Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tipping Etiquette

I don't think they cover situations like this in Emily Post.

Michael's hair has been getting out of control lately. I planned on taking him in for a trim while I was at home with him in October, but I had to change my plans when he fell and cut his head. The stitches were right along his hairline and I knew the stylist would have to comb over the injury numerous times during the haircut. I decided to wait until the cut had healed a bit before taking him in.

In the past, he has always been very good about haircuts. So good that I'm normally complemented for having such a cooperative little boy. Yeah, I knew that was too good to last.

I got out of work early yesterday and decided that it would be a great time to take Michael into the salon. He did not agree with me. He let me take him out to the car, but I should have known things were not going to go well when he held his arms over his hair for the entire ride over.

When we got there, there were two stylists and two customers. When the first stylist finished up, she invited Michael over to her chair. He clung to me. I picked him up and carried him over. He clung to me. I tried to put him in the chair and he wrapped his arms and legs around in a death grip. He also started sobbing.

The stylist was really great. She tried talking with him to calm him down. She had a good feel for how to coerce without making him more resistant. There were no other customers waiting, so she spent a good 10 minutes working with me to get Michael to agree to let her trim his hair.

No luck.

I really didn't want to go through all of this again, but I was starting to realize that there was no way to get Michael to submit and that I was going to have to take him home without a hair cut. Then, another customer came in.

"Oh well Michael. She has another customer. We can't hold her up any longer. Say good-bye." I went over to get my jacket so we could leave.

Michael freaked. Full on tantrum. Sobbing and yelling in the middle of the salon.

You want to know why?

Because, and I quote, "I want the lady to CUT MY HAIR!"

Yes, the child that had just spent 10 minutes fighting a haircut was angry because I wouldn't let him get his hair cut. Clearly, his only true desire in this situation is to NOT do whatever I want him to do.

I told him he would have to wait until she was done with the new customer and he casually walked over to the toy bin and started playing with the blocks. He played quietly the entire time and as soon as she told him it was his turn, he hopped up and ran right over to her chair. He sat still for the entire cut and did everything she asked him to do. He smiled and thanked her when she gave him a lollipop. It was as if those first 10 minutes had never happened.

So, that made me wonder, what is the appropriate tipping etiquette when your extremely contrary child throws a fit in the middle of the salon and the stylist remains cool, calm and supportive enough that said child finally gives in to the hair cut? I went with 50%, and I'm pretty sure it was not enough.

When we got home, I tried to snap a picture of Michael, but he was back to being contrary. This is what I got when I asked him to "stand still and look at me".


Clearly, he was done cooperating for the day.


Maria said...

Sounds about right. Maybe he is giving you all of his contrary-ness now, and he will be an angel as a teen. I am hoping for you...

LauraC said...

My boys screamed bloody murder at every hair cut until they turned 2.5. We took them to a kiddie salon and tipped 50% each time they screamed. We may as well have had triplets for how much freaking money goes out the door!

Plus you know I am crazy and make them get haircuts every month! Alex's hair looks so bad when it is long though.

Carrie77 said...

oh my goodness, you are describing my son exactly! haha! :o)-

London said...

This is part of the deal when you become a hairstylist and we know it! I happened to work at a very family-friendly chain salon and had this experience many times. I wish I could say that I got a 50% tip before! Since now I'm only forced to cut my own kid's hair I stick with "Hold still or I'll cut your ear off!"

DesiDVM said...

This is why haircuts are part of "Boys' Day" i.e. Daddy takes him to the barbershop. I used to cut J's hair but it became such an ordeal that I just handed that responsibility over to hubby. They go every 3 weeks. J is a good boy according to dad, although I have no idea how much they tip.

Stacey said...

Dude, we have the same kid!!

connie said...

This is such a cute story, even though while you were in the moment it wasn't so cute. Last time I mentioned a hair cut to Kenzie she told me she would do it herself and I could pay her. I then hid every pair of scissors in the house:)