For mothers, disaster can be looming around every corner.
On May 17, my daughter-in-law laid down for a nap.
When she woke up, my son had given himself and their oldest son awful haircuts.
Seeing the two of them, Anne burst into tears.
Her husband’s haircut bothered her the most.
She said to Benj, at least twice, “You ruined your hair!”
Because she’s pregnant, she initially attributed her hysteria to hormones. But later, she realized her reaction had nothing to do with pregnancy.
Anne was glad she woke up before Benj got to their younger son, who’s 2-1/2. Connor was also asleep.
“You’re not touching him,” she said. “We’re going to wait until the barbershops open.”
Benj admitted that things hadn’t gone as planned.
Later in the day, they sent out photos of Benj’s handiwork.
“You know it’s bad when Kim Jong Un has a better haircut,” Anne wrote, attaching a photo.
Benj’s sister said Lucas’ haircut made her 4-year-old nephew look like “an old-timey monk.”
Benj’s brother said Benj looks like he’s in a “Mad Max” movie.
Their mother said Benj now has the appearance of a drug dealer.
Benj had ordered clippers from the internet.
But Anne didn’t expect him to give anybody a haircut while she was sleeping. The way she saw it, Benj would get the clippers when she woke up, and they would cut Benj’s hair together. Anne planned to use scissors on Lucas just to cut his bangs.
Benj said he didn’t get all of the attachments he wanted with the clippers. With the tools he had, his choices were to cut hair either very short or very, very short.
He knew he wouldn’t be leaving the house for another three or four weeks, so his styling didn’t entail a big risk.
Lucas has gotten bad haircuts before from professional barbers because he doesn’t sit still in the chair. So the threshold with Luke was pretty low, Benj said.
Early on, “I took a couple light swings at the top for both of us, and sheared the sides and back.”
But the “blending” didn’t turn out well, he said.
Lucas’ hair is similar to his, he noted. He wouldn’t have cut Connor’s hair as aggressively because his adorable blond mop is much different.
Anne said it was hard to look at them. She said Luke’s hair was almost “a mushroom cut.”
Benj’s position is that time eventually will take care of a bad haircut.
“Any haircut given by a nonprofessional with nonprofessional equipment is going to be pretty average anyway,” he says.
When they visited Anne’s family, who live nearby, “They were equally as shocked as I was,” Annie says
The couple has been looking at houses recently. Benj has been wearing a hat.
“I didn’t want anybody to see me. I looked like a fool. You couldn’t take me seriously,” he says.
After a couple of days of hoopla over the doubleheader, Connor said he wanted ”a bad and crazy haircut like dad and Lucas.”
It was funny to read the reactions to the photos online. Initially, my wife thought Lucas had cut his own hair.
Kenna is glad her oldest son went into business instead of barbering.
“Somehow, I think if a barber had done that to him, he’d want to sue,” Kenna wrote.
She was also glad the lockdown continued in their city, so that few people would see them.
Benj’s brother said he respected Benj’s attempt, “but the execution was deserving of his wife’s tears.”
I asked Anne if she would have gone on her first date with Benj, if he’d looked that way at the time.
“I would have thought he looked ridiculous and kept walking. Because his haircut was that bad,” she said.
In August, Annie will give birth to their third child.
Is Benj allowed to use the clippers again?
“Not on any of our children,” she said.
Jeff Bahr is a reporter for The Independent. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.