My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was two years old. One of the effects of it was having extreme challenges with having his hair cut. The sound of scissors or clippers set him off. The feeling of the tiny bits of hair on his skin was unbearable. And after being forced to go to a barber, my son decided that because he’d seen how to cut hair, he could do it himself.
That’s something I’ve learned about this kiddo: he learns by watching. After he sees someone do something, in his mind, he can do it too. No awareness of a learning curve, or the fact that someone has practiced several times to be able to develop their level of skill. He sees it. He knows he can do it too.
A few days after I’d talked about how my son’s hair was getting a little bit long, I was getting ready to put him on the bus to preschool, and I noticed his bedroom door was closed. At four years old, his bedroom door was never closed during the day. Never. And, he was quiet. This kid was never quiet. Never.
I gingerly opened the door to my confident preschooler with scissors in hand and piles of hair on the floor at his feet. I caught him, mid-snip. Where just minutes before he’d had beautiful brown hair that was getting on the long side, the top of his head was stubble about 1/8″ long. His bangs were gone too. He hadn’t had time to get to the rest of his head, other than one big cut to the side.
Trying to not completely lose my shit on this poor kid, who just wanted to take control of something that was usually out of his control and very uncomfortable, I asked him what he was doing, and then explained that barbers practiced their hair cutting skills on doll head before they ever cut a person’s hair.
With that, I took him to preschool that day, dropping him off and heading to a nearby department store, where I bought the most complete clipper set they carried. I still use it to this day. Best $40 I ever spent.
Participated in Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Here’s the prompt for this week.