Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Tears but no fear:

Is a first hair cut also a time for children to grow and mature?
By Anita Bulan
Date: April 20 2013
Editor Rating:

There was quiet sobbing from the child sitting in the high barber’s chair;  obviously this was all a bit overwhelming for her. But there, on the floor, as clear as New York City tap water, lay a pile of golden locks. With that haircut, my daughter shed her infancy and was now a proper little girl.

Getting to this stage with Lucia, now three-and-a-half, was not easy.

Months of mornings spent arguing over how we’d brush her hair, who would brush her hair, which colour hair tie or headband she’d wear in her hair... there were many tears for both of us. But then, suddenly, my girly girl, my pink-and-purple loving daughter announced without hesitation that she wanted to cut her hair, “like a boy”.

And with that visit to the hairdresser — an infamous former punk rock 'salon' at Astor Place in Manhattan's East Village apparently frequented by 1980s’ 'celebrities' and also where my husband gets his hair cut — Lucia changed in front of our very eyes.

The tantrums stopped. The pointless whining and arguing were no longer. And she somehow revealed a ridiculously impressive vocabulary seemingly from thin air.

Is this what they refer to when mums talk of “the best years”? The child who cooperates, helps, is infinitely fascinated by everything her mama and baba do? Does this exciting, emotional (for me!) phase also gives me a glimpse of what she’s going to be like as a school-age child, which isn’t too far away?

Just this evening, while singing a song in Chinese (which she claims they have been learning at preschool), Lucia announced her class would be having a concert.

"We're learning all sorts of songs to sing at our graduation," she said. "You're going to come to that and watch me. Then I'm going to big school, Pre-K, with my friends."

I knew my girl was blossoming quickly, but really? This growing up business is something that THREE-YEAR-OLDS, maybe precocious Brooklynites, are discussing. I'm sure I missed a phase or two in there somewhere. Was it like this for my parents when I was growing up in Melbourne?

So, I'm a little torn. Yes, these stress-free moments are fabulous. But I'll be attending her first of hopefully many graduations soon, which can only mean Lucia is getting bigger and bigger and bigger every minute.

Will I look back on the difficult, whiny stages with longing?

What's next then?

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Sandra says: 2013 04 21

What’s next you ask. You will know when it hits you between the eyes. grin They do grow up very quickly, just try to live for each moment. xo.

Anita says: 2013 04 24

I know you’re right, Sandra. It just brings up such mixed feelings in me. I’m excited, anticipatory, expectant, but at the same time, sad that it goes by so quickly…

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