When Himself needs a haircut, he lets me know. Sometimes the request seems to come about every five days or so, but I could be exaggerating. Junior is far less concerned with the state of his hair. The wind generated by three-year-old energy usually keeps his bangs out of his eyes, but when he starts walking with his head tilted back or bumps into walls, I know it's time to break out the scissors.
One evening, in that magical span of time after bath but before bed, I decided to trim Junior's 60's rock star 'do.
"C'mon, Monkey Boy! Hop up in the chair and I'll give you a haircut."
With a look of dismay, Junior came on the run -- right past me and into his room. He leaped on his bed and reached for the covers.
"All done haircut! Go night-night!"
"Whaddaya mean, all done? Come and sit in the chair. You can even have a cookie if you sit nice and still."
"All done cookie. All done haircut."
Bribery wasn't working, and Junior was making it plain that he'd rather have an early bedtime than submit to the scissors. I finally convinced him to come out by explaining that with his hair shorter, he'd have a much easier time of reading his beloved numbers and letters.
"Numboos and yeddoos?"
"That's right, kiddo. You can see every last one of 'em."
He climbed into the chair with a look of resignation. I set to work, figuring on giving him a good trim all the way around. Have you ever cut a little kid's hair? It's like trying to paint a propeller while it's moving.
"Okay, look up. No, not that high. Over here. Wait. No, now... Honey, can you... Okay, look up again. No, not that high."
I settled for getting his bangs out of his eyes. Brushing away a few zillion teeny-tiny stray clippings, I told Junior that he was free to go back to playing. He studied himself in the hand mirror and patted his hair.
"Now I have a cookie!"
He may not remember where he hid all of the puzzle pieces, but he never forgets a cookie.