For a while there, Dar had a fro to rival Art Garfunkel’s. When it came up in conversation, I would say something like “We’re enjoying it now while we can,” presuming that he wouldn’t be rocking the Alexi Lalas locks forever. I was right, but I was less prepared for my uncle on Christmas. What’s that, I say? Well, we just had Christmas with Dar’s great-uncle Jim in Irvine, and Jim made a lot of haircut jokes. Basically it was like…what’s Dar doing here with that messy moptop? And Jim runs a haircutting business, and he also handed me some sort of hair restorative substance without me asking for it, which to me is a little like giving someone shoe lifts when they haven’t complained that they’re short.

Nonetheless, we took Jim to heart when it came to Dar’s hair…my amazing wife has been doing all the temporary trims, even as she has been wanting to take Dar to a professional. What’s the drawback, you’re wondering? Blood-curdling, razor-on-chalkboard-like screams, that’s all.

I’m sure there must be autistic kids who don’t mind getting their hair cut. I’m sure there must be neuro-typical kids who freak out when scissors get near their hair. Nonetheless, Dar sees the little blades and it’s like he’s watching his own arm be flayed. Actually, he has the same reaction every time we put him in the bathtub. Our family saves all this time watching “American Horror Story” because we’ve got all the thrills, chills, and spills right here.

On Saturday, we took Dar to one of those hair places on University just below Shattuck. We also had Dar’s little brother with us, which was a bit of an issue. We have no grandparent help and we didn’t want to hire a sitter for 15 minutes. However, wifey and I both wanted to hold Dar down while the professional did her thing…and we did, which is when Dar’s little brother put his grubby paws all over their TV set, did everything he could with their remote control, and the like. I tried to shuttle between one badly behaving boy and the other, which wouldn’t have been so bad had the level of screamitude not risen to five roller coasters.

Of course, we weren’t the only ones in the salon. There was another stylist cutting the hair of another client, and I watched the client’s face as she seemed to try to tune out the shout-fest…with her eyes closed and her chin pointed down, it almost looked like she was trying to imagine herself on a desert island. I felt awful; she didn’t ask for this! Neither did the haircutters, as nice as they were. The one cutting Dar’s hair was like, “don’t worry, sweetie, it’s okay, sweetie…” I was thinking yeah, he can’t hear you over his own caterwauling.

Holding the head of an obstinate 5-year-old while you try to avoid blades…well, I don’t recommend it. There are nicer ways to spend your Saturday morning.

What goes through your head when you’re watching your kid freak out over something so ordinary? Embarrassment. Fury. Sadness. Empathy.

Finally, it was over.

I’ve heard that beauty is pain, I was just hoping that meant that it was the beautiful person’s pain. Oh well.