The kids hate it when I get a haircut. They absolutely hate it. I think it’s just because they don’t like change. They get used to seeing me a certain way, and when it changes suddenly, they freak out. They’re pretty dramatic about it too.
That’s what I realized the first time they saw me with a haircut. So for my second haircut, Yuna, who’s usually one of the first kids to arrive, saw me right away from a distance and ran to me, looking angry. She stopped, took one look at me as if she couldn’t believe what I had done, and hit me. “Why did you get a haircut!?” she demanded. “I told you never to get a haircut!”
My coworker, who was standing right next to me, said, “Yuna! Don’t hit Mr. Robert.”
“Well,” said Yuna. “I told him not to get a haircut! And he did!”
Yuna is very picky about my appearance. She can be very sweet, but can also be very demanding and angry. I’m continuously trying to teach her patience, and that she can’t always get her way.
The third time I got a haircut, as I arrived at work, my coworkers smiled mischievously at me and said, “Nice haircut.”
“The kids are going to hate it,” I replied.
“That’s what we were just talking about,” they said, laughing.
But as my group of kids started filtering towards me, none of them said anything. Nothing. I kept waiting for the comments to come, but it didn’t.
“Huh…none of the kids have said anything yet. Maybe they got over it,” I thought.
Kelsea stared up at me, looking like she had something to say, but was trying to hold it back. She kept looking at me as if analyzing me, then slowly turning away and grimacing. I knew she had something to say. Finally she couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“It’s hideous.” she said, then quickly covered her mouth, feigning to have let that out on accident. She didn’t say what she was referring to.
“What’s hideous, Kelsea?” I asked, as if I didn’t already know what she was talking about.
“Oh! I can’t look anymore…” she said, covering her eyes, while still taking peeks at me.
“You don’t like my haircut?” I asked.
“My eyes! My eyes!” she said, as if her eyes were burning.
“Okay, Kelsea, I get it. You don’t like it.”
She clutched her throat, opened her mouth, and stuck out her tongue as if she were gagging on something. “It’s like a disease! I need to be cured!”
“Okay, Kelsea. I get the point.”
“Help me! Somebody! I’m melting…!”
Meanwhile one of the other girls, “Ashley W.,” had a bunch of her classmates around her, and was taking an official vote. “Who doesn’t like Mr. Robert’s haircut?” she asked. Nearly all of the kids raised their hands. Ashley W. counted. “Who does like Mr. Robert’s haircut?” All of the hands went down.
And I thought they had gotten over my haircuts. How silly of me.
Michelle, as if she’s worried that all the comments might be hurting my feelings or something, came to me and said what she usually says. “I like your haircut.”
There’s another girl who we’ll call “Mary Ann.” She’s a very nice girl, and seems to be one of the more mature kids in the group. While all the other kids are blatantly bashing my haircut, she uses more tact. She said, “Well…I just don’t like the sides. The top looks OK.”