My Daughter Is Turning Me Into a Hippie

haircut-hippielainIf there’s been one surprise about parenthood – and it really shouldn’t have been a surprise, and there’s been more than one – it’s that it makes things more complicated. Every day things. I have had to re-learn how I do things I used to do without having to think about it. Before, if I wanted to do laundry, I would simply sit down, turn on the TV, sort clothes, and get started. Now I have to do it in bits and pieces while the baby is asleep or while Clancy is feeding her or otherwise taking care of her. This has turned into a big deal when, as the baby sleeps, it’s also been my job to move from the old house to the new.

One thing I haven’t really figured out was getting a haircut. Haircuts have never been simple in Callie. There is one barber, he doesn’t take reservations, and every time I go in there he’s “booked.” So I’ve been getting my haircut while taking trips to Redstone. I can’t leave the baby with Clancy while I drive an hour each way, though.

My hair has been cut only once since she was born. Back in Colosse, when I had parents looking after Lain. That was four months ago. I’m due.

I’ve not actually grown my hair out since I worked for Mindstorm in Cascadia. At the time, I figured, “Hey, this is an employer that doesn’t care if I look professional or not. Why not take advantage of it and grow my hair out?” It didn’t last because it felt like I was operating behind my station in life. Long hair is for the young and carefree. I was a thirty-n-change aged professional. It lacked what I personally consider to be age-appropriateness*.

This would go doubly for parenthood, which is another phase in life and one where I would consider shaggy hair to be even more inappropriate. Yet shaggy my hair has become. And I don’t get to shower every day like I used to. Or I don’t get around to it. I have less excuse there, I just need to re-learn when to shower (basically doing so at night instead of in the morning). Because I shave in the shower, my facial hair has grown into more than just a stubble. Besides, if my hair is shaggy, why bother with my face? I’m already a hippie freak. Grooming is less a priority than it was before more generally.

haircut-hairNone of this is as it is supposed to be. But a broader lessen hear is that parenthood doesn’t give my vanity all that much time. If I have spit-up on my shirt, I have spit-up on my shirt. The pee stain was where I drew the line (though I’m really glad it was on me and not the sofa!).

I plan to fix the hair thing next week. Clancy has an appointment in Summit and I will be driving her. After her appointments, we find a discreet place to park so that she can breastfeed. This used to be dead time, but lately we have been parking in some shopping place’s parking lot so I can go in and shop while she feeds the baby. So this is how I am going to get my hair cut, I think. I will park in the Walmart parking lot, go in and get my haircut. She’ll likely finish before I am done and so she will shop.

Which, to me, has always been the primary greatness of Walmart. It’s never been about the prices. It’s been about the collapsing of multiple things into one thing. I’ve not historically gotten my hair cut there, because Great Clips has my preferred haircut on file. But I’ve got a baby now, and vanity is the first thing to go.

* – Of those, this day in age, age doesn’t mean what it used to. The notion of age-appropriate isn’t what it used to be. This is a tide with which I do not roll. Consider it a character flaw, if you like.

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. I’ve gone the other way. I had my hair long for about two years, starting to grow it out once I started the new job up in New York. This was the third such time I’ve grown it long since experimenting with the look in my mid-20’s. And I mean it was long… shoulder-length long… rock star long… Nob Akimoto long. I cut it about a month before the baby came, in part because I was potentially conducting a job search but also because I knew I wouldn’t have the time I needed to manage it. Not that I did much to it, but it still took about 10 minutes in the morning to wet it and run a comb through it and showers were an extra 5 minutes even if I wasn’t shampooing. I didn’t know if I would have that 15 minutes (or more)… so gone is the hair.

    As for the beard, I had no plans to do anything with it other than what I normally do, which is to let it grow to the point of looking absurdly scruffy and then do a quick trim… a process I repeat every couple months or so (thank goodness for having the facial hair follicles of a 17-year-old). It’s not even that long right now, but Zazzy insists that every time I kiss Mayonnaise (which is often), my hair is stabbing him in his little eye. I think she is exaggerating, but since I can’t see, I have to concede this one. As such, the beard will be much more finely tuned.

    I’m not yet 30, but have already sold out for this frickin’ kid.

    • I had a scruffy beard when our daughter was a baby, and she loved it. As soon as she could control where her hands went she started touching it.

      I know my mother cut her very long hair not too long after I was born, because I would tangle my hands in it and pull. The family story goes that when she came to pick me up after getting her hair cut, I started screaming and didn’t want her anywhere near me for a long while.

    • When I was a kid, I hated that my dad had a beard. I don’t know if I enjoyed it like Boegiboe’s daughter when I was a baby, but as a young child it was scratchy when my dad kissed me. It made me want to kiss him less.

  2. One problem with my (sorta) chosen profession has turned out to be getting haircuts. There are exactly two barbers in my town. One has normal hours but the dude’s a staunch Tea-publican, which wouldn’t really matter much except he views the chair-time as on opportunity to wax stupidly political to a captive audience. We got into it once a couple of years ago and now I refuse to give him my business. The other guy is nice but his hours suck: Tues and Thurs from 4 to 8 pm and then Saturday morning. Combine those hours with my available time and it can be months between cuts.

    So back in the fall of 2011 my wife was diagnosed with cancer. She started chemo in December of that year and when her hair started to fall out, in a gesture of marital solidarity, I shaved my head. Actually we went to a barber and did it together because she was sick of hers falling out in the shower and leaving clumps on the pillow. Then when she was done with chemo I just stopped shaving it and let it grow back. Months went by and I could never get into my barber and it eventually got pretty shaggy–literally the same length all over.

    Well it turns out that she prefers the chrome dome to graying with a bald spot so now I’ve shaved it again. I can give myself a haircut in the shower now. Weird thing about a chome-dome is that it always feels like your hair–the hair that is no longer there–is wet, like you just came out of the shower into a cold room.

  3. Side note, on –>The notion of age-appropriate isn’t what it used to be.

    Back before Christmas, my older daughter brought home a Victoria’s Secret catalog. Apparently she got it in the mail addressed to the previous resident or something. So it was laying around and I picked it up and was, quite frankly, engaged in a bit of casual perving when my eight-year old comes up behind me, sees the catalog in my hand, and announces that, it “isn’t appropriate for men of your age.”

    After I got done laughing my a** off I had to admit she was absolutely correct.

    • Dude! Were you looking at the 13 year olds in that catalog?!

        • So, as I heard it, it’s a “New York Thing” Aka us outside of there don’t understand what the hell is going on. But somebody’s putting the clothes on 13yearolds.

          • Did you even read the link? Just because teenagers might be buying the clothes doesn’t mean they are in the catalogues. That isn’t how catalogues work. They don’t take user submissions. Geez.

      • It’s my turn, Kimmi. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

        No, I wasn’t looking at 13-yr olds. That isn’t in the catalog. Adult women wearing… not so much, yes. But jail-bait? No.

  4. You mean you don’t sit around eating bonbons all day? That parenting a baby is so much work that it’s hard to even squeeze in time for a shower?

    Will, I adore this post. Thank you for writing it.

    • Hmmm…

      Are Zazzy and I doing it wrong? We’ve each showered each day we’ve been home. We had dinner together last night. We’ll probably be able to watch a movie today. Mayonnaise is pretty chill. Both of us being home is a real boon. When I go back to school in two weeks, we’ll see how things change.

      • Seriously? When they’re really little is the easiest phase of parenting. Prime time is those six months or so between when the critter starts sleeping through the night until he/she starts learning to walk. After that it’s like a full-time drunk watch keeping the kid from killing his/herself.

        • Once the kid hits 2.5 or 3, he’ll be in my wheelhouse, so presumably I can put my expertise to good use. Right now, newbornhood and infancy and toddlerdom* are uncharted waters for both Zazzy and I, but so far, so good.

          * When telling my students about Mrs. Kazzy’s pregnancy, one student asked if the baby would grow up to be big like his dad. I explained that the baby would grow up, but first he’d be an infant and than a toddler and than a kid and than a big kid and on and on. One little girl raised her hand… “My dad and brother are toddlers.” Pause. Pause. Lightbulb. “No… your dad and brother are named Todd. But they are not toddlers.”

          • All hell breaks loose when they become mobile.

            Crawling is the beginning of the end of parental sanity.

          • You’re trading one set of problems for another until they get to be about eight, and then you have largely free brain time until they get old enough to get into adult trouble.

  5. And I don’t get to shower every day like I used to.

    Preach it, brother. And when I *do* get to shower, it’s always at top speed, and often sharing space with a dirty kid, so I can’t have the temp I want (scalding hot, basically).

    My wife and I realized that the two of us are rarely clean/showered on the same day anymore, because there’s often only enough time each day for one of us to get in there.

    • Glyph, some day you need to paint some sort of picture of your life for me; how many kids? Ages ranges? Work at home/outside home balance?

      I mostly think of you as about my age, but I hold this nagging suspicion you’re much much younger. (This would be because of certain avatars you’ve used.)

      • Hmmm…at a guess, I think you could consider me roughly the middleman between your age, and that whippersnapper Kazzy’s?

        The Boy just started preschool a couple days/week; The Girl is not yet two and thus is still at home. I work @ home, which helps a lot, though my wife is still the primary caregiver during the day (after I help get them breakfast and dressed and teeth brushed etc., I go to work). During the workday, depending on my work/meeting schedule, I might help her a little bit with prepping or cleaning up lunch or dinner, or changing a diaper, or putting someone down for a nap. But the bulk of the work is on her, which she is juggling with running several small retail businesses.

        Then once I log off, I either try to take The Boy to the park, or do some yardwork/outdoor projects, with which he “helps” (and oh dear lord give me patience with the “helping”, which invariably makes everything twice as long /frustrating as it needs to be) – either option means at least one of us is filthy and needs a shower, so in we go.

        Then it’s books and bottles and bed ideally by 8-9 PM, after which we hopefully get an hour or two to ourselves, assuming the kids stay down. If I don’t have my after-dinner coffee, I can barely make it until they are in bed – I will pass out with my shoes on. With coffee I can stay awake until 11 PM.

        I am normally a fast & voracious reader, but kids are really messing with that. I get maybe 5 minutes at a time here and there with my re-read of The Once & Future King, and I just got through the foreword on In The First Circle, so those guys are gonna leave me in the dust. Frankly by 9 PM I am too brain-fried to read much anymore, so I usually watch an hour or so of TV or listen to music while I web-surf, then bed.

        • … do some yardwork/outdoor projects, with which he “helps” (and oh dear lord give me patience with the “helping”, which invariably makes everything twice as long /frustrating as it needs to be)

          I had to smile at that. Mom tells me about how I would tag along behind Dad all over the farm “helping” him. It may be frustrating but you’re building a huge bank of fond memories. Cherish it.

        • Thank you.

          By helping, we learn doing. It is a good thing to have helped, and then be given a task to do all on our lonesome. Small children are capable of doing much more then we give them credit for; I know this from being a farm laborer on our dairy farm; by the time I was nine, I had serious responsibility, and by the time I was 11, I was contributing in an economically substantial way. By 15, I and my brothers could have run the place for a week or two without the grownups about at all; short of writing the checks to pay the bills.

          • We didn’t have a farm, but both my parents worked full-time, so my younger brother and I were responsible for the dusting / mopping / vacuuming / bathroom & kitchen cleaning / mirror, window & blind cleaning / laundry / lawnmowing, as well as the care of the youngest sibling, who my mom had late (I was ten, and changing plenty of diapers).

            I don’t know if parents today leave their kids in charge of so much, but I sure hope I one day can. 🙂

          • *shudder* so long as the kids aren’t working by age three…

  6. We bought The Clippers and we cut our own hair. Snap on a number 4 and go to town. Or, hey, use the number 4 above the ears, then a number 2 below the ears, get it off by a bit, overcompensate on the other side, then just say “heck with it” and go to town with the number 2.

    • hehehe, go to town with the number 2.

      3rd-grade bathroom humor never goes out of style.

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