Do people like to tell you what you should do with your child? Not even just family, but total strangers? I’ve tried to keep my reactions leveled and polite. It’s been over six months now, at least, and the unsolicited comments keep coming. What am I talking about? Cutting my two year old son’s hair. Or rather, not cutting it. From many of the comments and “advice” concerning little O’s locks, one could assume I’m doing something horrible to my son by letting him exist with a sweet head of golden curls. Well, the other day in Homegoods, a little old lady pushed me to the edge. I would never be as rude to her as I would have liked to be. Rather, this is my collective retort to her and anyone else who seems to have a problem with our decision not to cut O’s hair. And if you think I’m being snarky, well so be it. If you hadn’t been so rude by impolitely hurling your opinion at me I wouldn’t have to have an attitude.
Before I go on, I must add that O’s hair is not unsafe for him. I keep his bangs trimmed and out of his eyes. There is no danger posed by his “do.” If comments were actual concerns for his safety, I could at least respect where they were coming from, as unnecessary as they would be. But they aren’t. The little old lady who put me over the edge, at first thought O was a girl. Many many people do. It doesn’t bother me or my husband in the least, and O is too young to understand the distinction. “Oh what a beautiful girl! How old is she?” she said. “Oh thank you. Actually he’s a boy and he is two and a half.” She obviously had issues with being incorrect, so she added, “Oh well, with that hair it is hard to tell. I suppose he is dressed like a boy.” (You can insert the “know it all” tone). I just smiled and started to move on. She then leaned into me, as if to tell me something important. “Don’t you think it’s time to cut that hair? It really is” she said. She rolled her cart right by me and left me gobsmacked. Her absolute rudeness just verbally slapped me right across the face. I just stood there dumbfounded at the gall of this, otherwise, harmless woman.
Pardon my French, but What the F? I’ve been shrugging people off since before my son turned two regarding this. I’ve smiled and just said “Oh…. well we like it.” You know what? It really isn’t anyone’s business, but ours. I really don’t have to explain our choice to anyone. And what does it even mean, “I suppose he is dressed like a boy?” That kind of gender box mind set makes me crazy. I have news for you, if my son wanted to wear a tutu it wouldn’t make him any less of a boy. It makes him a two year old boy who hasn’t learned gender labeling yet. And if, when he gets older, he wants to wear pink because he likes it, then awesome. His hair doesn’t confuse him. Too bad if it confuses others. All he knows is he likes to shake it around sometimes for fun. Honestly, why does anyone care if O’s hair gets cut or not? When someone feels the need to give us their opinion, it just says more about them than it does about our choice. And that’s the important phrase here. Our choice. Not “well meaning” family’s choice. Not a perfect stranger’s choice. Our choice. So step the hell back.
After getting that off my chest, and taking a long pause, I wouldn’t change a thing about what I just wrote. And I certainly wouldn’t change a thing about O. He hasn’t learned to judge people by their appearance yet. I truly hope he never does. He certainly won’t get that from us. Until next time, I’ll be practicing deep breathing and forgiveness. Remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Thanks for reading! Xo