Monday, November 10, 2014

I Don't Own My Children's Bodies - A haircut battle and a relfection on my ear piercing policy.

Yesterday I took my children to get their hair cut, all four, and yes we could have a post completly dedicated to the fact that this act alone probably proves I'm crazy, but that is not what this post is about.  The cathalyst to this event was three fold.  First Captain E was starting to look pretty scruffy.  Secondly Cheetah's hair was so crazy.  She's never had a hair cut and the last year or so it has needed a trim but I've avoided cutting it because it is a little curly and I knew the second we cut it the curl would be completely gone.  Third, Peach was asking me to get her hair cut again.  So yesterday I agreed to take them all.  We went to Great Clips...I figured when you are going to have four kids hair cut, having lots of stylist available is the way to go.  Before we left though I said to Gigi, "Do you want to get a trim?"  And she responded, "I want to cut all my hair off."  Now this started a huge fight in our house.  Not with me, me I tried to bite back what I wanted to say, but Captain E freaked out!  I mean he just went nuts.  It is important to note that Captain E is super resistant to change.  He hates it so much and pretty much his entire life Gigi has been a girl of long hair.  At birth she had four inches of hair sticking straight up in the air.  By two months she had great pig tails.  By nine months we gave her her first hair cut.  By two years the girl had waist length hair.  That's how it has been most of her life since then.  We get it trimmed occasionally so that it will look nice but for almost her whole life she's been a long haired girl.  Originally she said she wanted a bob like Peach so this was a huge change she was asking for. 

If I'm honest I was freaking out internally a little myself.  We keep Peach's hair in a cute little bob and I don't mind short hair but I'm just so used to G being my long haired girl that it was a little heart breaking to think those long blonde locs were about to be gone.  I had this thought though while this whole thing was going on..."My children's bodies belong to them, they don't belong to me."  Maybe the rest of the world doesn't have problems with this, but for me it is often difficult to seperated myself from my children, to come to grips with the fact that they aren't still part of me.  When we were newly married we lived in a ward where there was a family with teenage sons.  I remember sometime during the one son's senior year he grew his hair out super long.  He had really curly hair so it became a huge fro.  Then when it reached just epic proportions he bleached his normally dark brown hair blonde.  It was horrible, this sort of yellow sort of orange color, huge frizzy, just gross.  I remember some people in the ward talking to his mom about it.  I think someone in the ward was a little uncomfortable with him passing sacrament.  I remember his mom responding to their questions of why didn't she make him change it with "You know, it is his hair."  That really struck me.  Since that time I've watched other parents.  We are not always so easy going when it comes to our children.  We often stiffle their creativity and sometimes we make decisions or comments about their bodies that are not ours to make.  A personal pet peeve of mine is the father that guilts his daughters into keeping their hair long because that is what he finds attractive...look I'm not saying you are some kind of weird perve, but I think we shoud support our children's right to experiment and encourage them to realize that their value and beauty isn't tied to our or societies preferences. 

I tried to explain that to my freaking out son.  I sat him down and kindly said, "Look I know you are struggling because you don't like change.  I understand that, I can sympathize with it.  That being said, you don't have the right to make choices about anyone elses body but your own.  Your sisters get to choose how they want their own hair, just like you get to choose how you want your own."   Guys this statement came back to bite me exactly 30 minutes later.  I was at the Great Clips asking E how much of his hair he wanted cut off and he said he just wanted a trim, no buzzers, just a 1/2 inch off, and he wanted to leave his side burns alone."  And the thing is at that moment I had to respect that.  Just like my daughters he has the right to choose his own hair style and to have me respect that decision. 

The irony of this whole realization is that I realized my husband understood this long before I did.  When our daughters were born Dr. J and I were in direct conflict over if we should pierce their ears or not.  I wanted to pretty much do it at birth.  Dr. J wanted to have them wait until they were twelve so that it would be their own decision.  We eventually negotiated down to the age of 8.  Gigi will be eight in a month.  She has zero interest in getting them pierced...I mean does not want it one little bit.  Dr. J was right not to let me pierce them.  How do you like those apples J, how do you like them!

Captain E's before and after.  Sure he didn't cut much but hopefully he internalized that he has the rights to his own body just like everyone else has the rights to their own.

G's before and after.  She didn't end of going as short as she orginally planned.  The girl at the store was anxious about chopping it all off so cut it to this length and asked G what she thought.  G loved it.  I was sad to see that long hair go...I love braiding it, but I was happy she was excited with her cut.  I love that she can see her own beauty regardless of hair style.

Peach's before and after.  Rocking the bob.  This girl is just adorable any way but I love her hair in a bob.  FYI she wasn't sad about the hair cut she was sad she was the last on the list to get the cut.

Cheetah's before and after...okay I'm not going to lie, this one broke my heart a little, as in mommy teared up while they were cutting.  She was super good for her cut and the girl saved me a few pieces of the curl but I was right, the curl is forever gone :(  It does look a lot less crazy now though and magically now appears a tad thicker.  Welcome to little girlhood my dear.

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