My old/new friend is a doula. For those of you who don't know what a doula is, she is a labor coach who offers comfort and physical assistance during childbirth.
But this post isn't about childbirth, it is about a recent haircut I gave my son, Evan.
Now, from a very young age, Evan has been extremely sensitive to how things feel on his skin.
At his first birthday, he was visibly stressed out by the crumbly texture of the cake and the messy frosting.
|Here he is, preferring a chip over his cupcake|
He shops for shirts based on how they feel and has gotten in trouble for refusing to finger-paint in Sunday School.
Somehow, I forgot all of that when I set my mind on giving all 3 kids First-Day-of-School Haircuts for free in the backyard. (Actually, they had gotten "free" haircuts at JCPenny during their free haircut promotion, but the stylists must have used invisible scissors because none of us could see any difference in the before and after hairstyles).
Sam got buzzed like a pro and was off to play Legos and pester Crampaw.
Annie cried a little when she found out she couldn't get buzzed, but contented herself by talking to her "Cup Family" (more on that in another post).
I can only liken the experience to assisting someone in labor...someone who is not handling labor well, at that.
At first, his crying ebbed and flowed as he tried to earn the lifesaver I was promising him for good behavior. There was some moaning and panting as well. Then transition set in, and he began to panic and yell the same phrase over and over (gradually crescendo-ing: "Ow, Ow, Ow-eee!" or "It hurts! It hurts! It hurts!" followed by sobbing). And I wasn't stabbing him or anything, it was just the feeling of all those little hairs landing on his neck.
I had to channel my inner doula and say things like, "Open your eyes and look at me, Evan" and "You can do it, we're almost there, just a few more clips" or "Evan, take a deep breath". I was afraid he might pass out at one point, I'm not exaggerating. I was just praying that it would be over quickly, and wondering what the neighbors were thinking and if they were going to call CPS like people here seem inclined to do.
When it was over (because I wasn't willing to have a half-haircutted boy show up for kindergarten registration), we had a 5-year-old who desperately needed a nap sporting a slightly off-centered mohawk. No lifesavers were given out but much relief was felt.
I don't think I'm cut out to be a doula of any sort.
And, all future haircuts for Evan will be my husband's jurisdiction.