use your words

A very young child was supposed to get his hair cut, but he was crying, screaming, squirming, and generally being an 18-month old. Though he was sitting on his father’s lap, he was being very physical. He was actively kicking me, grabbing my hand and scissors as I tried to cut his hair (which is why I didn’t use my sharpest blades), and still screaming. I even pointed out to the father, who – again – was sitting in the chair with his son, that the baby was being very difficult, and were he any bigger, I would actually be getting hurt.

The father continued holding the child just enough that he wouldn’t fall off and said “Hey Mister, you’re forgetting your manners.” He made no attempt to restrain the child, even though there was threat of physical harm to both me and the baby. The child kicked and screamed during the entire haircut, which was definitely not my best work because of all the aforementioned wriggling. Eventually the father gave in and decided that I couldn’t do more than I already had. (Or maybe it was just taking too long.) He still never tried to restrain the child, nor stop him any more than reminding the baby about his manners. Also, he never apologized for making his son sit through a haircut even though it was clearly naptime and / or the child was too young.  He only joked that “he’s only acting like this because his mom is here.” His mom, incidentally, was waiting in the lobby, several feet away and out of sight of the child.

 

After they left, several of my coworkers and their clients expressed amazement, relief, etc. that the screaming child was finally gone. (My coworkers were just glad they didn’t have to deal with him.)

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