Not only that, but rules of communicating with children were easy - engaging in conversation was considered indulgent - unless of course the kid had done something wrong, in which case you gave 'em a clip around the ear and shouted "you little scamp!" at them. Ahhhhh, there is nothing like giving a kid a good beating to garner respect.
So imagine my surprise when I was getting Izzy ready for school this morning, and her Dad, Steve, called me to say; "Hi, just to let you know I have booked Izzy a 4pm appointment with her stylist today."
I remained silent for a moment, pondering what had just been said. "Stylist?" I said, "she's five, what does she want with a stylist?"
"It's for her hair," Steve replied.
"You are kidding me?" I asked incredulously, "you are paying a proper stylist to cut her hair?"
"Of course, I want it to look nice," he replied before adding; "you can come if you want."
"Yeh, of course I will come.... I want to see what goes on when a five year old gets styled," I said before hanging up. Once the phonecall was over, I turned to Izzy.
"You know what, Iz?" I asked.
"What?" she said.
"In the olden days, children didn't go to stylists; all kids used to have bowl haircuts."
What's a bowl haircut?" questioned Iz.
Being the supermother that I am, I gave her a brief demonstation by placing a bowl on her head and waving a pair of scissors in the air. I wanted her to understand that haircuts in the olden days revolved around practicality - they were short so they didn't require much brushing, and generally incoporated a brutal fringe (what's known as a 'bang' in the US) to enhance vision. Styling for vanity's sake would have been considered a frivolity. Yeh, I know - kids today - sigh.
Pic.No.1. Izzy's demonstration of the principles behind a bowl haircut - oh, for the olden days
Just in case you were thinking that I gave Izzy a bowl haircut, I can categorically confirm that I didn't. Hell she had a pre-paid appointment with a stylist booked for 4pm for chrissake. Giving her a Bowly prior to that would have just been mean. But that doesn't stop me reminiscing about the days when children were considered little more than vermin.
Pic.No.2. A good old-fashioned bowl cut in action.
We (me, Steve and Izzy) duly arrived at the hairdressers and were greeted by the receptionist who asked Izzy to partake in a consultation........ about how she would like her hair to look. WTF?!! She's five!
"I want to look like Stephanie from Lazy Town," she said in a little voice.
Given that Lazy Town's Stephanie had pink hair, it became immediately apparent that some adult intervention was required.
"She just requires a trim and some layering at the back," I interjected.
"No problem," said the stylist turning back to Izzy..... "and would you like your hair washed?"
"Yes please," said Izzy, standing up so that the pink protective cape could be wrapped around her shoulders. The stylist's assistant (obviously versed in the routine) rocked up and asked Izzy; "Can I get you a coffee - Latte or Cappuccino?"
I jumped into the conversation for a second time; "ermm, she's five, she doesn't drink caffeine..... do you have any juice?"
"Yes, no problem!" she replied breezily and disappeared into the back of the salon.
Pic.No.3. Izzy in the chair with a towel on her head, just about to have her hair styled
It was all a bit surreal, right down to the point where the stylist asked Izzy whether she would like her hair blowdryed straight or curly.
"Straight, please" she said confidently as though she had grown up in salons. WTF!! She is five. She should be in the garden eating worms and making mud pies, not deciding how she wants her hair blowdried!
Or maybe I am just showing my age. Either way, once it was done, I decided that I wanted a coffee to get over the experience, and Steve took us to a little gem hidden away down an Oxford backstreet.
Pic.No.4. Jacobs and Field in Headington, Oxford
The cafe was actually a cross between a delicatessen and cafe, and sold the most marvellous snacks ever. I had a spinach and feta filou wrap to help me get over the shock of my daughter being styled. And a cappuccino. And Izzy (who now looked like a red-haired, short, extremely young version of Jennifer Aniston) had a black cherry pastry. Steve just ate cake. He likes it because it is brown.
So chaps....... what is the right way to deal with children's hair? Should they get sent to stylists or should they get the bowl haircut?