Nieve's hair on Saturday morning, an hour before getting it cut
The inevitable happened yesterday - Nieve got her first haircut. Mom and I were admittedly surprised that Nieve pushed for short, manageable hair, especially as she's shown staunch resistance against anything that might make our lives as parents easier.
A fairly impressive braid, given Nieve is only three and a half years old
Mom (and to a lesser degree, me) had resigned to continuing the hours of tugging, brushing, braiding, fixing, re-doing, and more brushing that is required to keep Nieve's long hair from becoming an insolvable tangled mass. Yet when Nieve made the decision to go short it was us parents who fretted with anxiety about the change.
A stone-faced little girl, ready to get on with the haircut
And so it begins...
We asked Nieve more than a dozen times over the past couple of weeks whether she really wanted to get it cut, and every time she responded with a "yes!" of such conviction that we had no choice but to do it. I'm pretty sure Mom was silently preparing herself for a disastrous, inconsolable Nieve meltdown once the haircut was done. Just how do you explain to a three year old that the only 'revert' option is to wait for the two years it will takes to grow?
Major hair removal
Progress is being made
A midpoint review - Nieve holding up the bulk of her removed hair
But we like to let our children guide their lives as much as is reasonable, so off to Jenny (the family hair stylist for the past decade or more) we went to let Nieve realize her wishes. Jenny, of course, was fantastic. She has been waiting for the day she could work on Nieve's thick, long hair, and she knew exactly the cut to put on little girl that carries a much larger sense of self and style than belies her petite body.
Some of the finer details are now being attended to
A little blow-drying to finish off the style
When it was all over, Nieve was visibly delighted with the results. She was all smiles, throwing herself adoring looks in the mirror. She couldn't resist from continually touching it, or moving loose strands of hair over her ears.
Happy? Oh yes, clearly happy.
The process and end results were, by all account a big success. My only reservation is the short hair makes Nieve look far more mature, almost like a tiny woman with clumsy movements. Like most parents, I'm not yet ready to let go of Nieve's pre-school years. The kids are growing far too quickly for my tastes.
Fine. Perhaps not entirely like a tiny woman.
It's a great haircut to climb in
We spent the rest of the day playing in San Francisco and two separate, clearly knowledgeable women both asked, "Did she just get her hair cut?" When I confirmed their observation they replied, "Oh, how darling! It's magnificent!" Those were two of the few times I've seen Nieve blush.
A cut to conquer play structures
So we are happy that Nieve is happy. The bedtime routine is now much shorter (no drying the hair after bath or fighting knots or braiding), Nieve still steals glances of her reflection in mirrors, and it's fun to watch her hair bob about when she runs. And the icing on top of an already sweet cake - Nieve is donating her cut hair to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for disadvantaged children.
A happy little girl with a sporty new 'do, perfect for being active