The Haircut

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Since they were wee babes, I've been cutting Archer and Fable's hair myself. Well, mostly. I don't know why I feel the need to do this. Perhaps it's because my mother cut my hair when I was little or maybe I think, because I'm capable of trimming my own hair I should be able to trim my kids' hair orrrrrrrr it could be, because I have control issues never trusted walk-in hairdressers. Or maybe it's simply because I'm delusional.

Whatever the reason may be, after dozens of terrible attempts at cutting Archer's hair through the years (and later going in to get it re-done) I decided, out of the blue, the other day, to cut Fable's hair. We were having breakfast, the two of us, when suddenly it became undeniably clear that growing her hair long was a terrible idea. Clearly she was a short-haired pixie of a thing. She needed a bob. And I would give it to her. Right then and there as she sat eating her toast at the breakfast table. I abandoned my coffee and went straight for the scissors. Diving in without so much as a pause to consider my decision.

At first I was proud of the job I did! Her bangs were perfect! Which made sense considering I've been trimming my bangs myself since high school. And even though the back of her 'do was kind of asymmetrical, it was funky! Fresh!
It wasn't until later in the day that I became more aware of the havok I had wreaked on Fable's poor head. She couldn't care less, of course, but I became obsessed with the mess I'd made, spending the remainder of the day pulling and mussing and flipping and pinning and trying to fix via styling what I had clearly effed up.
What was I thinking? Why did I cut her hair! It was *so close* to ponytail length and I blew it with a stupid idea that I HAD to act on immediately without thinking and it wasn't even MY hair it was HER hair and my poor child now must suffer because of my stupidity and what gives me the authority to think even for two seconds that I have any hair-cutting wherewithal whatsoever! I don't even have hair cutting scissors! Just Archer's paper scissors he uses for homework assignments! Ah!

I appoligized profusely to Fable but she loved her hair short. No more hair in her eyes. No more pigtails. It was low-maintenance and totally her. Whatever if it looked like someone cut her hair while blindfolded.
"Where'd you get your new hair?" a friend asked Fable, the day after I cut it. Clearly she was laughing on the inside.

"From me. I know, I know. But I'm going to fix it! You'll see! You'll see."

Except, I couldn't fix it myself. I tried. Made it worse than before. (You knew that was coming, right?) I cut it too short on one side. Too short in the back. Etc. Etc.

Finally I took a friend's advice and made a hair appointment at The Yellow Balloon on the other side of the hill. I made an appointment to get Fable's hair fixed and instead of trying to cut Archer's myself (again) I made an appointment for him as well. The woman who cut Fable's hair not only did a fantastic job at fixing what I had royally screwed up, but awarded Fable with hot pink sunglasses, a hair clip of her choosing (she chose pink, obviously) and sprinkled glitter all over her hair as a grand finale.
Fable was in HEAVEN and surprisingly so was I. Who knew a professional hairstylist could cut my kid's hair better than I could? I mean...

Sometimes I make myself crazy thinking I should be able do it all. Maybe because I have it in my head that my mom could. That she still can. But then I take a closer look at the pictures of me when I was a little kid and I see that (what do you know?) she couldn't cut hair for shit either.
my first-grade school picture

You know what they say, it takes a village to style a child. And to teach a parent when to step away from the scissors.



Desiree | 11:29 AM

Oh gosh, I love it. I can't even stand the thought of my daughter's hair being cut (she just turned 2 on Saturday!)

I actually snipped a TINY bit of her bangs the other day because they hung STRAIGHT down in to her little eyes.


Emily | 11:29 AM

Fable looks darling- but so grown up all of a sudden!

I cut my own hair, badly, and my boyfriend's, haphazardly. I was talking to my aunt this weekend about how to get my daughter to hold still for her first haircut and she advised me (eyeing my crooked bangs) that the experience of being at the hair salon quells them into immobility.

I have a feeling I'll still end up doing it myself and regretting it.

Erin Riley | 11:34 AM

Whatever the process, the outcome is great. The bangs suit her! I have always had bangs - every now and again I make a weak attempt at growing out my bangs, but then I realize that I shouldn't fight my true nature.

Amanda | 11:35 AM

Last spring I let my mom give my son a buzz cut and it turned out SO awful! Too short. So short that it's only now, 8+ months later, time for the next haircut. I'm at a loss about what to do, the last time I was so guilt ridden afterwards. Fable looks adorable! If we were in LA I'd definitely be giving The Yellow Balloon a try.

Amelia Sprout | 11:37 AM

Awwww... My grandmother got frustrated with my curls when I was little and gave me a horrid hair cut. My mom never forgave her. Because of that experience, I always take M in to the professionals. Those women can work magic.

Glenda | 11:42 AM

I think all mothers do the same thing. My mom did it to me; I did it to my daughter. I cut my own bangs in HS. I trimmed my daughters ends and gave her bangs. Not as fancy as you with the bob lol... When my daughter was 2 1/2 I took her for her first haircut and she got the bob too! I took her so that the hairdresser can even it all out from the stray baby hair and I can let it grow one length. Needless to say, I trimmed her ends until she got her 2nd professional haircut at 14. YUP! Fun!!!

Kimmy | 11:42 AM

My mom used to cut my bangs all the time & I knew that she did a horrible job. Last year I decided that I wanted shorter bangs & since I didn't want to go to a hair stylist just for that. I wore my bangs twist back in clips after the horrible job I did & when it was time for an all over new hair style, I had to suck it up & admit to my stylist that I attempted to cut my bangs myself. I don't know what made me think I could do it! lol

Sarah Y | 11:43 AM

I cut my daughter's hair on a whim, wet and upside down and ridiculously, laughably terribly. And I did it right before my mom-in-law had surgery so we spent a LOT of time in the hospital with the whole family right after her terrible, bang-up bad bang trim. I don't cut it anymore.

Kudos for bringing in a professional.

SoMo | 11:43 AM

I love her haircut.

Yeah, been there, done that. I figured with a boy all I needed was a set of clippers. I thought I did okay, until my husband asked if our son was sick. Now, I suck it up and take him to Wonder Cuts.

I did however cut my 18 mos old's hair, because I just couldn't take the mullet, anymore. Not so bad.

colette | 11:44 AM

OMG I love it! She has beautiful hair for a bob style. She looks like a little Clara Bow!!!!

Very chic and stylish for the playground :)

TKTC | 11:54 AM

She is stylin. Straight up. That's fantastic and I love the glitter hair treat- brilliant.

Chelsea | 12:00 PM

her short hair SO cute!

*your 1st grade pic made me laugh. I needed a good laugh today! Thank you!


Right? The glitter in the hair was GENIUS! Totally going to buy some glitter and rock that shit myself.

Colette - I was thinking more Louise Brooks, no?

Beth | 12:10 PM

Wow I just went through this same thing. I think for me it was that haircuts are for kids not babies. I had done a few trims and I didn't think it was so bad, until I saw the pictures. Fable looks adorable (both before and after)

Unknown | 12:19 PM

That's funny. If I ever have a daughter I've sworn not to cut her hair -- because of my mom's haircuts. I love the woman dearly, but she made me look like a Romulan.

My son, on the other hand, insists on buzzcuts, which I can handle. My husband has me shave his head. They both go around saying I "do the haircuts." I guess I'll take it.

Love the glitter.

Erica | 12:23 PM

Oh wow - your first grade hair cut, so awesome. My mom cut our hair when we were growing up too - and I've been letting her cut my daughter's, haven't been bold enough to try it myself. The fact that you tried a bob - it's so great. Very funny post.

Meghan Elaine | 12:42 PM

I love it! I just ruined my son's hair. I have to bite my tongue and not call him Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber. Fable's looks so cute!

Betsy | 12:52 PM

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! I love this. That first grade photo! Ha! (at least you didn't look like Ralph Machio, like me!)

L.L. | 12:56 PM

My son is a ways away from needing his first haircut. I'd say its because he is only 8 months but I know several babies younger than he that have already had their first cuts. I am right there with you though, I just KNOW I will give him his first cut myself even though I know d*ck about hair cutting and my mom cut mine and I have the basically the same photo you posted - where my bangs were diagonal. I hope there is a salon as cool as the one you went to for me to inevitably go to to fix it!

Abi | 1:14 PM

I cut my kids' hair. My daughter has curls, so they hide all my asymmetrical mistakes. My son gets a buzz cut in the bathtub (easy clean up!). I use my husband's old trimmers, pop in a #2 guard and buzz away.


Confession: I got my hair cut at Yellow Balloon until I was 15. (Yes, really.) Thanks for making me homesick in an OK-sort-of-way.

~ Noelle

Unknown | 2:15 PM

Fable's new cut is badass. It makes her look even more like herself, however that's possible.

I did a pretty good job on Bea's hair the other day (after trying to remember the name of the Yellow Balloon, not being able to, then giving up and doing it myself), but a few weeks ago I decimated my own bangs. And wouldn't you know that I pull a number like that on my bangs at the same time that I'm in the throes of postpartum hair loss and bad skin? I wish I could close my eyes and land three months into the future.

Maegan | 2:18 PM

Ya know...I have ALWAYS hated pictures of my childhood hair. I keep going...Didn't my mom SEE THIS? Did she do it as some kind of punishment for a crime I don't remember. It must have been a REALLY bad crime! Then I thought maybe I was one of those kids that tried to do it themselves...but I asked my mom, "No, I always cut your hair!" She smiled. SHE THOUGHT IT WAS GOOD! I was apalled!

I take my children to my stylist. She does it for free b/c we're practically related (she grew up with my husband and bought my FILs salon when he retired - her hair mentor).

My kids also have an awful's worse on the oldest, so I NEVER cut her hair myself...but my mom tried to cut her bangs once ("because I kept telling you they needed to be cut & the poor child couldn't see!") and cut from ear to ear one day while I was at work. And it was like an inch above her eyebrows! When it grew out, we got her a little page boy cut...and it was ADORABLE. She's older now & likes it's been growing out from the last shorter style I forced on her last summer.

Anywho...I don't cut. I do cut the younger child's bangs...b/c I can do that well. Cosmo taught me.

Amanda | 3:05 PM

I can't blame you! If I had a daughter I would have totally attempted a bob on her ass as soon as I could!

Fable looks adorable! A little Louise Brooks for sure!

Liz | 3:18 PM

That's the cutest little bob on Fable! It suits her so well.

And my kiddo is getting to be in need of a haircut. I'm nervous about it and I've just been letting it get to be more and more of a mullet. I suppose I should bite the bullet and take him to someone...

Rebecca | 3:29 PM

She looks so French! I love it!

Sabrina | 3:52 PM

Fable is adorable, hands down. Both your hair cut and the fancy hairdresser one! LOVE!

CKB | 4:06 PM

As a mother AND a hairdresser, this post had me laughing out loud. Thank you! And also, thank you for the 1st grade picture. You made my day!

oh, jenny mae | 4:15 PM

her hair is adorbs. i can't cut my little one's hair. it's so close to being all the same length in a too cute bob-with-no-bangs. maybe i'll get the nerve to have her styled by my gal.

Shauna | 4:17 PM

Oh no, you did nothing wrong. It is a RIGHT of passage as a mother to a daughter that you screw up her hair, bonus points if it's crooked bangs! Me and my sisters all have school pictures like yours with the crooked bangs. I seriously don't know how my mom didn't laugh sending me off to school like that, but I'm pretty sure every mom does it at one point :)
PS That hairstyle is MADE for Fable. She looks DARLING!

Red Stethoscope | 4:34 PM

I think she looks absolutely adorable with her new do! And I agree that it's easier to cut one's own hair than others'. This fact is noted for when I have children. :)

abigail | 5:07 PM

fable's haircut looks perfect on her. how did archer's turn out?

Adrianne | 5:14 PM

I freaking love her cut! You might not have been able to accomplish the actual cut yourself, but you recognized that she needed a bob! And were you ever right!! She looks adorable:)Well done, I say!

Anonymous | 5:25 PM

best. post. ever.

princess lasertron | 5:49 PM

that kills me. I love that bob haircut on little girls! fable is so beautiful. :)

laura | 7:38 PM

Hi Rebecca,
I've been lurking for a long time, and I think I've only commented once (on one of your mom's recipes - I'm a fellow veg-head). I just wanted to say that I thought this post was one of your most touching that I have ever read - even brought me to tears! It seemed like one of your typical thoughtful posts, until I got to the part about thinking that your mother could do it all, so you should be able to as well - this is something I think about alot - I'm currently getting a PhD, and often think I need to have it all or do it all perfectly to be successful, even the little things like cutting hair or setting up a baby gate;) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with the world!

Anonymous | 7:45 PM

Ahhh, the whole haircut thing is stressful. My little guy (17 mos.) finally has a decent amount of hair, but it's stick straight. What the heck - I have naturally curly hair (which, of course, I straighten with a hairdryer) and my husband's hair is unrepentantly straight - I thought curly hair was the dominant trait?! I'm too nervous to cut my son's hair myself since I know any little mis-cut will show so obviously because all it does is hang straight down. Ugh. I get family criticism for taking him (i.e., paying for him) to get a haircut. Too bad - they do a great job, and he looks so much cuter than anything I could produce. Anyway - just wanted to say, I can completely relate to the whole "I suddenly have an idea which I think is great, I must act immediately!" thing. I do it all the time. In fact, it led me to cut my younger brother's hair when we were little -- not a good result!! You rock, Fable was cool with it - no worries!

PS - my first time posting (anywhere!). Read your book as a new mom and it was wonderful and helped instill confidence to raise my child as I see fit, without the need to try to fit in with what all the "cool" moms are doing. I love how you are not afraid to admit your shortcomings -- you are an inspiration. Ok, enough of the lovey lovey comments. Rock on...

avb | 8:15 PM

Your instincts were right, Fable is SUCH a pixie-cut child! Adorable! xo

Polly | 8:39 PM

That just made my day.

Heather | 10:02 PM

She looks very Amelie to me.

Marisa | 10:04 PM

This sounds very familiar. :-) I'm letting him grow it out a little bit. Poor baby!

J.J. | 10:13 PM

Sorry this is not at all in line with this particular blog post, I just don't know how to contact you and I am too excited to hunt around:

I NOMINATED YOU FOR A BLOGGIE AND YOU'RE IN THE FINALS! ...clearly I am not the only one to nominate you. I am just really excited!


What!??? Seriously?

Becka Robinson | 10:25 PM

Now I kind of want my stylist to sprinkle glitter on my head. :)

Mama | 10:41 PM

I'm still traumatized (at 37) from my father butchering my bangs every. single. year. of elementary and middle school. I made him stop when I was in high school.

First time I buzzed my son's head, he looked like he went through chemo. I cried for weeks. His dad cuts his hair now (I stay away).

He gives him Dumb and Dumber bangs though. God that poor kid. I feel his pain.

Love love love Fable's hair. Before and after =0)

Amanda | 10:43 PM

When my twins were little and the spiky haired punk's hair was getting ridiculously long, I let my husband and father-in-law cut his hair with a set of dog clippers. It was a horrible mistake. We took him to the barber shop the next day to get it fixed and he looked so much better. They've been going to the barber for 5 years now and my husband and FIL haven't mentioned trying to cut their hair again!

Your daughter's hair is adorable! I love the glitter!

Sydney | 4:23 AM

Fable is made for a pixie girl bob. Looks fabulous.

Rebecca | 4:58 AM

Also, I would like it if someone sprinkled glitter in my hair after I got a haircut.

jen | 7:39 AM

Not to do with the haircut topic, but I'm watching Lucky's biggest obsessions show on Style and just saw Fable and Hank as a Do / Don't for wearing Crocs! (Fable was the Do, by the way.)

Alex | 8:00 AM

She looks so adorable. She definitely is a pixie cut girl

I cut my own hair once at like 13. I wanted to give myself bangs but my mom said no. Then I realized that they were way to short and my mom would notice and be pissed so I thought "cut em off" yeah that left me with a bald spot. I was so embarrassed!

Anonymous | 8:32 AM

I've been cutting my own hair since I was 13, so for 11 years now. Now I'm responsible for my brother's hair, my husband's hair, my mom's hair, my dad's hair and occasionally a few other people. However! I don't think I've got the chops to cut a kid's hair. They move so much!

Maybe I'm just scared because I cut my friend's hair...when I was 2. Yikes...

Jo | 9:03 AM

she. looks. perfect. like a mini Audrey Tatou

Unknown | 9:27 AM

Oh, how I can relate to this and my boy is only 2! A nice little trim very quickly turned into a buzz cut that made me hyperventilate about losing my baby to the clippers.

Fable looks absolutely precious and the bob so suits her -- very Madeline. And that 1st grade photo of you is hilarious. I think we need to see more kid photos of you.

Molly | 9:31 AM

I love her pixie bob! OMG!

Unknown | 10:31 AM

OMG - I was so cracking up about this because my husband will not take our son to the barbershop. Now E's hair only grows a millimeter every two months, but still I think it's time for dad to put down the scissors and take the little guy to the barber.

LOVE Fable's bob...I have a bob too and LOVE it!

findingmagnolia | 11:22 AM

I love it! And the photos of you are priceless! I once cut the hair of a little girl I nannied, and I'm surprised that I not only kept the job, but no one said anything negative about my horrible haircutting skills. I wish I had a photo to share because it would make your cut on Fable look like the best haircut ever.

Katie | 2:58 PM

I love her hair! It suites her perfect!

Tam | 3:24 PM

"It takes a village to style a child."
Ahhhh, I'll be laughing at that one for some time to come.

pearmama | 8:29 PM

Miss Fable, I am loving your hurrrr girl! Totally perfect for her little face. I feel you, mama, on wanting to "do it all". My kids have had their fair share of jacked up haircuts by me. But daaaang, at least I use shears from Sally's and not their school craft bin! LOL

Anonymous | 8:45 PM

I love it, I just had a similar conversation with myself a few weeks ago. Looking at my own jacked up haircuts as a kid, I splurged on the $9 and had a professional cut my daughters bangs.


Thanks, guys! Totally loving on her new 'do, myself.

J.J. | 9:31 PM

1. I love Fable's cut. ...So much that I want to get mine done that darling bob now!

2. I laughed my ass off seeing your crazy bangs from your mom. I have a photo of me and my two sisters and we ALL looked like we had mullets because our hair is soooo straight that mom would keep on cutting more and more bangs until our 'bangs' came from the top of our heads, and our hairs looked like mullets :( otherwise we were darling little girls!

3. (I WAS SOOOOOOO EXCITED last night when I saw you are a bloggie finalist! I know I am an uber dork, but I really love reading your blog and it made me so happy to see you as a nominee!)

4. Uhhh... if you win a lifetime blogger award, it doesn't mean you're done blogging. ...You've got at LEAST 40 more years in ya... I just know it!

colette | 6:05 AM

YES! A perfect little Louise Brooks.

Love it :) And I must say a tough hairstyle to pull off but Fable rocking it "playground retro-glam!"

Anonymous | 12:53 PM

Love the haircut style, please let a pro finish it though! I wanted to do the same to my kids in the summer, they wound up with aweful hair, good for us grandmas is an ex-hairdresser!

Estelle Hayes | 1:11 PM

Fable looks adorable with her new do. Love that the stylist sprinkled glitter in her hair. I'm still bitter over a haircut my mom gave me the night before 2nd grade photos. Talk about trauma and drama over hair. And I'm almost 37.

BonJoey | 2:24 PM

I read through your other comments, and yes, she looks SO FRENCH!!! C'est magnifique! Exactly a like a little (blonde) Amelie! All she needs is some Breton stripes to complete her French look! Love it. And it IS a hard haircut to pull off, at that - you have to have just the right face shape and features, and let's just say that Fable was MADE for this haircut! You did the right thing ;)

I, personally, have never attempted to cut my son, Vaughn's hair. But I'm also the kind of person who will deal with bangs in my eyes until I make it to my stylist rather than attempt to trim them myself. I just know doing either would be a terrible mistake.
So I'm growing Vaughn's hair out long now, with the help of my stylist (I've always taken him to MY hairstylist b/c I don't trust the cheapy places either!) But I question my decision to do so all the time, wondering whether or not I should just have it chopped off, or if having long hair really suits him...Le sigh. Hey maybe you can tell me what you think? You have impeccable taste! I just friended you on FB after years of following your blog! (I don't know why this only occured to me the other day...)
cut or don't cut?

Jessica Besnard | 5:01 AM

Fable looks adorable. Don't give up cutting her hair just yet. Now that her hair has a shape to it you can trim it from now on, just following the line's the hairdresser has made. My Mum's a hairdresser and once she has cut my son's hair I just simply follow the lines she has already cut.

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB | 6:26 AM

Lovely. That's what Little Miss Kickboxer will get, just of the curly variety. Of course, her hair is still stuck in little baby mode, with a curl here and a wisp there ... and she's only a couple months younger than Fable. Ah well ...

Sarah | 1:58 PM

adorable. adorable. adorable.

Anonymous | 3:02 PM

That first picture looks like she's rocking out on air-guitar!

Nifty Thrifty Me! | 12:27 PM

Holy cow! I have been in your shoes! However, only once did I allow my oldest daughter to con me into cutting her hair. The results, disastrous! Never again. I don't care if my mom did cut ours, I am not a hair stylist!

Sascha | 6:45 PM

OMG the Yellow Balloon on the other side of the hill. I got my hair cut there as a child (we lived on the "hill"). I can't believe it's still there. Thanks for the memories.