just a trim, please

                Just like it is easier to put your dog on a diet than yourself, it is easier to let your 4 year old get her haircut in an unknown salon than to have your own locks trimmed under such conditions.

                Kaitlyn has been begging me to get her haircut. It is getting long. Like Bill, she hasn’t had it cut since before we moved. Ok, I did trim her bangs once and they came out all crooked so I’ve had to wait for them to grow out enough to warrant the trip to a salon. That time has come… and gone. I’m surprised she doesn’t bump into things while she’s walking, since it must be hard to see. (especially since she doesn’t let me put anything in her hair that would help keep it out of her face)

                    Bill said I should just call and make an appointment to take Kaitlyn to the place I went.  (this from the man who was so chicken he decided it was better to cut his own hair at home with a razor)  Not everyone cuts a little kids hair and it’s all the way downtown.

                    So this afternoon Kaitlyn and I were walking past the shops in Uriage on our way to get cash from the ATM so we could get stew meat from the butcher. (he only takes cash and I need to make stew because we’re having company and that is my “company food.”) We went past one hair salon and there was nothing on the window saying they cut children’s hair. It also didn’t say that you could get a cut “sans rendez vous.” Somehow I convinced Kaitlyn to move on. Then we passed a second salon. She cannot read but seemed to just sense that they cut children’s hair and that you don’t need an appointment (both were marked on the window). She grabbed my hand and literally dragged me in. I secretly hoped they didn’t have time. I mean, stew is company food and it is easy but it does take a certain amount of time to make. I don’t want to serve crunchy stew! Anyway, I explained to the woman who greeted us that Kaitlyn wanted a haircut. Turns out, she speaks a little English. So mixed with my little bit of French we managed to communicate what we needed. Oh, sure, they could do it now. How long could it take to cut a little girl’s hair? Oh, wait, this is France. Everything takes longer than you expect.

                    So the lady said she could cut Kaitlyn’s hair right now but by right now she actually meant after she finished a conversation with a friend who had stopped by. Finally that was done and she disappeared in the back room. She emerged with a giant cushion for Kaitlyn to sit on and a smock for her to wear. First, she washed Kaitlyn’s hair in one of the big bowl sinks like for a grown up. At the kid haircut places we went to at home, they’d just spray her hair with some water to get it wet enough to cut. She kinda liked the new experience. But even with the big cushion she wasn’t the right size and her entire back was soaking wet. Nothing a little hot air from a hair dryer can’t fix, I guess.

                    In the chair in front of the mirror, the hairdresser put the smock around Kaitlyn. It has Mickey Mouse on it. Kaitlyn liked that. Kaitlyn’s hair is so full of knots, since she hates letting us brush it, that the hairdresser had to go find a really wide tooth comb to get the job done. Then, finally, the cutting could actually start. I’d asked her to trim her hair so it framed Kaitlyn’s face, and hid the remains of Kaitlyn’s self haircut. (she’d cut a chunk out of her own hair back in September! The lady who cut hair just for kids did a horrible job of “fixing” it months ago and it still looks funny.) The other reason for the new “do” is because Kaitlyn hates having her hair pulled back and it’s constantly in her eyes or her mouth. The hairdresser was also careful not to cut Kaitlyn’s hair too short, which is good because Bill thinks his daughter should have long hair. After she was done trimming, she used the hair dryer and a round brush to make Kaitlyn’s hair just perfect. Then, to my surprise, she got out some rubber bands and pulled the newly trimmed hair into pig tails. If Kaitlyn normally let me do that, the hair cut wouldn’t have been so imperative! It’s ok, I know she’ll never let me do that at home. And it was cute. No, I didn’t take any pictures of it.

                    I went to pay and tried using a credit card. No can do. But the woman actually let me walk down to the bank machine and come back with the money. I didn’t have to leave my keys or my child as “ransom,” she just trusted I would return. She also gave me her card and suggested as politely as possible that I may want to return to have my own hair done. Yes, I know I should. I’d have made an appointment but I didn’t have my calendar with me and can never remember when my French lessons are since they never seem to be at quite the same time from week to week. I also figure this way I can wait a few days and see how Kaitlyn’s hair looks when we have to fix it ourselves. That will be the real test.

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