Not a mullet-friendly household

One thing I did not mention about the dance competition the other night was that it was hot. As the night progressed, the bodies of the hundreds of spectators became stickier and smellier. Casey was sweating profusely by the time he threw the temper tantrum – screaming that he wanted “bopple jue.” Apple juice was nowhere to be found. Riley too was a ball of red-headed sweat.

That night before bed Riley lamented that he did not want to continue to grow out his hair, that he wanted short hair, and that he was tired of having a sweaty neck. He cried. He was so sad. He wanted to be able to donate his hair to Locks of Love but he just didn’t have it in him any longer.

We spent Saturday morning canvassing a neighborhood getting folks to register to vote and while we walked, we talked about the different ways he could cut his hair. He liked spikey so Saturday afternoon when we walked into the salon, I fully intended him to tell “the lady” that he wanted a short spike. However, he had changed his mind.

I was busy with another “lady” trying to assist her in getting my toddler to hold still enough that she could take a stab at his head with her clippers when I overheard Riley describing the cut he wanted.

“I want it short and spikey on the sides and the top. And I want you to LEAVE IT LONG ON THE BACK.” And as I was processing the fact that my son had just requested a mullet, “the lady” called me over.

“Umm. He wants a mullet. Want me to give it to him?”

Now my parenting style is intentionally lax. I very strongly believe that children should be able to make as many choices about their lives as possible. That’s why my son is known to wear size 4 black and pink stretch pants in public. “Let them make as many of their own choices as possible. Children already have so little choice. Let him have choice where he can.” I heard the voice of my past echoing in my ears. But I just could not allow a mullet. I couldn’t. It wasn’t just the teasing I thought he would face. It wasn’t just the footage of Cleve Pike ordering a hot breaded veal that flashed in my head from 15 years ago. What it was, I can’t quite name. But it was wrapped up in its own (internalized) homophobic package I’m sure. Something having to do with people thinking I’m mulleting my children in an attempt to “turn” them?

As I was going over the pros and cons of allowing the mullet, I was flashed back to the present by my son’s insistence, “YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME.” Turns out, he just wanted a little piece of hair left long in the back. A tail. Short on the sides and top and a tail in the back.

You don’t have to like it. But you do have to acknowledge that it is better than a mullet.

Ry’s “not a mullet”


4 Responses to “Not a mullet-friendly household”

  1. Kelly B Says:

    im so getting this same haircut… 🙂

  2. Carrie Says:

    Nice, Ry-Man…..definately not a mullet (I remember Cleve Pike’s mullet as well…oh, those were the days)

  3. Tori Says:

    A-dora-ble. He is so stinkin cute.

  4. mel Says:

    delurking to tell you that this post almost got me totally busted for checking blogs while on a conference call at work. you had me cracking up. and…for the record, i love his not-a-mullet.

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