Tough Like a Teenager

by Stefani on 28-October-2008

We were going to get haircuts, and I knew precisely where it would lead. 

More begging from my smallest… 

"Please???? Please can I have a buzz? PLEASE?"

He said he only wanted hair "this big."

This Much

But then "this big" got smaller and smaller. 

When my older two where his age, they wanted long hair, "like surfers." And I was totally down with that. It was easy to let them do their own hair thing, because I liked it. 

It's a lot harder to say yes to their choices when they aren't the ones that you would make for them. 

But…. there's nothing morally wrong, irreversible, damaging or inherently "bad" about buzzing one's hair, and it is, after all, only hair. 

Add to that the fact that this is my kid who has to feel like he's being given freedoms and choices, or he will demonstrate his own power in ways that are usually not so beneficial to himself or those around him. 

To me, it was the loss of the last vestiges of his baby-ness, which really aren't mine to keep. To him,it was the power to make a big decision for himself. 


I stood by, and I told him how handsome he looked while all his precious hair fell to the ground. 

And when he left the room. I cried my eyes out. 

He just looks. so. big. 

I don't care for that much. 

On the other hand, I do enjoy the pride and confidence that just shines through when he says, grinning, with all his might, "mama, don't I look tough like a teenager?"

Oh boy. 

All the Better To Kiss Your Neck

The good news is, his little squishy baby neck is a lot more accessible for mama's smooching 🙂
Toni October 28, 2008 at 6:12 am

As you might have noticed I am all for the buzz! William begs to get his hair buzzed. As soon as it touches his ears he is begging for his “long” hair to get cut.
I think your son looks adorable with his hair buzzed. He may opt out of doing it again if he doesn’t like everyone rubbing his head. 😛

Melissa Healy October 28, 2008 at 6:20 am

Oh I know how you feel! I love their hair long! My son has only ever had his hair really short once and he is 15 now! I didn’t recognize him with it so short. I think I like it long because all the boys I grew up had long hair- I am dating myself bad… Your son still looks like a cute little boy- he still has the baby chub that I love so much! It grows super fast too- by Feb you will have some of that length back.

Kelly October 28, 2008 at 6:21 am

smooch away mama 🙂 i remember this well with my boys too ~ wonderfully put.

Crystal October 28, 2008 at 6:21 am

What a change! He does look so big now.

Hubby takes my son for haircuts with him. They come back shaved and short every two weeks. My sweet baby looks so grown up everytime. Sigh. When hubby deploys, I do let it get a bit longer. I don’t know if it is out of laziness to get him to the barber or holding on to his weeness just a bit longer.

Your boy looks great with his new do. 🙂

Jennifer October 28, 2008 at 6:22 am

I know just what you mean. Cried my eyes out too (privately) when my son went with a short cut.

Who knew hair would have such a strong sentimental attachment?

Natalie October 28, 2008 at 6:24 am

Oh these rites of passage… so difficult… for the mamas! He does still look adorable!

katharine October 28, 2008 at 6:25 am

I grew up in a house with four girls and we were literally forbidden to cut our hair. My father cut his in the late seventies to get a job he wanted and had never forgiven himself. I thought he was nuts. As soon as I could after leaving his house I cut my hair super short. I hated it.

Now that I have kids (two girls, one boy) I hope they never cut their hair. It’s stupid and silly but when my oldest first discovered that she could take scissors to her own hair I cried and cried. I thought ‘I made that hair and now it’s gone’. I know it grows back and I know it’s just hair but I’m holding my breath that they never ask to cut it.

You’re a brave Mama in my books.

Sarah Jackson October 28, 2008 at 6:36 am

Wow!!! You’re right mama – it grows back. And even if it doesn’t because he like it short, he’ll look handsome and be your baby all the same.

waldorfmama October 28, 2008 at 6:36 am

ah yes, a rite of passage. for both mama and son. 🙂 he looks adorable. and there is definitely easier access to that sweet smoochable neck. 🙂

amylouwho October 28, 2008 at 6:42 am

what a sweet boy. I don’t want to cut my 9 month old’s hair either. . .

and what is it with Baby Necks!? So irresistible.

Lynn October 28, 2008 at 7:05 am

We too, have been through buzz cuts, and long hair with my boys. They both had longish unruly hair in middle school. My oldest, a high school senior, now has a very long pony tail. His hair is so pretty. I am used to it now and can’t imagine him with shorter hair. It is hard yet rewarding and surprising to watch them grow and make their own choices. My choices would not “fit” on them now. I too, learned to pick my battles.

Good for you, and that is such a cute little neck.

Jen October 28, 2008 at 7:43 am

Oh my! Can that be the littlest? I have to say, he looks YOUNGER to me, those adorable little cheeks! He’s too cute, either way.

tara pollard pakosta October 28, 2008 at 7:44 am

oh man!
he looks so much older~!!
but good for you letting him do it!

amanda o October 28, 2008 at 8:51 am

oh my…i would have cried too. they grow up so fast!

Katie October 28, 2008 at 8:56 am

Oh the joys of motherhood.


Alicia A. October 28, 2008 at 9:19 am

you’re a good mama.

Amy October 28, 2008 at 9:31 am

It’s hard to let go always – but you’re doing something right if he’s got the desire to do his own thing.

Baba October 28, 2008 at 9:33 am

Oh he’s a cutie. We all have these milestones in mommyhood. I remember how hard it was for me to let my children play outside by themselves for the first time. Or walk to the school bus by themselves. So scary for mom and yet so life sustaining/confidence building these moments for our babies.

natasha s October 28, 2008 at 9:49 am

Oh I feel for you,I do.
I wrote about a very similar experience here

I too cried my eyes out.But you are right.Giving them choices,letting them know that we are listening to them and that their opinions and choices matter.It is very important.Griff’s hair is growing out now and unless he asks,it won’t be cut again!!


elissa Finger October 28, 2008 at 9:51 am

oh my, they do look bigger after a haircut don’t they… truth be told though, all the teenagers around here seem to have the 70s shag going, so maybe this is the new way to look like a little boy! 🙂 (and he does look darling, btw)

MatschMomma October 28, 2008 at 10:24 am

Oh Momma! I hear ya. My youngest wants short short hair and if he doesn’t get it he trims it himself in the most awful ways. Sigh. I keep holding on to my ‘baby’ too… he does look yummy and kissable tho!

Amber October 28, 2008 at 11:00 am

I know what you mean – anytime we go for a haircut they always come away looking older than just a few seconds before – why is that?
Just think how much easier the hair washing will be now 🙂

Cynthia October 28, 2008 at 12:07 pm

What a brave mama you were. I’d have bawled my eyes out too. He looks adorable. 🙂

Leslie October 28, 2008 at 12:09 pm

it is so hard to lose the baby hair and see them look big

Mama Urchin October 28, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I’m not sure I could do it. Thankfully, Tristan likes the wind to blow his hair so I don’t think he’ll be going short anytime soon.

Qalballah October 28, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Oh that plucked a heartstring – he’s adorable in that last photo. He doesn’t look a bit like a teenager! Teenager aren’t that damn cute – look at those cheeeeeeks. He’s an ickle ball of puppy fat still. But I remember when I gave my youngest a buzz cut *sigh* oh well it can grow back and looking mean and hard in my neighbourhood has it’s advantags;-)But those cheeeeeeeks *grabs cheek and says ‘give granny a kiss then’* Kids are so bitable at this age aren’t they…

Diane October 28, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Oh my… Funny how we all feel this way, eh? My boy had sweet sweet blonde curls down his back and then he wanted it cut when he was three. So eventually I cut it and I cried. And cried. He looked so old! Those golden curly locks! *sigh* But I think you’re on to something — just stay focused on that exposed babyliciousness of his neck!! : )

Karen October 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Hi there. I love the top photo of this post, and you use this technique a lot: focusing on something (the fingers) while the background (boy) is just a bit out of focus. I love the look of it. I recently lost my camera, and was never able to create this same effect myself, so I’m wondering 1) how you do it and 2) what kind of camera you have? Thanks!

mommymae October 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm

if my curly-headed light-haired boy wants to cut his locks off, i will surely cry. i feel for you.

Angela October 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I know I will cry when my day comes too…but I’ll bet it feels velvety soft when you rub his little head!
PS–I have always admired your boys’ hair…you’ve got such a handsome brood!

Linn from Australia October 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Aw, definitely a sad mumma moment!

melissa s. October 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm

what a sweetie. he looks adorable — oops, I mean very teenager-ly 🙂
I cried the other day when i realized my little girl is starting to lose her chubby little wrist rolls.

Ellie - Petalplum October 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm

I know how you feel. Here’s the blogpost of my biggest boy having his hair snipped off. Loosing my baby. I think he really did grow up in those few moments of being whizzed.

Isn’t it funny how little things, like having hair cuts, are such a big deal for all.

Molly October 28, 2008 at 5:49 pm

oh … i don’t know … i think he still looks mighty small. But, I do know what you mean – my 3YO seems so big to me as well.

MadWomanMeg October 28, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I did the same thing when CJ got a buzz cut. I bawled. Hard. All his beautiful long curls disappeared, and there was this “big boy” in his place.

Smooch the neck extra times momma….no more hair in the way.

Total Transformation October 28, 2008 at 7:47 pm

My son is 13 now. For the past 4 years he has changed his mind from, “Mom, I don’t need my hair cut!” ( as I peer through bangs down to his chin) to “Ok Mom. I want it all buzzed off!” I never know what he’s going to do with it next. All I can do is try and keep a path cleared so he can see lol

FreshMD October 28, 2008 at 9:03 pm

I love it! I think he looks younger. Maybe it’s the round, soft cheeks and neck on that second picture.

I always feel a little pang when I cut my (7-, 4- and 2-year-old) kids’ hair. Most of their growing up is so gradual, that the sudden change of a haircut really strikes you.

Lori October 28, 2008 at 9:15 pm

oh my. jack insisted on a buzz cut last year. i cried like a baby. it finally grew out and he decided it looks better long. whew! ;^)

YayaOrchid October 28, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Aww…look at those cute baby cheeks and pug nose! Funny how they are in such a hurry to grow up, when all we as Mommas want is a little more time to cuddle them and protect them. Great post!

Dallas October 28, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Hehe, just yesterday I read a similar post from another mama – He still looks like a cutie.

Jennifer October 28, 2008 at 10:08 pm

My son has gone through that, too. I miss his baby curls, but I don’t want to squelch his emerging personality. You did the right thing, as hard as it is.

Gretchen Skovron October 29, 2008 at 5:31 am

Oh can’t they stay babies for just a little whole longer. Longing to be teens already??!?! Not ready for that. I want to cuddle them for a few more years. My oldest who is 5 wipes kisses off now…breaks a mamas heart.

lora October 29, 2008 at 6:15 am

oh you poor thing! I love the first picture of his “this short”. =) so sweet and a great photo for the story.
A great big hug from all mamas, who know all too well how tough it is to cut those precious little strings one by one.
You did good. =)

Casey October 29, 2008 at 6:51 am

Oh, you should’ve seen his face when he came over the other day, striding up the walk in his buzz cut and his cowboy boots. Sage and I asked him if he was R’s older cousin or something, and he just beamed.

Ansley October 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm

ah, i do love his long hair….very sweet

Anne October 29, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Just keep focusing on the baby neck. Why do they have to grow up?

erin October 30, 2008 at 4:10 am

you are a great mom for letting him do that. he looks really cute.

molly October 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

oh my goodness, I was just waiting and waiting and waiting for the next picture. oh baby! you’re a good momma…

and he definitely still has some baby neck rolls to smooch. definitely. 🙂

asnipofgoodness October 31, 2008 at 11:22 am

You are so right, it is so much easier when their choices agree with ours….and you were also right when you said it is only hair….it is so hard to let them grow up, isn’t it???

Amber November 1, 2008 at 4:30 am

Oh, I’m *so* feeling you!
My littlest guy just had his first haircut (at almost 3!) and I was fighting back the tears.
Ahhhh, mama’s. We’re sentimental souls 😉

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