Relearning to Love my Kid

March 16th, 2010

My wife wanted to keep our kid’s baby hair to make a calligraphy brush with.  This suited me fine, since Tony’s hair was starting to turn into dreadlocks in the back (he has delicate skin, which means we have to wash his hair with soap, not shampoo, making it less slick and more prone to tangling), and he looked like Prince Valiant anyway.  So we took him to a barber who could cut baby hair (most barbers avoid this, since, unlike normal customers, babies have a bad habit of screaming and crying) and could also make a baby brush.

This had an unfortunate consequence for me, though.

Here’s what Tony looked like on Saturday:

Tony With HairAnd here’s what he looked like on Sunday:

Tony Without Hair

The problem is: he’s a different kid.  Not, of course, that his personality has changed in any way.  But his hair was such a prominent feature that it’s what made him him.  Now that he has a haircut, every time I look at him, it’s like looking at a brand new baby.  If I passed him on the street, I wouldn’t recognize him.

So now I’m getting used to the new Tony, and I’m having to transfer all the love I felt for him before to him now.  It’s not that I don’t love him, it’s more like I love him, but it still takes a few seconds for me to recognize that the cute little kid in front of me isn’t a friend’s kid, but mine.

On the other hand, it’s kinda cool.  My mom described raising a baby this way: “It’s like falling in love.  Not just that you have a baby and love them, but that it feels like how you feel when you fall in love.”  So I get to experience that a third time, but without having the additional worries and difficulties of having a third kid.

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