Chuck E. Cheese and Haircut #3

Sometimes Samuel and I sit by the fire, sip chamomile tea and discuss current events. Sometimes we write out complicated, Good Will Hunting type, math problems and work on them together. Sometimes we just like to make up Haiku's about the current health care crisis. But on days when we are not immersed in the day to day amusements of a family of intellectuals, you might find us at Chuck E. Cheese.

Today was one of those Chuck E. Cheese kind of days. The weather has been just rotten as of late and I can tell that the only cure for the cabin fever is to take my child somewhere where they don't care if he is let loose. Enter Chuck E. Cheese. The thing I really love about it is that his favorite thing to do is sit in the video games where you can drive the car. I say sit, because he doesn't actually want you to put any money in them. He just wants to sit there and twist the steering wheel. It's money spent on games at Chuck E. Cheese. No screaming kid as we take 10,000 tickets up to the counter only to find out that $50 won us a Spongebob eraser or a slap on bracelet. So today, after an hour of turning a steering wheel, running over the same light socket in the floor twenty times and pushing the coin slot button repeatedly on some jungle safari game, it was pretty much time for a nap. Oh, and did I mention the pizza and Sprite? That helped too. There are days when my "let's get out of the house" ideas don't turn out the way I expect them, but today was a slam dunk.

In fact, I was so cocky about my "toddler whispering" abilities that I decided it was time for another haircut. So after the pizza, we headed over to Pigtails and Crewcuts to get a quick snip before nap. "Every time we go this will get easier," I keep telling myself. I always chat nervously in the waiting area with other moms. They all reassure me that their "Jimmy" or "Alex" just got through the hating-the-haircut phase and there is an end in sight. I ask them if their kids screamed and yelled. "Oh yes," they answer with a knowing smile. I feel a little better about the scene that is about to occur..."this is totally normal," I remind myself. A pleasant woman who has dedicated her life (or perhaps just her 40 hour work week) to the grooming of children's hair calls Sam's name. My heart begins to palpitate. I reach down to pick up my son and that is when he stiffens every joint in his body and begins yelling at the top of his lungs...nay screaming, crying, yanking, fighting...I maneuver him into the chair only to look back and see the mother I was just talking to stare with her mouth open. Apparently little Alex objected a little less strenuously than Sam does.
My mom and I assume the "under normal circumstances this would look like child abuse" positions by throwing all of our weight on him as the hairdresser rattles off some "ideas" on how to appease Samuel. Finally my mother looks at her and screams "JUST CUT! WE ARE LOSING PRECIOUS TIME HERE!" So as usual, Sam gets an uneven, 60 second haircut, I lose ten pounds in sweat, leave a 127% tip and we all walk to the car feeling like everything that had just occurred was more than just a little wrong. We sit in the car for a few minutes to collect ourselves as the hairdresser passes us and heads to the Longhorn across the street. "Great," I tell my mother, "she's probably heading to the bar."

Merry Christmas from the Turners! Andy, Rachel and Sam!


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