I had an Assertiveness Fail the other day (Forgot to take the skill back at Level 15, I think). I took the Boy to have a very necessary hair cut at a Salon-Which-Shall-Be-Nameless near Gran’s house. We were asked on the phone whether we had a favourite hairdresser, but as we’d only taken him there once before and had neglected to commit the name of the lady to memory we just said we’d be happy with anyone.
So that is who we got.
The hairdresser in question was very lovely but did not seem very confident or competent. She would ask me questions about my wishes, and when I explained them (very apologetically of course – like I said, assertiveness is not my top skill), she would tell me why she couldn’t do that.
Cutting his hair short around his ear? “When they’re this little you don’t want to cut too close to their head, or you might hurt them.”
Inner-Judith said: “Oh really? Then why has every other hairdresser who has cut his hair before managed it??“
In reality I said: “Hm.”
When I wasn’t sure if I wanted his fringe “straight” (it sounded a bit severe), the only other option she suggested was cutting it at a fashionable slant to one side.
Inner-Judith said: “That sounds ridiculous. I am sure there must be more options than just those two.”
In reality I said: “Erm, cut it straight then.”
I was right. It did look a bit severe.
When she thought she was done, the fringe still skimmed his eyebrows. I asked if she could take a bit more off, just to give me more time between hair cuts. “I’ll cut it a little bit shorter, but you don’t want to take too much off, or you might accidentally cut the child” she warned once more.
Inner-Judith said: “What the hell kind of incompetent hairdresser are you??”
In reality I said: “Okay.”
I think she could hear faint echoes of Inner-Judith’s raging, because she asked me about five more times if I was sure I was happy. To be honest, I had no faith that she could do a better job than she had done, so I just paid the money and got the hell out. But not before asking her name and committing it to memory, so that I could specify that I wanted someone else next time.
And The Girl? She won’t be having a haircut for quite some time. I am far too delighted with her new little girl hair, which seems to grow an extra centimetre every night.
Here is a little overview of her lovely hair and the hair styles I have been trying out on her – most of which last about five minutes until she has worked out how to undo/remove them.
Putting clips and things in the Girl’s hair has made me face up to the fact that she is a proper toddler now and no longer a baby. You look at her with her hair in bunches and there she is: vivacious, mischievous, full of life and joy and determination. There is something about these new hair styles that makes them real little people. I have always loved the new Boy after he has had his hair cut, because cutting away the excess always reveals how much he has grown up. Suddenly, he looks more serious and wise. Possibly a little like a tiny accountant.
He loves it too – although he may be slightly confused about both the purpose and the potential end result of the exercise:
“I have my hair cut!” he kept telling me proudly on the way to the salon. “I have new curly hair.”
To be honest, I wouldn’t have put it past the hairdresser. Maybe next time.