Sunday, July 19, 2009

Never Fear, M&Ms Are Here!

You may remember from one of my previous posts that JackJack is absolutely terrified of haircuts. Seriously. He did perfectly fine at his first haircut, when he was 13 months old, but we've had to fight tooth and nail and literally hold him down in order to get any haircuts since then. I don't know what it is! I like to think, though, that he is just such a good boy that he knows that he is not allowed to touch scissors, and therefore was trying really hard to ensure that he didn't get in trouble for having the scissors so close to him? That could be it, right? No? Maybe he knows that scissors are sharp and he was just didn't trust us not to accidently, say, cut off an ear or something, and therefore fought as hard as he could not to even let them near his precious, beautiful little self, just in case. I mean, he's not afraid of the scissors themselves, but just the mention of the word "haircut" was enough to send him into hysterics!

After our last unsuccessful attempt at cutting his hair (by the way, I was able to cut those peyos later that week... and it was no easy feat!), I decided that it was just hair, and I was not going to fight him on it. If he wanted to look like a "long-haired hippy surfer-dude" (in his daddy's words), then that was just fine. I liked his curls, and even though they did get crazy at times, as long as I kept his hair combed they looked perfectly fine! Yeah, okay, sometimes I couldn't see his beautiful blue eyes, and he even started brushing his hair out of his own eyes, but really, it wasn't worth torturing the poor child, in my opinion. Besides, I liked his long hair! So, long hair it was.

That is, until Dave showed me a picture of American Idol Loser Runner-Up Adam Lambert, and told me that that is what he saw when he looked at Jack's hair. Dave was not in favor of Jack remaining a long-haired hippy surfer-dude, as I was. I told him that if it was that big of a deal to him, then he would have to take Jack to get his hair cut. It wasn't worth it to me. Besides, there was no way that Jack's gorgeous blonde locks in any way resembled Adam Lambert's black 'do. I mean, Jack's hair was just long, whereas Adam Lambert's hair was more of a male version of Kate Gosselin's reverse mullet!

And then, on my way to swim class one day, I saw a kid walking along the sidewalk and thought "Wow, that kid's hair looks dumb. He looked like one of those Jonas Brothers!" Then realization dawned. "Dang it! My kid looks like one of those Jonas Brothers!" I made the decision then and there that we needed to put The Plan (that my mother and I had cooked up) into action.

Ever since our last failed attempt, we've all tried to come up with a plan to get Jack to cooperate and comply with getting his hair cut. We wanted him to be excited to get his hair cut (but not so much that he would take it upon himself to cut his own hair!), and we certainly didn't want to torture him about it, or even really have to fight him on it! I knew that there had to be a way, and that positive reinforcement was the key to success! Finally, about a month before my "Jo Bros" revelation, my mom came up with The Plan! She told Jack that "what we will do is, we will sit you in your highchair at grandma's house (yes, she was referring to herself in the third person), and we'll take the scissors and go 'snip snip snip' (here she pretended that her fingers were scissors and she ran them through his hair), and then we'll give you an M&M! And then we'll go 'snip snip snip', and then we'll give you an M&M!"

Have I mentioned how much Jack adores M&Ms?

Jack started thinking about it, and while he still screamed in terror at the thought of the word 'haircut', he focused on the M&Ms part of it, and slowly it seemed that he was warming to the idea. Very slowly, though. As I said, my mom came up with this Plan a month before I actually decided that we needed to just bite the bullet and do it. A month should be enough time to get him used to The Plan, right? Well, no way to know unless we try, right? So, the day after I decided that it had to be done, Jack and I headed over to my mom's house and we sat him down in his high chair to begin the torture.

First, we showed him the huge bag of M&Ms for some incentive. We went over The Plan again (by this time he knew that haircut= M&Ms, but so far we had only talked about it... we had never substituted scissors-shaped-fingers for real scissors, or had the M&Ms right there in front of him when we were talking about it before!), and poured the M&Ms into a big bowl so that he could see them and pick them out in between snips.

The first snip was torture, and at this point I was pretty sure that Jack had little nerves in each and every hair on his head, and could feel each hair being cut! Why else would he be that upset?! We rewarded the first snip with an M&M, told him we were SO PROUD of him (he loves to know that mommy is proud of him!), and showed him the hair that had been cut. We made a BIG DEAL about it, trying to encourage him and support him in his terror. We let him have two M&Ms after that first snip.

He screamed again for the second snip, but when we showed him the hair that was cut from that snip, he sniffed and said "I'm so proud of you! Now which color M&M do I want?" Yay! He was warming up to this haircut idea! At that point the phone rang and he had a little bit of time to relax, calm down, hear how proud I was of him, and talk to me about The Plan as we looked at the M&Ms. From then on, he did great! I put the bowl of M&Ms on his tray, and he and grandma would take turns. First, grandma would take her turn taking a snip of his hair, and then Jack would take his turn picking out an M&M. He still wasn't completely cured, though. He leaned away and flinched every time mom brought the scissors near him, but he held still as she cut, and each time he heard the scissors slicing through some hair he'd gasp, remind us to tell him that we were proud of him, and then wonder aloud which color M&M he'd like. After he chose an M&M he'd politely remind my mom that it was her turn.

Hooray! He did it! I am so proud of him for letting us cut his hair! It seems that when things are a struggle for him, my heart swells all the more when he successfully overcomes that obstacle. It was the same with crawling and walking... it seemed like a much bigger feat for him than if he had crawled or walked early. I would have been incredibly proud of him had those things come easy to him, but since he had to struggle for them, it seemed that much more of an accomplishment! If he had sat quietly and just let us cut his hair without fussing, I'd have been extremely proud of him. But, knowing the terror that filled him and what a struggle it was for him to allow this, I am that much more proud of him for overcoming his fears and allowing us to prove to him that there was nothing to be afraid of.

Good job, Jack Jack! I am so proud of you!!!

A 'before' shot (pardon the flyaways... it was windy!)

I didn't take any pics while he was screaming because I was busy comforting him, but you can see he's not thrilled by haircuts (oh, and these are from my mom's camera so pardon the quality)

See how he cowers away from the scissors?

Checking himself out aftwards

After (it's a little windblown, but you get the idea!)

And now, he no longer looks like one of the Sprouse twins!

No comments:

Post a Comment