I’ve said before that some kids are just too young to get their hair cut. Yes, we are professionals, and cutting children’s hair is part of our job, but some (like me) don’t have children of our own and have little exposure to other people’s children, so we are not trained to handle kids that just won’t sit still, especially around sharp objects.
One such child came in the other day. He was two years old, and already crying by the time he sat in my chair. Actually, by the time his father sat in my chair and held the little boy. And I mean held, because the boy would not stay still. He was using his feet to push off his father, using his hands to cover his face (and hair), and wriggling away towards his mother.
I got the majority of the length off (the parents insisted I use scissors and not clippers), but I told them I didn’t want to cut around his ears, as my shears are very sharp and his tender little ears were moving around quite a bit, even with both parents holding him down. They insisted, however, even using my most hated phrase “I’ll tip you well for your time.” (They never do – a dollar is not what I consider a good tip.) So I gave in, and I applied some force of my own to hold the child still as I very carefully cut around his ears.
Then he whipped his head to the right. I was standing to his right, with my shears open, right at what turned out to be eye level. Luckily I was semi-prepared for such a movement and was able to pull my shears away just in time. But I still came very close to stabbing a 2-year old child in the eye with my very sharp (and expensive) scissors. After that, I refused to cut any more. The cut was far from perfect, but it was the best I could do with a screaming, moving, toddler. And that last cut was too close for comfort. I told the parents very plainly that I was not doing any more. They tried to convince me, acknowledging that it was nearly impossible (and dangerous), and trying to bribe me with tips again. I flat out refused and assured them that whatever tip they gave me would never cover the trauma of accidentally hurting a child, which is more of a possibility with their son than I had ever encountered before. They were dismayed, but finally gave in. Their son’s hair didn’t look terrible, it was just a little bit longer around the ears. But you know what? His vision remained in tact.
I stand by my decision. Sure, there is a toddler out there with a not-quite-finished haircut, but I will defend myself and face any repercussions, rather than risk mortally injuring a young child. Though that would teach the parents when too young really means too young…
(kidding about that last line, of course.)