Philip hates getting his hair cut. I have written about this in the past (click here for old post). It has still been a struggle to get his hair cut. My sister Kit, his barber, had been waiting for him to come around since before Thanksgiving. We no longer want to force Philip by wrestling him down with a mob of relatives. We wanted him to come on his own free will, but it was starting to look like he was never going to come. Philip was looking like his favorite musicians, the Beatles of the 60s. I was beginning to think I was going to have to get used to the idea of having him look like the Beatles of the 70s.
I was determined we would have Philip’s hair cut in time for Christmas. We spent practically the whole of Dec. 23 coaxing Philip to get his hair cut and following him around the house. He kept spelling that he wanted his hair cut, but as he approached the stool in kitchen, he would suddenly turn around and bolt the opposite direction. We then tried to get him to sit comfortably anywhere, but if my sister approached him with the scissors, he suddenly got up and ran. Finally it was time for my sister to leave. About a half hour after Kit left that day, Philip started crying inconsolably. After he calmed down, I asked him why he was crying. “I am sad because I didn’t get my hair cut,” he spelled. I asked why he wouldn’t let Kit cut his hair. He explained, “I am scared I will lose control.” I realized that Philip had the desire to get his haircut, but for some reason, he became overly anxious and his body was rebelling against the idea of getting it done.
Today, we spent much of the day at my mom and dad’s house. Again we tried to get Philip’s haircut for the New Year. I even tried giving Philip Benadryl. Philip looked a bit drowsy 10 minutes after taking it but he still would not allow us to touch his hair. I was hoping Philip might fall asleep, but the effect of the Benadryl was very short-lived and he was back to his running and jumping self within 30 minutes. It was looking hopeless. By 5 o’clock, Philip was running laps around my parent’s staircases. They have 2 sets of stairs so he was literally doing loops. I tried to stop him on the stairs and coax him to sit on the stairs so Kit could cut his hair. Finally around 5:30, my sister gave a “last chance” warning because she had to get dinner ready. Even though Kit was patient through all of this, my patience was wearing thin and I was on the verge of yelling. I was about to get everyone ready to go home when finally Philip walked out to the kitchen stool all on his own. He sat down and my sister began cutting his hair as soon as she got the chance. I let Philip grab onto me for support. He was whimpering, but sitting mostly still. Kit and I encouraged him saying how well he was sitting and how proud we were for him overcoming his fear- because we really were! It took Kit quite awhile because Philip had so much hair, but finally she was done and Philip looked so handsome and happy!
Tonight after dinner, I asked Philip about getting his haircut.
Lisa (Me): Do you like to get your hair cut?
Philip: I like to get my hair cut bc (because) I want to look good.
L: What happens to you when it is time to get your haircut? Why is it so hard?
P: I get anxious bc I am scared of losing control of myself. I am scared to hurt myself by not sitting still.
L: What helps you not be as anxious?
P: It helps me when you let me sit in my own time.
L: How did you finally decide to sit and have your haircut?
P: I told myself to calm down and silently prayed to God.
L: Was there anything me and Auntie Kit did to help?
P: A lot of patience and love.
L: Anything we didn’t do well?
P (smiling, as if to say, “I'm so glad you asked”): I am sad when you keep yelling at me.
L: What can I do better in the future?
P: Let me come when I am ready.
L: I think I would still have to encourage you. How can I be more encouraging?
P: In each case, keep tons of stairs.
L: Huh? What do you mean?
P: My will to rest tons is broken by running stairs.
L: I still don’t get it.
P: It relaxes me to get my hair cut.
(Ahaa moment for me!)
L: How did it feel to get your hair cut?
P: It felt pressure (stressful) but I am happy I did it.
L: What do you think of your haircut?
P: I love it.
L: What do you want to say to Auntie Kit?
P: Thank you for cutting my hair. You did great each time you cut my hair. You are the best Aunt. So much love to you. Love, Philip.
So there you have it! A handsome haircut for Philip and a new lesson learned for me.
Kit cutting Philip's hair
See the resemblance! (Philip's favorite Beatle)