I think what he meant was DON'T GROW IT OUT.

We don’t give Henry candy, as a rule; I believe in these things in moderation but Henry DOES NOT BELIEVE IN MODERATION, so I always think, why make trouble for myself? Why give him candy and then have to listen to him beg for candy every day?

Because, that’s why! Because apparently I didn’t have enough of a headache before!

After his last haircut I granted him the post-haircut lollipop. He had one lick, and then it was all over. He couldn’t walk, so all-consuming was the lollipop experience. He stopped in his tracks and announced, “But this is too delicious.” Then he took a few more licks and stopped again. “I can eat this?” Afterward, when he told his father about the haircut, he had to whisper the Story of the Delicious Lollipop. Lest the gods hear and take away lollipops forever, I guess.

It was very sweet. It made me happy that I gave him the lollipop. And then came the next 60 days of ceaseless and ear-splitting demands for lollipops.

I tried to convince him that lollipops were magical foodstuffs created only after one’s hair has been successfully shorn, but he didn’t buy it.

After MY last haircut I bought him one, knowing he’d demand it upon my return, and I do enjoy occasionally giving him what his little heart desires. Except this lollipop was not the child-sized version the savvy barber doles out; no, it was a regular-sized one, and as such he never managed to finish it. He took these soft little licks, and after a few hours of watching him do nothing but lick lick lick lick I was shouting such unwittingly filthy phrases as, “Don’t just dab it with your tongue, SUCK IT.” Really! How inappropriate! Periodically he set it down while he ran off to kiss the dog’s lips or something and I would find a fuzz-covered lollipop oozing red dye #6 on my rug. Then I rinsed it for several minutes and sucked it (!) myself in the hopes that I could get the damn thing to go away. But it wouldn’t go away. And then Henry returned to his carpet-pop to find it not there! And then some screaming! Where is his LOLLIPOP! GIVE IT!

After I found it on the rug for the sixth time I threw it out. I tried to convince him that he had finished it. Of course he didn’t believe me. Oh, why did I make him so smart? Why did I take those prenatal vitamins?

He keeps demanding them. He will never forget. Just yesterday, as I pushed Henry home from the playground, the child announced, “I feel like something to lick. Get me a lollipop.”

Me: We only have lollipops after haircuts, remember?

H: Then go get a haircut. And bring me a lollipop.

M: Nope. No haircuts today.

H: Don’t say those words! I don’t like those words!

M: I know. You wish you could have a lollipop.

H: Don’t say that either. I need something to lick. I need it!

M: Wow.

H: GET A HAIRCUT!


p.s.: For various reasons I am closing comments for a while. I will explain later.