Colt was swinging at the park when a couple of other kids walked up – a little girl around 5 years old, and her younger brother.
They were just like all the other kids. Except the 5-year-old had hot pink hair.
The mother caught me staring. “Oh, I like your pink hair!” I said to the little girl, lying.
“Yeah, I let her dye it whatever color she wants,” the mom said. “I mean, it’s her hair, right?”
I smiled, and noticed Pink’s brother had an equally offensive mop of surfery curls on his head. He peered at me through his tendrils.
Then there was Colt, with his Marine Corp regulation high-and-tight.
The Mom looked at Colt. I could tell she felt sorry for him.
“My son hates to cut his hair, so I don’t make him. After all, it’s his hair, right?” she said.
I smiled, but inside I was gagging.
No. I wanted to say.
It’s my hair.
I birthed it on August 16, 2010. And I currently wash it, dry it, and comb it.
Sure, he pitches a fit when we cut it. But I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s afraid of the buzzing noise the clippers make, not because he’s rationally weighed his options and decided he’d look best with longer locks.
He also pitches a fit when we change his diaper. Should I let him run around with a soiled Pamper, because after all, it’s his butt right?
If I let Colt do whatever he wanted, he would be naked, drinking grape juice, riding our dog around the house.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for allowing kids to express themselves.
Give them some sidewalk chalk! Bath foam! Playdoh!
This kid’s hair was so long, he had to brush it out of his face to see where the other kids were running. He seemed annoyed by it. Maybe he didn’t really think it through when he made his decision. Maybe he thought he wanted to join Hanson, but was now reconsidering.
Oh wait. HE’S TWO.
I wasn’t making good decisions at 18. So I’m pretty sure my 2-year-old doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Colt does get to make some choices in his life. He can choose between the red crayon or the blue crayon, peaches or pears, green shirt or orange shirt.
He does not get to decide whether or not to wear pants, change his diaper, put on sunscreen or cut his hair. Among other things.
He will have the rest of his life to make bad decisions. While I can, I’m going to try and make a few good ones for him.