Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Say Cheese!

Back when my second son was in Kindergarten, he felt determined to distinguish himself from his older brother. So it was that he perpetually was the Calvin of the family, building fantastic worlds and also occasionally delighting more than was pure in pure mischief. A note came home from school about individual portraits the following week and being a dutiful mom, I took him for a hair cut, picked up a new shirt at Target and filled out the forms for the E packet, 2 5x7 and a bunch of wallets.

Driving to school that morning, my son seemed more pensive than usual.

"Mom?" his small high voice asked with all the seriousness of a big question to come.


"Today's school picture day."
"I know. I filled out the form..."


"Can I make a face?" It was a daring request. I mulled over the possibilities. This was a small deal. There would be other photos.

"Sure!" and I quick fired off an explanation note to the would be concerned parent volunteer/photographer and teacher. "It is okay if my son makes a silly face during his picture. I promise no matter how absurd it turns out, I'll buy it."

And he went into school happy.

When the photo came back, it was honestly the best shot the kid ever took. He smiled, he looked at the camera, he could have been the model kid used to convince others "Hey, I want a photo too."

Fast forward to present day. My son does not like hair cuts. One time he got a buzz because of an overzealous razor wielding Delilah and ever since, he fights anyone coming near his locks for as long as possible. It takes bribes. It takes demands. It takes dragging him out under extreme protests. I put it off as long as possible too as a result.

But the time had come.

I told him, you're getting a cut tonight while your brother is at Trombone lessons.
He protested all the way to the car and all the way there. Getting to the salon, I tried reason. "You can have input on what your hair will look like, or I can pick."

I thought I'd broken through when he sat next to me scanning the options. He picked a bright green Mohawk. But Mother is not an idiot. She remembered the face making request. He'd been dealt his hand, he was bluffing.

"Sure." and I signaled the woman who was standing waiting for his choice.

"No. No. No. No. No." He frantically scanned through the remaining photos and settled on arguably the most conservative cut in the whole book, and that includes the brides.

I kept offering to get the goo so he could have spikes. I told him I wore spikes back in high school. He couldn't get out of the store fast enough. I think he secretly feared the shears would follow him and start snipping more.

I know my decision could have resulted in a punk 4th grader, and his whole class or the Grandparents would have freaked at the sight but playing Texas Hold'em with my children over the years, I've learned that I'm the house.

And they should know, never bet against the house. House Rules. House wins.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

LOVE IT!!! and I'm filing it for use with #1 son....#2 son, on the other hand....WILL make the face! and WILL go for the mohawk....(but that might be okay too....)

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