No longer a hairy-hairy

If you’re Kit Brookside, then you remember what a hairy-hairy is. If you’re not, a hairy-hairy is our own-word (like Spucket) for something that’s shaggy, bushy, unkempt or (yes) hairy.

Kiddo#4 had not been shorn since birth. At 13 months, he’d become the epitomy of a hairy-hairy.


I’d prepared him for this by getting him used to me playing with his hair. With the oldest kiddos entertaining him, I removed this from his noggin:

hairyWith the following result:

haircutboyIt’s like looking at a different kid now, and it makes me sad. He looks older, more boyish. He still looks like his sibs, but he looks less like Kiddo#2 than he did yesterday morning.

After I sheared the boy, I went out to shear the lawn. Because of Health Fail, my Patient Husband cannot mow the lawn for another four weeks (no pushing). He taught Kiddo#1 to mow the lawn, and I was supervising. But at one stand of grass that was easily 12 inches tall (our first mowing of the season) I took over.

The reason I mention this? Because it was my first time mowing the lawn, and I realized that while my Patient Husband mows in orderly lines, I mow in boxes. He’s an engineer; I’m a writer. I mentally cordoned off the lawn into distinct shapes (it’s an uneven plot, totally non-symmetric) and started mowing segments of lawn rather than “the entire gosh-darned lawn.”

For me, that’s easier: mowing “the lawn” takes an hour. Mowing “this patch here” takes 7 minutes. Then I mow “that segment by the trees” and “this part in front of the shed” and the whole thing takes…an hour. But during that hour, I get a separate feeling of accomplishment seven or eight times. 

You wouldn’t think a person’s Myers-Briggs personality type would affect lawn mowing, for goodness sakes. But this does seem a microcosm of how my husband and I approach problems. I divide them into small questions and handle each segment as it relates to the big problem. Whereas my husband works to solve the problem. 

In effect, what happens is that big problems overwhelm him whereas I impossibly complicate tiny issues that could be solved in four seconds by a sane person. But on the other hand, I multitask very well, and he buckles down to finish what he’s started.

It’s the perfect complementarity, if you think of it. There are times when each approach is most appropriate, and we handle a crisis better by using both perspectives.

The lawn is no longer a hairy-hairy. The baby is no longer a hairy-hairy either. And I’ve found it intriguing how different people approach the same hairy problems.


  1. karen ^.,.^

    what a cutie!! that smile is so precious! 🙂

  2. cricketB

    Mowing the lawn in strips is still “one strip at a time”, and progress is by where on the house, fence or garden the lines end. I break the lawn by obstacles, the cord, and the hill. Back and forth rather than up and down the hill. I do obstacles and edges first, two or three times around each so I don’t have to go near them again. But my last step is straight, boring and easy lines across the entire lawn. More proof that I can’t settle on a single personality.

  3. Katriina

    I divide my lawn into sections too 🙂

  4. karen ^.,.^

    i have my teenagers mow the lawn. how’s that for progress?

  5. philangelus

    If there hadn’t been that very tall stand of grass, I’d have had my 11 year old do the whole thing. He too is a geek, and he too was doing it in nice straight lines. I think his brain exploded when I mowed the tall stand of grass in overlapping boxes.

    I’m relieved to hear I’m not the only one who segments the lawn. I could almost hear the universe disapproving my methodology as I went about it. But the grass is cut, and that’s what counts, right?

  6. Lane in PA

    Kiddo#4 is adorable! And it appears that he was not the least bit upset over a haircut like some kids I’ve seen crying and screaming to wake the dead. What a sweet child he is!

    I mow the lawn in geometric sections, obeying the artistic needs in me. Hubby, also being an engineer, does the orderly line thing.

    He eats corn on the cob the same way. The cob is left as neatly sheared as the mown grass. Mine, well, not so neat, again I am listening to the creative voices and cleaning off the ear of corn in geometric sections. It drives Hubby crazy. 😀

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  8. Ken Rolph

    You should mow your lawn in different directions at different times. This prevents patterns from appearing which correspond to your regular mowing path.

    Doing it differently gives you the opportunity to re-imagine the map of your lawn. I’m no sure that makes sense even to me.

  9. kit

    The two year old is a hairy-hairy…one lapse in judgment by a well meaning hairstylist with the clippers over Christmas vacation….it’s been a no-go ever since. I have to sneak up from behind and snip without warning.

    1. philangelus

      Wow, that doesn’t sound like any fun.

      I found that cutting their hair while they watched TV kept them still, if that helps.

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