Monday, March 24, 2008

A Semi-Ill-Advised Exercise in Saving Some Cash

I have some guilt about an All About Me purchase I'm going to be making soon, so I've been trying to save money here and there.

When Alex suggests going out to dinner, I suggest taco night. When he suggests going to The Container Store to buy the elfa system for my kids' closet that my friend suggested, and which I totally want, I tell him we can wait awhile. When Alex suggests that we join a pool this summer, I talk him out of it. (This last one also has something to do with me not being able to handle my three kids at a pool. I like all of them and would hate to see anyone drown.)

There's also the $60 or so that I was going to drop at Cartoon Cuts today. I started thinking about whether I could cut hair at home and about how often two-thirds of my kids scream while we're there. And I was thinking about how we buzz-cut Jack and I really don't need to pay $20 to get that done. Plus, his hair isn't very long yet these days anyway.

Then I thought about this post and my comment on it:
We also go to Cartoon Cuts and pay a gazillion dollars for the haircuts. Although with three kids there's a quantity discount. (I can't believe I have enough kids to qualify for a quantity discount.)

My oldest LOVES the place (TV, lollipop! Although there was a brief period when they didn't give out lollipops and we had to troll the whole shopping center until we ended up at Buy Buy Baby where they sold candy.). My middle son likes it IF they are showing something other than Scooby Doo, Spongebob, or Thomas, all of which he is terrified of and which is all they had last time. After much screaming, they put on Dora for him.

My youngest? Screams no matter what. Yeah, we're that family.

We're going to have to go there sometime this week. Wish us luck. (And Dora.)

Fuck that!

I can cut hair at home. How hard can it be?*

My supplies:

Oh, I'm kidding. Here are my real supplies:

My victims:

Okay, let's recreate the Cartoon Cuts experience. TV is on. Lollipops are in the cupboard. Vacuum is at the ready. Here we go!

Snip. Snip. Snip... Oh, shit.

And the cowlicks. How could I forget about them? Sam has two. Okay. Bangs are (mostly) straight, if not a little shorter than intended. What to do with his incredibly thick, bushy hair?

How about a bunch of random, choppy cuts? I resist the urge to cut off the cowlick hair, realizing that if it is shorter it will just stick straight up. Maybe I should buzz cut Sam too.

What I really want to do is grow his hair out. It would be gorgeous. And easier, I think. I'm just not sure (a) how to get past the "awkward" stage and (b) how to convince Sam that guys with long hair are cool, especially guys with thick, bushy hair like his.

I give up. Here's the finished product:

Sam says he likes it and asks for a lollipop.

For Quinn, who is TERRIFIED of hair cutting, I give him his lollipop piece of chocolate ahead of time to distract him. I plan on mostly sticking to this guy's bangs.

Snip. Snip. Snip. Easy peasy:

Candy for a bribe: $1

Haircutting scissors: $7

Not having to rush my kids to a real hairstylist to fix my mistake: Priceless.


* Harder than you might think.


  1. I whacked an inch and a half off of my daughter's hair the other day, because it was glued together with chocolate syrup and it was easier to cut than wash.

    You did a lovely job!

  2. Well done! I cut Bud's hair for years because he was terrified of haircuts. Some were better than others...

    Can't wait to read about your experience at BlogHer!

  3. I'm in awe of you. S&J stopped letting me near them with clippers about a year ago and we've only made one (very loud and melodramatic) visit to Cartoon Cuts ever. Great job. And I say go for that Elfa system!

  4. OMG - you are SO funny!!! I love this post :) And the liquor.

  5. I'm glad I'm not alone in not taking kids to the pool. The gym pool is OK- its a wading pool, and we're usually the only ones there, so I can see both of them at all times. But a big public pool? No way. No day.

    We do home cuts. I even do my husband. The clippers cost us $20, with the scissors. We also have lollis on hand. A quick vac later, all done. Probably tonight is the next session, husband is complaining that his hair is too long.

    We don't worry about cowlicks. IF your hair sticks up, it sticks up. Harry Potter is a cool look. ;)

  6. So. Jealous. Of where you are going. Say hi to the cool kids for me.

    Oh,and jealous as well of your mad clippin' skilz. Yo.

  7. First try? You did GREAT! L and I have been doing this for years ... it's mostly good, but I was so happy to pay Cartoon Cuts for A last week and take the crying off my back ... it was a nice change.

    But if you do this frequently, I have one piece of advice. Use the clippers. With the hair guard, on the #9 setting if you're okay with it short. It's so much easier to get it even ... if you can get them to hold still AT ALL!

  8. i'm going to bring my kids to your house to cut hair if it involves bourbon. Yum. Actually, my husband cuts my son's hair and it looks pretty easy. My daughter....well, I tried and messed up one too many times. So now we have to spend the money for her. Ugh.

  9. Looks like you did just fine! I cut my kids hair all the time when they were little. I bought a book with remedial instructions. My son at 24 - still lets me cut it. I bought a set of clippers with color coded attachments for different hair lengths and there you go. Of course he just wants it totally buzzed close to the scalp and trimmed neatly around the edges. Easier than scissors!

  10. Awesome job! I'm so impressed with your first-time results.

    And it SO beats Cartoon Cut$.

    DUDE. Blogher. Sweet.

    Hope to see you on Wed!

  11. Sh*t, you're braver than I am! I'd have drunk the bourbon and given the kids the scissors to do it themselves! (JUST KIDDING! Do't call child protective on me...)

    Looks pretty good for the first time around! Yeah, Nik's got my on each side of his forehead. I spring for the pro.

  12. We just dropped the cash at Cartoon Cuts last week, but at 18-months old, my son is way too wiggly for me to cut his hair. It would be bad.
    And I am SO jealous that you are going to Blogher...PLEASE PLEASE write all about it so that I can live vicariously through you. I am due to give birth THAT WEEK, so I pretty much can't go. Damn.

  13. I think you did a great job. I trim hair to lengthen time between cuts and then when we DO pay, we go to Snip N Clip---$6.95 for a kid's cut. WORTH IT to me!! :)


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