Close shave

Care givers appreciate businesses that are comfortable with our special needs kids.

Finding the right place to cut Joey’s hair is a challenge. Some high volume salons are too loud, with blow driers running and other kids crying.

We are fortunate to have a great place here. It is a small salon so it’s seldom too crowded or loud. The young mom who runs it had an instant rapport with Joey. Even after she changed location a few years ago, Joey just rolled with it. So this is one of those aspects of life that was worry free. Until last week.

Joey wouldn’t get out of the waiting area chair. He smiled and crossed his arms over his chest. I couldn’t coax him out with words. The stylist couldn’t sweet talk him out of the chair.

I finally grabbed him under the arms, lifted him up, and began to drag him over to the adjustable styling chair. He went limp and became dead weight – then he tensed up and resisted. He stomped back to the waiting chair. And kept smiling.

Then he got up on his own – “Success!” thought I – went over to the styling chair, and shoved it off of its rubber mat and into the wall. With a smile. Then he went and sat in the waiting area again.

The stylist had the presence of mind to ask if she could come cut his hair right where he sat. “Yesst,” he whispered. (Joeyism: affirmatives are whispered, negatives are loud.)

So she did. She cut his hair right there in the waiting area, even though this was making extra clean up work for her to do after.

I tipped generously, for sure.

Melissa noted that the problem was mostly bad calendar work. She took Joey to his standing music therapy session earlier in the afternoon, then to the drive thru for quesadillas. Usually, he does only one such outing in an evening – but I’d scheduled the haircut on top of it. The normal pattern would have been just music, or just haircut, followed by the drive thru.

Did I mention he turns 20 this week? Wears ya down, two decades of planning and adapting everything like you have a toddler in the house. Thank God for patient folks who make that a bit easier.

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