I dropped my son off at school this morning in plenty of time (this picture is not him, BTW) and congratulated myself on managing to remember everything that I was required to. Lunchbag: check. Homework:check. Matching socks: check. As I leave the house in the morning my head is normally full of the various things I need to achieve that day and it wouldn’t have been the first time that I was halfway to the office, and realising he was still in the car. So the fact that I had even managed to drive the shortest route to the school rather than go via the by-pass was a big tick on the positives. My advice? Try listing the things you do well, rather than the muck-ups of a morning. It makes for a much better day.
So I was feeling good about myself...until I noticed the back of his head as he exited the car. Think toilet brush. Think matted horse hair. Think the worst bed head you have ever seen. In my defence making my own hair presentable in the morning isn’t a task I’ve had to consider for the best part of 20 years. It occurred to me he is now in primary 6. That’s a lot of bad hair days and a nomination for me for the worst father of the decade.
Memo to me: buy a comb.
Talking of hair, this reminded me of an early visit to a barber. I can’t remember what age he was, but he was fairly young as he was still going through that phase of tugging at his penis through his trousers when anxious. (Do we ever grow out of that, I hear you cry?)
It was a typical busy Saturday morning and while we waited in the queue the girls working there were fawning all over him. He was enjoying the attention, but at the same time feeling a wee bit uncomfortable as he really didn’t like the electric clippers. Sometimes when he gets nervous he retreats. Sometimes he gets loud.
When it was our turn, the girl said, with a big grin, ‘Right who’s next?’
My son answered, ‘Not Dad. He’s bald.’ Big laughs all round. Playing to his audience, the wee fella laughed louder than any of them. He was sat in the chair and covered in the brown nylon wrap thing that keeps the hair off his clothes and the hairdresser set to.
After a few minutes I saw that his hand had strayed to his groin under the cover and he was making those unmistakeable movements with his hand. From the look on the face of the girl cutting his hair this was a situation she had never encountered before and she was wondering how to address it. So I thought I would save everyone’s blushes.
‘What are you doing, son?’ I ask.
‘Playing with my willie,’ he answers proudly.
If I thought the first round of laughter was loud...