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 }

    Annika July 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I still have not cut Sam’s hair. He is three years old and has long, beautiful curls.
    .-= Annika´s last blog ..Things Everyone Should Do =-.

    Issa July 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I adore that photo. Seriously.

    I have no advice. I’ve spent the last week egging my child on; to take a step, that first tiny step. At the same time, I want to cry at the very thought of my son walking. So, eh? Leave his hair for a few weeks.

    Sadly, leaving the baby hair, will not make Jasper stay a baby.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..Blogiversary =-.

    Adventures In Babywearing July 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Hang on. Do it when you’re ready. Then it’s so much fun.

    But either way, he will be adorable and it will knock your socks off.

    I know, I’m not much help.

    Steph
    .-= Adventures In Babywearing´s last blog ..Time. Thought I’d Make Friends With Time. =-.

    makyo July 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    ok, i don’t have kids yet (6 months and counting!) so maybe what i’m about to say is incredibly naive, or maybe it’s just my inner hippie coming out to hug some trees, but… can’t a boy still be a boy with long(ish) hair? if you’re enjoying his hair, and he is too, then why the rush to cut it? unless he’s tugging at it constantly or in some other way it appears to seriously bug him, i don’t see any need to lop it off. if people are nagging you that he “looks like a girl” because of long locks, well, i vote for giving them the finger and telling them to mind their own business, or maybe flashing them the peace sign and telling them to live and let live. he’s a gorgeous boy, letting him keep his hair for the time being isn’t going to change that.

    Her Bad Mother July 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Eh, no-one has pulled the girly card. Yet. And I certainly don’t have a problem with it. I LURVE messy locks on boys.

    But it does get in his eyes and stuff. SIGH.

    Joy July 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    So, maybe, just trim his bangs a little? For now? Messily, and certainly not straight across like one would for a girl…
    .-= Joy´s last blog .. =-.

    Della July 17, 2009 at 10:01 am

    That seems like a good middle road!
    .-= Della´s last blog ..Not Me! Monday – Early Edition =-.

    jen July 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I think you’ll know when you are ready. I was just itching to cut C’s hair. And then I did and I really wanted to cry. So if I was really, really ready and STILL had that reaction, just wait a while longer. Don’t rush it.
    .-= jen´s last blog ..currently =-.

    Anne July 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Ask him if he’d like it cut? But Issa’s right.

    My boy’s only 8 months and hardly has any hair, but already my husband is wanting to cut the longish wisps on the side that make him look a bit like a balding old guy ;) So I’m thinking he’s probably going to have a crew cut if darling daddy has any say in it :(

    Her Bad Mother July 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    My husband is very much an ‘oh, we should cut it’ guy. My worry is that I’ll come back from BlogHer to a crew-cut.

    Angela July 16, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    A very valid fear! In January my husband was shaving his own head. Nicky showed some interest in the clippers, and the next thing I knew he was bald. In January.

    Lucky thing I’d knitted him a hat last year.
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..Giddy up! =-.

    She Likes Purple July 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I love messy, long, shaggy hair on little boys. It’s adorable. He’s got his whole life to have a nice, neat haircut. You hang on as long as you want.

    I have a 5-month baby boy, and I laugh at the thought of willingly cutting his hair. I just don’t see it happening until he asks for it.
    .-= She Likes Purple´s last blog ..Help me enjoy my commute =-.

    Anne July 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    p.s. he is gorgeous. I wouldn’t want to cut his hair either.
    .-= Anne´s last blog ..The strawberry – a cautionary tale =-.

    Laural July 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Awww … it’s still cute.
    Celine Dion needs to cut her son’s hair. You’re still okay :)
    I think it’s cute.

    Christy July 16, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I have three girls, so I’m not really sure about boy hair. With my first two, they didn’t get haircuts right away and rocked the Carol Brady mullets for awhile. With my third, I feel like it’s just hair, and I’ll probably get it cut sooner. I’d wait until you’re ready. I sort of think it’s the cheeks that make the baby. Somewhere between 4 and 5 (in our family anyway), they lose their baby cheeks and start to look older.

    AmberMc July 16, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    My husband wants to SHAVE my 10 month old’s head. Idonotthinkso.
    He will get his hair cut when I can no longer comb it neatly. I’m OK with boys with long hair but I’m not into the whole Celine Dion’s son’s long hair.
    However, if you do decide to keep it long, be prepared for people to confuse him with a girl. And when that happens you can teach him what my ex heard when he called a long haired boy a girl: “I GOT A DICK”. OK then 3 year old.
    .-= AmberMc´s last blog ..He didn’t get this crap from me, that’s for sure. =-.

    Crystal July 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    It’s amazing how fast they go from baby to little kid with just the snip of a few locks. I always forget about it when I take my boys for haircuts and then when they come out it’s like completely different people.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Potty Time =-.

    Lona July 16, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    My son is three and a half, and he had his first haircut in April, only because he could no longer see. And might I add, the first haircut? I only let them trim his bangs. His hair is like Jasper’s — blond and wispy and adorable. I’ve had some people criticize me — “Cut his hair lest me become gender confused as an adult!” — but I’ve just told them to eff off.

    Don’t cut his hair until a) he can’t see or b) you decide it’s time. There’s no rush.

    Plus, long haired boy babes? They are HARD. CORE.
    .-= Lona´s last blog ..Life is a highway, I wanna drive it all night looong … =-.

    MommyNamedApril July 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    awww, i had this same internal conflict with both my boys… but strangely, i felt SUCH a weight lifted when i finally cut it :-)

    and they look so so so cute with freshly shorn locks!
    .-= MommyNamedApril´s last blog ..Deep Thought for the Day… =-.

    mayberry July 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I had to do it when my son was 11 months old, because it was constantly getting food, boogers, etc. stuck in it. Not very cute. It was angsty, though (here’s the post). One of my friends shaved her baby’s head so he’d look like he had baby fuzz, instead of a little boy cut. It even sort of worked.
    .-= mayberry´s last blog ..Thanks, Captain Obvious! =-.

    Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy July 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I would just go and cut it off. It would be sort of like ripping the bandaid off quickly.
    .-= Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy´s last blog ..Redhead Girl =-.

    FishyGirl July 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Eh, my husband had longer hair than me when we got married. And mine is (and was) past my bra. He is adorable. Let it ride til you feel you’re ready. You’ll know when it’s time.
    .-= FishyGirl´s last blog ..Blymey, Episode 3: Return of The Tick =-.

    Sara July 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Oooooh, I’ve been there. When we cut my “baby boy’s” hair for the first time–just before his first birthday–it was such a shock. And the curls never came back. Wah!! I agree about the first haircut making a radical change. It was like Gus was officially a little boy instead of a baby. It really surprised me. I vote for letting his hair grow until you’re so fed up with it that you can’t stand it any more. But that’s just me….

    No Mother Earth July 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I’m probably the wrong person to ask, because I am a big fan of short hair on boys. I also think short hair in the hot summer is just… practical. And less hot. And I am a very practical person. (And not hot, but let’s not go there, m’kay?).

    I say if you want to keep it long, why not? It’s no biggie unless they start confusing him as E’s little sister. [for some reason, that bugs the crap outta me. maybe you don't have my issues though...]
    .-= No Mother Earth´s last blog ..Ironic. =-.

    Her Bad Mother July 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    He actually got mistaken FOR Emilia the other day. Which is maybe an entirely different problem.

    (Emilia, fwiw, didn’t need a haircut until she was 2 and a half.)

    Amy Jo July 16, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Don’t do it! I waited forever to cut my son’s hair, and my daughter still hasn’t had a haircut a month shy of her second birthday. You are the mommy! Reserve your rights!
    .-= Amy Jo´s last blog ..Silly =-.

    Marinka July 16, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Cut!
    .-= Marinka´s last blog ..A Quicky! =-.

    Karl July 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Good Lord, woman. He’s perfect. Don’t change a thing till he’s 12.

    OK, maybe not that long, but I wouldn’t sweat it until he’s maybe in preschool/Kindergarten? Oh, sorry, you’re a Candadian, eh? I meant preaschooul/Kiundergaurten.

    For real? Beautiful photo.
    .-= Karl´s last blog ..SecondHand Radio Tonight – Laci Loo! =-.

    Karianna July 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Eh – my five-year old boy has long hair. I trim it every so often so that it isn’t super-long, but it definitely has a surfer-boy look to it rather than the “little businessman” look that would happen if he had one of those traditional boy-haircuts. (And I don’t even want to think about buzz-type cuts: hate those!)

    At 5 he’s definitely a “big boy” but still has impish charm. I’ve offered to cut his hair shorter, but he’s declined. Of course, kindergarten peer-pressure might change his decision, but for now I’m happy to keep it purdy.
    .-= Karianna´s last blog ..Social Cues =-.

    Mona July 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Can’t you just have it trimmed so it’s out of his eyes but still longer? Why does it have to be one or the other? Trim it up a bit, make it look nice, but it keep long that way you like it. Hair styles are not set in stone. Boys don’t HAVE to have short hair, and girls don’t HAVE to have long hair. I think there is nothing cuter than a little girls with a short bob. And a little boy with fluffy curls. And remember, it’s HAIR! It will grow back. Even if you shave it all off, it will grow back. It isn’t the end of the world. I promise.

    amy July 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    we love long hair here. Really I don’t want to chat about hair- just how crazy it seems that he is a big boy. You were one of the folks I was afraid to really chat to last year- but I just swooned over him as I saw you around- that tiny tiny nugget of baby. It does not seem possible he is that big boy already. He’s gorgeous. I also plan on talking to you this year. Is this ok? smoooooches.
    .-= amy´s last blog .."I don’t have to believe it, and I think it’s beautiful." =-.

    Her Bad Mother July 16, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    It’s more than okay. I will hunt you down if you don’t ;)

    (And? TINY NUGGET. He was, wasn’t he?)

    Mona July 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    P.S.
    Just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT MAKE HIM WEAR A MULLET! Or a rat tail hair cut. Thats just sad. I always feel sorry for the little guys who’s parents make them have a mullet or a rat tail hair cut.

    Her Bad Mother July 16, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    NEVER.

    Swearsies.

    Shannon July 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I had many around me who were eager for me to cut my sons beautiful ringlet curls, but I just explained we had a tradition that you don’t cut a child’s hair till after he/she is three years old… Everyone had a comment, some were supportive, most were not…I’m so glad I waited, and even sometimes sorry I ever cut it at all (the ringlets have never returned….) I have a friend who’s in laws were so bothered by the long hair they cut it off one day they were babysitting… didn’t even save any hair from that first cut for the mom… very sad.

    Sarah July 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Cut his hair. And here’s the thing…
    Once you cut him you will fall in love all over again with the next stage of Jasper. You cannot postpone what he is, what he’s becoming, what he wants to be. Boys move fast. Hair grows long. We can’t keep up with any of it. But it’s like a new pair of shoes or a new favorite food or a new set of lyrics they’ve learned to sing – it’s another stage. It’s a haircut. Once it’s cut it doesn’t mean it will never be long again. Wispy, maybe not so much. But long, could be again.

    Have faith in yourself that you’ve noticed it, relished it, loved it, held on to it – this stage, this time in his life – and that you will look back at this picture that Katie took and remember.

    And then let him go forth. And fall in love all over again.

    Then again. You’re the mom. If you’re not ready, nobody can force your hand – or the barber’s, for that matter.

    :)
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Keeping it Zen, Jen =-.

    Joie at Canned Laughter July 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Jen’s right. You’ll know when YOU are ready. But if you’re like me, you’ll cry anyway. And take more pictures than a papparazzo. And save just one of those tender blonde curls in a little envelope in your jewelry box. And? 18 years later, you’ll be glad you did.
    .-= Joie at Canned Laughter´s last blog ..Attn: DFW Area Bloggers! =-.

    Jo July 16, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    hahahaha I went through exactly the same thing (I knew my now two year old was my last) but mine had thick curly hair, so he had a ‘fro goin’ on, it was so funny. So when I finally gave in ’cause the thing was reaching Bozo the clown proportions, I gave him a mohawk.

    Yeah, way to go to extremes… I just figured, babyhood is over? Fine, so be it.
    .-= Jo´s last blog ..Parasitic pussies, or pusillanimous parasites, take your pick =-.

    Lawyer Mama July 16, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I waited and waited before cutting Holden’s adorable little curls. And then I did it in stages. Just a trim. Then another. Then another. I’m such a wuss, *I* needed baby steps. Sigh….
    .-= Lawyer Mama´s last blog ..My Four Year Old Now Speaks in Bullet Points…. =-.

    Becca July 16, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I didn’t even think twice before cutting my 1yo’s hair because he has such straight hair and it was hanging straight down into his eyes so that he looked the same from the front and the back. But I have to say when he emerged from the sheers, he definitely became a little boy. I laughed and cried at the same time. I couldn’t believe the transformation and thought, “my baby is gone”. Alas, he still (at 14 months) isn’t walking and has NO words at all so short hair and all, he is still all baby.

    I’d say, if you love his hair (which I think you should -it’s amazing!), keep it but don’t hang onto it as a way to hang onto the baby. As you know (I’m new to your blog but I think you have an older?) toddlerhood brings many new joys along with the hassles too.
    .-= Becca´s last blog ..Listed =-.

    bre July 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    keep the hair & just wipe his nose (he’s a real cutie pie) heheh
    .-= bre´s last blog ..peppery arugula planted =-.

    habanerogal July 16, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    The main thing is both you and daddy need to agree on a plan or something drastic could happen while you are away. I would only trim the front so the snot factor is reduced. Those curls are just too priceless to part with. Later when he is a teenager he might just grow it back.
    .-= habanerogal´s last blog ..Beaver-time in Utah =-.

    Judy July 16, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    When my son was six weeks old, my husband, overjoyed with all the testosterone after two daughters, took him to a barber and got his hair cut. It was like a Marine haircut. Shaved on the sides and back, barely there on top. I cried for days.

    Keep it. Maybe trim the bangs a little, but keep it if you want it.

    nutty mummy July 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Don’t do it!! I still utterly regret cutting rowan’s baby curls off – it was almost a year ago and she’s nearly 5. Wait a little bit longer :)
    .-= nutty mummy´s last blog ..The Minor Dialogues #10 =-.

    mrschattypants July 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I would let it ride. He is adorable and those eyes-gorgeous! Leave the hair for a little longer. He’s still a baby in my book.
    .-= mrschattypants´s last blog ..The Cutest Book =-.

    Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire July 16, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I say cut it, but more to prevent you coming home from BlogHer to a crew cut or something else. Take him in somewhere and get a trim. Tell the girl (or guy) that you just want to tidy it up. That way your hubs will be happy and you won’t miss out on that very important first hair cut. And you won’t have a heart attack.

    But in the end he is your baby and will always be no matter what length his hair is.

    xoxo
    .-= Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire´s last blog ..You Capture-Shapes =-.

    Tricia (irishsamom) July 16, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    NO! He’s gorgeous and he’s definitely a he. This rugged look suits him, lol. Don’t cut it. I will never forget the day I cut my 14 month old son’s soft golden locks – he grew up on me right then and there, seriously! KEEP THEM – my vote! :)
    .-= Tricia (irishsamom)´s last blog ..Taking the Road Less Travelled =-.

    Amber July 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    My baby boy has tons of hair. I held back the tears and cut it when he was 8 or 9 months old. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Really.

    I understand wanting to hold off, but I also wanted to let you know that as much as I fought it I still see the same little face looking back at me. Albeit with just a little less hair.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..What Goes Up … =-.

    daysgoby July 16, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Get together with His Bad Father and lay out what you decide to do. Does HBF work best with dates? Decide on one. Whatever keeps you from coming home to a shorn boy.

    (I came home to a shorn GIRL. That was three years ago. I am only NOW beginning to forgive. http://tinyurl.com/krpqat)
    .-= daysgoby´s last blog ..housekeeping =-.

    daysgoby July 16, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Oh! And also, just trimming the bangs is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than going whole-hog and cutting all the curls off. Just neaten up the bangs (yay! No more hair in his food!)and I think you’ll have a very nice compromise you can be happy with.
    .-= daysgoby´s last blog ..housekeeping =-.

    Ariel July 16, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I say DON’T Cut it :) I love it, I just want to kiss him! He’s so entirely precious:)
    .-= Ariel´s last blog ..Slowly going crazy but surfacing soon =-.

    Marianne July 16, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    As your blog loaded, I took in the picture of Jasper, and thought ” jeepers, this kid needs a hair cut, he’s starting to look like a little girl, a lot like Emilia.” Then I read the first lines under the photo and nearly choked on my beverage as I laughed.

    Cutting his hair won’t slow him down, or stop the march of progress into toddlerhood. But the hair hanging into his eyes? Well, you’ve either got to cut it or start holding it back with butterfly clips so he doesn’t have twice the bumps and bruises of the average toddler from not being able to see where he’s going.

    Amy W. July 16, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    I resisted and resisted cutting my Henry’s hair until a month and a half before his second birthday for all the reasons you mention. But the hair in his eyes was bugging him and he wouldn’t keep clips in. Also his little curls in back were getting ragged and painfully tangled.

    So, I cut his bangs just enough to get them out of his eyes and trimmed (and saved) each individual curl in back. I emphatically did not want a “boy” i.e. very short haircut. And you know what? He no longer looked like he had a mullet and he actually looked a bit more like his baby self. Maybe just a little trim/styling is all you need to do.

    Laura July 17, 2009 at 2:18 am

    I cut my boys hair when he asked for it to be cut. And yes..I walked in with a baby, and left with BOY.
    A PROUD big boy.

    Worth it.

    Do it when he asks.
    (you can always NOT teach him how to talk, ya know)

    Theresa July 17, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Like Issa said, not cutting his hair will not stop him from growing up. He’s adorable, short hair, long hair, it won’t matter to anyone but you and him. I’d ask him.

    As for explaining death, that is such a hard question to answer! My oldest was 18 months old when her papa died…she thought he was asleep. I had to tell her he was in heaven and didn’t need his body anymore. She was 4 when my grandma died and has yet to be able to handle that loss because she understood its permanence.

    That made me think that getting small pets – the kind that don’t hang around more than a year or three – might help them with the idea of death as a whole, given that we weren’t dealing with a person they loved.

    Uh, right. They balled their eyes out when the hamsters died, when the fish were found floating belly up.

    I don’t know how you explained the concept of death to her (i.e. is there an afterlife or heaven?) but I can offer that kids will question your answers, cry, pout, get moody and eventually work things out.

    My eldest doesn’t handle it well when a pet dies because she lost my grandma. And when I talk about my grandma, she gets very emotional. But she’s otherwise ok.

    I don’t think there are any easy answers, but I’d be glad to share what I said to my kids specifically if you’re like via email.
    .-= Theresa´s last blog ..I Must Say =-.

    Jessie July 17, 2009 at 9:50 am

    My daughter is just about the same age as Jasper, and is in need of a haircut as well. I can’t bring myself to do it, but luckily it’s socially acceptable for girls to wear barrettes, so I’ve been using those to keep her hair out of her eyes.
    .-= Jessie´s last blog ..Some Weekend Excitement =-.

    Lindsay July 17, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I felt the same way about Bruiser. And I finally had it cut at around that age. And you know what? It actually looked…. better. Who knew?!

    Just tell them to keep it on the long side, but shape it up a little. :) Hairdressers generally want to keep it long, too. At least mine do. They love baby hair as much as we do!
    .-= Lindsay´s last blog ..On Death =-.

    slee July 17, 2009 at 9:52 am

    people tell me snapdragon’s hair looks about ready to cut and it just sends me into crazy animalistic defensive mama bear mode.
    no cutting on my baby!
    i say let it go until he wants a big boy haircut.
    don’t be a delilah unless you really want to.
    .-= slee´s last blog ..essential to diapering- essential saltes baby =-.

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