My three year old son Isaac has an aversion to haircuts. And being a three year old, this doesn’t mean that when faced with a haircut, he says "no, I don’t particularly like this", and grimaces slightly while it happens. This is not an adult’s aversion.
No, being a three year old, it means he screams and struggles constantly while it happens. He twists and turns in the seat trying to escape, even when held down, making it quite a difficult job for the barber to even lop off a few hairs, let alone enough to make an appreciable difference, and with any semblance of neatness or symmetry.
So when we discovered a hairdresser specialising in kids down at Baby Target in Fountain Gate, many miles away though it is, we rejoiced. Maybe Isaac would still hate it, but because of various devices they employ, such as looping Wiggles videos and a ride-on hobby-horse as a chair, we thought we might have at least fighting chance of getting his hair back to a manageable length.
This was our target on Saturday morning, so we packed everyone up in the car (sneakily but wisely without specifying to Isaac precisely where we were going), and drove down there. I haven’t worked it out precisely, but it must be at least 30K’s out to Fountain Gate. It’s a shopping centre in one of those fringe suburbs, where they don’t have proper footpaths, and no two streets run parallel, and every family’s got two or more cars because there’s virtually no public transport.
Anyway we finally got there, and discovered that this place requires bookings. And they were booked out for the day. And it’s times like these when I really wish we’d thought to stop for a moment to pick up the phone and ring ahead and ask. But that’s life. Attempt two is next Saturday. And we have an appointment.
On Sunday we did what is fast becoming a family tradition: The Snow Train. It’s a steam train that runs from the city, a couple of hundred K’s out to Moe, where special buses take everyone up to Mount Saint Gwinear, for frolicking in the snow. I talked about it in last year’s diary, and the only differences this time were that there was more snow, we brought a bunch of friends along, and that on the way back one of the buses (not ours) went off the road.
Nothing too deadly thank goodness. Nobody injured or anything, though apparently a helicopter and two ambulances were sent screaming up the mountain when the news of a bus crash reached the emergency services.
It did mean a delay of an hour or two at Moe, so everyone scoffed pizzas and other assorted fast food, and we sat around chatting, waiting for the rescheduled steam train home.
As it happens, the trip back to Melbourne through the inky blackness of a country winter evening was quite atmospheric. A singalong in our compartment, consisting of a curious mix of Play School, Wiggles, Beatles and Queen songs, kept us all (and probably the rest of the carriage) thoroughly entertained.