The son, that is…pronoun issues there…) Whatev. In a weird way, this strikes me as being similar to gay-marriage issues: some people want “marriage” to be ONLY man/woman so that when they tell folks “Hey, I’m married!” they don’t have to immediately defend their sexuality. I use the word “espoused” and don’t worry about what people think; if they want to wonder if I’m partnered with a man, that’s fine…it neither impresses nor harms me. Same with boys: short hair allows people (usually dads) to immediately present their child to the world as “This is my son!”, rather than hearing “Oh, your daughter is so precious!” and then having to explain.

    I like the idea of letting Jasper decide when he’s old enough to figure it out.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..My Support Can Be Bought =-.

    Leilani August 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    For info on dinosaurs & God, check out answersingenesis.org

    If you haven’t already, don’t cut Jasper’s hair!

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