Jacob has gone full on teenager. He stinks, he’s got acne, his pits are hairy, and so is his face. So much so that it’s starting to gross out Beth.
We went through a tentative trimming a while ago to attack the line of lip fuzz he’s been sporting. I got a useless little trimming tool to manage my mangy excuse for a beard during last year’s Easter play season. We let him play with it a little before working at his “mustache.” I use that term loosely because it was pretty pathetic.
It came back with a vengeance over those 8 weeks, and Beth had had enough. She thinks there’s nothing worse than that dirty upper lip look boys his age get. Jake had shot down our hints at shaving over the past few weeks because we’d done it only “a couple months ago!” – his phrase. Last night, right before he hopped into a bath (he hates showers), I decided to do it properly with a blade. He, of course, wants to grow his mustache until he’s at least 18, because “mans have mustaches.” Alas, what Mama wants, Mama gets.
I lathered him up and explained what we were about to do. He was pretty scared, but just curious enough to let me try. He didn’t like the shaving cream on his face AT ALL, and got some up his nose and into his mouth in his contortions and revulsion. He eventually calmed down. He even smiled for the camera. It’s hard to get a good thick lather over mostly smooth skin.
It’s a weird thing shaving your son, especially when he’s Jacob. He so desperately wanted to help, but also to hold me back. He kept repeating: “Don’t shave my nose! Don’t shave my nose! Don’t cut my skin! Don’t cut my mouth! Don’t shave my lips!” over and over again. If he pulled my hand away too sharply, I may have cut him as a byproduct, and then he’d never let me shave him again. I hadn’t been this nervous with a razor in my hand since the night I prepped for my vasectomy 10 years ago! I have plans to buy him a high end electric foil razor because I read they work well for faces like his, and will last decades if we take care of them, but the Braun Series 7 is $175! If he does well with a blade, I may not have to invest.
Anyway, he did pretty great! He was nervous, but he was pleased that it didn’t hurt. And no, I didn’t shave his nose or cut his face. He was able to help a few times with some tentative movements. He even has enough motor neurons to mimic the faces I was making.
So, parenting win. It’s only a tiny step towards independence with grooming tasks, but it’s a major life event, and a big milestone on his way to adulthood, which frankly scares me to death.