I might be the only one not judging Oscar at this moment.
In the pantheon of uncomfortable kid melt downs in a public place, Oscar etched his name at the top every pylon and every obelisk.
We’ve all seen it in the grocery, at the toy store, at the doctors office, etc… I don’t see it every time I go out, but I’ve seen enough kids lose it in public to be unaffected. If stuck in a waiting room during a melt down I can usually block it out and go on about my mindless phone surfing.
Not this time. Not Oscar. He went super nova in the Great Clips, while getting his hair cut. It was an ugly scene man. I felt bad for two people and neither was named Oscar.
Now when I mentioned to the gang at the base Tracy and I were about to become parents and I was going to retire to raise the kid up, one dude came at me with, “Oh you are in for a big change.”
Oh really, thanks for that. Never would have guessed on my own.
“No I mean you. Having a kid is going to change you personally.” This line was delivered with know-it-all condescension akin to what I can only imagine the cave man who invented fire sounded like.
It certainly wasn’t unlocking a mystery of the universe that I would be changed by the upcoming events. For that matter I never declared that I was change proof. But I am a student of human behavior. So I wasn’t going to get interested until I could see and/or feel the changes taking place.
Oscar provided such a moment.
When he was hooking and weaving to dodge the scissors wielding haircut lady, all the while shrieking at the top of his lungs as if he was being peeled like the skin on a grape, I could only think about how bad I felt for Oscar’s mom, and how much I related to her. Oscar was doing this cirque du soleil with scissors while sitting in his mom’s lap. I wanted to say, “Don’t sweat it honey, I’ve been there.”
That’s new. My normal first thought would have been, is it that important he gets his hair cut lady, cause it looks and sounds like someone is slowly grinding up a live cat. But in fact I have changed. I felt the mortification this mom was feeling. I’ve been there.
Well not necessarily that far there, but Frank pulled a little melt down in the Target once. It was embarrassing as I scooped him up and left the cart in the diaper aisle, marching out to the car with him. But you realize the people you’re walking past have probably been there a time or two as well.
My other bout of empathy was for the haircut lady. Man she was in the ultimate no win situation. She had to move with a purpose just to get the scissors near his head. At the same time she had to be careful enough not to cut his damn throat in the process.
She was sweating bullets, but she stayed in there, dodging and weaving, every once in a while a snip was heard over the screaming and a small amount of hair hit the deck. This caused Oscar to go even more batcrap insane as if a vital organ was cleaved from his body.
She finally went as far as she dared. She had already gone above and beyond the call if you ask me. Really the pressure was all on her. I can’t even imagine what ole Oscar would have sounded like had she nicked him.
Anyway, mom and Oscar finally left and he was on the come down, sobbing uncontrollably, unable to catch his breath. My only thought there was, he must be exhausted. I bet he takes a great nap now. Yeah man, I’ve changed.
Aside from an overflow of empathy for complete strangers, and misting up at sappy movies scenes, I now measure time in units of nap. Frank was a time bender, taking 4hr afternoon naps only to get up for dinner at 6 and go back to bed at 8pm sleeping through to 7:30 or 8am the next morning. Anne Marie is making us redeem the quiet time Frank gave us, if you know what I’m sayin.
Once Oscar and his mom drove away it was tough guy time at the haircut corral.
What does that bible verse say? Something like, “It falls to a man once to melt down, then the judgement.” Close enough I think.
Well that joint was full of theologians because the judgement began to rain down. Funny how not one of those brave souls had anything to say while Oscar and his mom were in the place.
The only person not running their yapper, (besides me but I don’t count because I don’t like people enough to talk to them in public) the lady who cut Oscar’s hair, that’s who. She just shrugged it off when the other barbers/cutters/ stylers(?) and patrons started to wax poetic about the ordeal. Her only response, “Hey it happens.”
Good for you haircut/barber/styler lady. Good for you.
So Oscar I’m not judging you man. Like the lady said, it happens.
I’m judging the people who judged you and your mom after you left.